44-year career, William Lawrence
has provided outstanding leadership and key contributions to IBM's Global Diversity and Workforce programs.
corporate superiors told the Black Engineer of the Year Awards Selection Panel, Lawrence
truly understands the strategic importance of building diverse leadership teams for the ongoing success of an organization.
is the 2010 winner of the Dave Barclay Affirmative Action Award.
A programmer on technical-support applications in 1965, Lawrence's skills opened a number of doors, giving him opportunities to manage technical work as well as strategic responsibilities in resource planning: Determining the skills needed to run a 13,000-person semiconductor chip manufacturing, development and packaging facility.
Lawrence's experiences in resource planning also provided him with the visibility to better understand the demographics of IBM
Lawrence's career took an unexpected turn in the mid-1980s, when after trying out a temporary assignment as a diversity recruiter at IBM's Fishkill, New York facility, he moved into a human resources role, in which he was responsible for diversity recruiting at three IBM New York State sites with more than 30,000 employees.
As part of this work, Lawrence
developed Project View to find and attract the best and brightest students from underrepresented groups across the United States.
'Subway Strategy' Succeeds
operation the "subway strategy.
would leave Fishkill for New Jersey and New York, get on the subway or commuter train to travel on to schools such as City College of New York
, Columbia University
, the New Jersey Institute of Technology
, New York University
, Rutgers, the State University of New York at Stony Brook
and others in and around the Gotham City.
After each visit, Lawrence
would return with resumes of the best and brightest undergraduate students the schools had to offer.
also tapped into the Grad School population.
With increased use of Internet job boards after 1994, Lawrence
found that he
could collect resumes electronically and that students easily could be induced to complete online questionnaires.
opened Project View to managers company wide in 1990, bringing together IBM hiring managers and top talent to meet in hotels around the country.
Career Fairs are held in Indian Country and have cultural aspects woven in. In a sign of how widely this is appreciated, in 2008, the American Indian Science and Engineering Society named Lawrence a Lifetime Member and honored him with a Sequoyah Fellowship.
has presented Project View's message to more than 200 U.S.-based colleges and universities, and he
also worked with IBM South Africa
to reestablish an IBM presence on college and university campuses and recruiting for renewed operations after the end of apartheid.
Lawrence leads IBM diversity recruiting efforts, connecting IBMers to both undergraduate and graduate engineers and scientists in support of sponsorship, scholarships, mentoring, internships and permanent hiring.
In 2004, he
created a pilot "Project View Plus," which focused on hiring experienced professional candidates and runs as a sister program to Project View.
On Deck, Diversity Alumni
didn't stop there.
went on to develop a follow-on network called the Project View Alumni Connection (PAC).
The PAC is made up of IBM employees whose mission is to strengthen Project View's university connections and broaden the program's footprint on campuses across the country.
There are PAC members in almost every IBM location, serving as mentors and role models to new hires and summer interns.
Project View Alumni also serve as a business and technical network.
Alumni members have grown into managers, senior technical staff members and even IBM Fellows.
In 2001, Lawrence received a letter of recognition from then-Chief Executive Officer Lou Gerstner, citing his achievements in recruiting diverse candidates.
William R. Lawrence
Senior Diversity Program Manager