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Diversity and inclusion of LGBT employees: a question of trust

Friday, 21 June 2019

Ensuring working environments which nurture trust for LGBT employees: a cornerstone of our (diverse) talent management.

Diversity and Inclusion, an inseparable binomial. Diversity is what we are; inclusion is what we do. Or as Verna Myers, from NETFLIX described it: “Diversity is being invited to a party. Inclusion is being asked to dance”. In other words, diversity is just being there; whereas inclusion also means being relied on.

At Telefónica, with more than 120,000 employees, it is inevitable that we are diverse. Diversity encompasses many aspects, and it is true that in some dimensions, such as gender, we must attain a better balance. Beyond this, the richness of an inclusive organisation lies precisely in achieving an internal culture in which each professional, as a unique and unrepeatable individual, is able to contribute his or her best.

The inclusion of LGBT employees is a step forward in this regard, adding to the wealth of diversity represented by the different genders, cultures, skills, training, work experiences, leadership styles, etc. which already exist within our company.

 

 

When we talk about LGBT diversity we are not talking about sex. When we talk about LGBT diversity we are not talking about fulfilling quotas. When we talk about LGBT diversity we are talking about environments which nurture trust and respect.

Working is a human activity that involves social relationships. While most people can converse with ease about what they did over the weekend, LGBT people often don't feel comfortable talking naturally about their personal context for fear of becoming the object of gossip or derogatory comments.

Recent studies show that LGBT people in Spain are afraid to come out because of the repercussions it may have on their professional careers and on their relationships with their co-workers, bosses, collaborators and customers.

This is why at Telefónica we promote initiatives and projects that allow us to incorporate this vision of diversity as an essential part of our internal culture. One example is our participation in the European Project ADIM, which aims to advance the management of LGBT diversity in the public and private sectors.

This project gives continuity to our adhesion in 2018 to the United Nations “Standards of Conduct for Business” which aim to define guidelines to ensure an inclusive working environment for LGBT people.

In addition, regarding the International LGBT Pride Day, which is celebrated on 28 June, we have organised various activities in our offices to reflect on the main challenges and opportunities this group is facing in the workplace. You can consult the international agenda in the following map.

 

Arancha Díaz-Lladó,
Director of Diversity (and Inclusion) at Telefónica