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Former IBM CEO Ginni Rometty on ‘Good Power’

Ginni Rometty joins Washington Post Live on Wednesday, March 8. (Video: The Washington Post)

Ginni Rometty, IBM’s former chair and CEO, has written a new book about her life, her career and how “good power” can transform businesses and individuals. Rometty joins The Post’s Heather Long for a conversation about her personal journey, lessons of leadership and the future of technology.

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“I have been talking about AI ethics for over a decade … And finally, it’s got its moment. To me this revolves not on a tech issue … But to me the issue is trust in these technologies … I’ve been an advocate for things like precision regulation. Meaning, regulate its usage, not necessarily just the technology … There is such great potential. I hate to see that derailed by us not now, paying attention to what could be some of the downsides.” - Ginni Rometty (Video: Washington Post Live)
“Where each of us starts … should not determine where we have to end … 65 percent of Americans and 80 percent of Black Americans don’t have a college degree. That was my first startling fact to really believe that … The employees that we have brought in … they’re performing equal to those with a college degree. They’re thirstier for education. They take more education. They’re more loyal, more retentive. This isn’t just altruistic, it is about, I think, great for the company, a more diverse workforce and great for society.” - Ginni Rometty (Video: Washington Post Live)
“Most people have a pretty negative connotation of power, when they think of people in it or situations … Good power is about someone who runs towards tension and really tries to find and unite a way through it, not divide. They do it with respect, not through fear. And I believe it’s really important to celebrate small steps of progress towards something big. Because if all we do is stake out the two polar sides of something, you do get polarization.” - Ginni Rometty (Video: Washington Post Live)
“We’ve got to retain women in the workforce … For every two director level women who leave, one is only promoted. So, that’s not a good directional statistic. When I say what do you do to retain women, it’s a million things. Number one is flexibility … That retention point, keep them in the workforce or get them back fast, to me, would make the biggest difference.” - Ginni Rometty (Video: Washington Post Live)

Ginni Rometty

Former Chair & CEO, IBM

Author, “Good Power”