The diversity that our teams possess, achieves best results

At Telefónica, we are very confident that the diversity in our teams, along with an inclusive leadership style, helps us achieve best business results. That is why diversity and inclusion management is part of our strategic agenda.

Reading time: 4 min

5 March 2021

Ruth Ortiz
Director of Talent, Compensation, Organisation and People Data at Telefónica.

At Telefónica, we are very confident that the diversity in our teams, along with an inclusive leadership style, helps us achieve best business results. That is why diversity and inclusion management is part of our strategic agenda.

We see diversity as an essential source of talent. We believe that only by working to guarantee an inclusive working environment, where equal opportunities are a reality, will we promote an attractive working environment that is conducive to the growth of all people, regardless of their personal characteristics.

Our company is in the midst of a profound internal transformation to overcome the challenges posed by the digital revolution. We are therefore committed to an organisational culture and identity of equality, pluralism and inclusion, in which the uniqueness of our employees’ skills, capabilities and ways of thinking helps us to make the best decisions. We need diverse capabilities that can develop and grow through continuous learning and professional reinvention in a changing environment, where tenure dissolves to give way to more liquid organizations focused on projects by capabilities.

That is why we emphasize inclusion. As a company, we focus on what really unites us and on creating a discourse in which all our employees feel moved. We are convinced that only by managing diversity from a crossover perspective of inclusion and integration will we succeed in breaking down the inequalities associated with labels.

We encourage diversity around the world

Our commitment to promoting diversity at a global level has the clear support of management, and materialised in 2016 with the creation of a Diversity Council including top-level executives, women and men of different nationalities, disciplines, and provenances. Its purpose is to promote initiatives aimed at consolidating diversity as a key lever towards the digital transformation.

This committee is led by Laura Abasolo, Chief Finance and Control Officer (CFCO), and is represented by a sponsor of each country, which in many cases is the country’s own CEO.

In addition, we have Diversity Champions, leaders in all areas who, thanks to their commitment to diversity, act as agents of change throughout the organisation.

We aim want to have 33% of women in management positions by the end of 2024.

Despite the under-representation of women in certain sectors of the economy and levels of responsibility within organisations, the fact is that women make up more than half of the world’s workforce and, in many high-income countries, outnumber men in terms of training. Moreover, in terms of business, women make three times more purchasing decisions than men do.

We know that organisations with an equal presence of women and men in their governing bodies are more competitive and profitable. Having balanced percentages of both genders in the decision-making process makes it possible to have different viewpoints.

And proof of our commitment to female talent are the numerous impulse and development initiatives that we currently have in place to promote and develop it, among which we can highlight our women’s leadership development programs such as Woman in Leadership or Talentia, which encourage networking and make the female talent in our company visible.

However, we are aware that in many cases gender inequality is structural; particularly so in the ICT sector. Therefore, at Telefónica, we have a specific course of action to address the shortage of women in STEM careers, with the aim of reversing the situation of under-representation that currently exists and building the basis for a future where there is effective gender equality. One example is our participation in the “Technovation Challenge“, the international entrepreneurship and technology competition that seeks to inspire girls and young women between the ages of 10 and 18 to become STEM leaders.

Our commitment to equality has been included in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index (2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index or GEI), which especially values our diversity and inclusion strategy, and our work/life balance policies.

Although Telefónica’s strategy for reducing the gender gap is producing good results, we want to go further. That is why our greatest intention in the future is that we can eliminate all these shares and programs because they are no longer necessary, since effective equality has been achieved.

In commemoration of March 8, International Women’s Day, we organized various shares and initiatives in our operations to respond to the debate on the main challenges and opportunities facing women today. You can consult the international agenda in this map.


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