Lenovo Creates Product Diversity Policy, Celebrates 5 Years of Accessible Innovations

On Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2024, Lenovo is proud to announce a new global policy supporting its Product Diversity Office (PDO) and its mission to ensure usability of Lenovo technology for a diverse customer base, minimizing any inherent bias in the technology or product. The new Product Diversity Policy codifies this mission into the planning and review process for all of Lenovo’s global technologies and encourages strategic accessibility decisions earlier in the product development process of all the enterprise’s products. The PDO is currently on-track to scale its ‘Diversity by Design’ product review process across 75% of Lenovo’s products and technologies by FY2025/26, as reported in Lenovo’s annual ESG Report.   

This policy milestone comes on the five-year anniversary of the formation of the PDO, which grew from the development of Lenovo’s diversity and inclusion programs. While Lenovo’s diversity and inclusion programs help to encourage and build a diverse, global workforce connected through an inclusive workplace, the PDO extends those values to Lenovo’s products, with an effort to provide an inclusive user experience for Lenovo’s technologies. “We had a desire to ensure that technology was being used to enhance people’s lives and not be a barrier,” shared Brian Hardbarger, Agile Program Manager at Lenovo, when reflecting on the origin of the PDO. 

“As a global technology company, we were already meeting compliance standards for accessibility in many markets around the world,” shared Ada Lopez, Senior Manager of the Product Diversity Office. “By integrating inclusive considerations and bias mitigation into the product development process, the PDO has grown our efforts from a strong compliance base to integrating diversity as a strategic piece of our innovations. It’s a critical proof point in our vision to provide smarter technology for all.” 

In the last five years, the PDO has evolved from a small team of volunteers to a fully funded department within Lenovo. Bridgett Rogers, Director of Software Engineering, and early volunteer for the formation of the PDO shared, “One of the main milestones in the PDO is that it was funded to have full-time resources dedicated to the mission.” As the investment in the PDO was formalized and its processes expanded across the business, early leaders of the initiative also became part of the Diversity by Design Review Board, a committee of leaders from across Lenovo who provide governance and oversight for the Diversity by Design product review process.  

Now, the PDO development teams rigorously review products for inclusive design at every stage of the product development process. This model has also led to the formation of a Responsible AI Committee to vet products and solutions leveraging artificial intelligence.  

Looking ahead, the PDO aims to continue its momentum, focusing on achieving milestones set for 2025. The PDO is making great progress toward achieving its official goals for the number of products reviewed as part of its Diversity by Design review process. However, I’m equally excited about the innovation projects that have been initiated. These projects explore ideas in the areas of vision impairment and women in gaming,” shares Christopher Osborne, Executive Director of Lenovo’s User Experience Design, and leader on Lenovo’s Diversity by Design Review Board 

In addition to collaboration with Lenovo’s user experience and product teams the PDO has extended collaborative efforts to the community. By partnering with North Carolina’s Governor Morehead School for the Blind, the PDO team has been able to provide Lenovo’s technology to a local school while also gathering valuable insights from students with a range of vision impairments as they navigate Lenovo’s products.  

Ensuring accessibility within Lenovo’s products is paramount. Bridgett Rogers emphasizes, “It is important for Lenovo to ensure our products are accessible because we truly believe that technology can be used to enhance human lives.”  

Christopher Osborne adds, “We are responsible for the design and usability of millions of tech products… Part of this responsibility is to make sure that we do all that we can to make sure those products are designed with the most inclusive mindset.” 

The evolution of Lenovo’s Product Diversity Office reflects the company’s dedication to creating technology that serves everyone. From its beginnings to its current initiatives, the PDO continues to drive innovation and inclusivity within Lenovo’s products.  


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