New York — IBM’s insistence in a new lawsuit that its efforts to recruit and maintain a diverse workforce are trade secrets bucks a trend towards transparency and highlights how companies can see the issue in competitive terms, business and legal experts said. On Monday, IBM sued its former chief diversity officer, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, who left for a similar job at Microsoft. The lawsuit alleges McIntyre violated a one-year non-competition agreement and could disclose IBM’s diversity data and hiring plans. IBM’s stance puts it at odds with trends in the tech industry and broader corporate world towards sharing diversity success stories and best practices, instead seeming to view diversity as a zero-sum game. The lawsuit is unusual because IBM is arguing its diversity data and strategy are economically valuable "trade secrets", a legal term typically associated with closely guarded formulas, such as that for Coca-Cola. It appears to be the first company to bring such a lawsuit again...

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