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Why is a diverse Telefónica a better Telefónica?

Laura Abasolo

Diversity: "variety, infinity or abundance of different things".

 

Telefónica, with almost 125,000 employees and operations in 17 countries, is by definition a diverse company.

We have nearly 125,000 unique and unrepeatable ways of thinking and acting. This is how we understand diversity at Telefónica, focused on people and their talent. The key plank in our digital transformation isn’t technology, it’s people.

As the global sponsor of Telefónica's Diversity Committee, I would like to share with you today some thoughts on how we understand diversity, what it implies and some examples of what we are doing to become a more inclusive company every day.

 

A unique opportunity to strengthen ourselves through diversity of thought

Diversity makes us stronger and more competitive. Only with diverse talent can we empathize with our clients, understand their specific needs and innovate to meet them. Only with diverse talent can we successfully secure our people-centric digitalisation.

Diversity covers many aspects. In some cases like gender, we need to achieve a better balance. However, at Telefónica our ambition is to achieve diversity of thought. A diverse Telefónica is an organisation where there is room for everyone, just as we are. And achieving this is everyone's responsibility.

Our diversity and inclusion programs aim to attract and recognize the talent of different groups, foster an open and inclusive work culture in which the uniqueness of beliefs, backgrounds, abilities and different ways of life help us make the best decisions.

This can only be achieved with a clear commitment from management.

We have processes that guarantee equal opportunities in access, training, professional development and remuneration, as well as zero tolerance for any form of discrimination. Implementing and complying with these processes is in our hands, but it is not enough. It must be complemented by an inclusive model of leadership that knows and manages prejudices and unconscious biases and that, at times, are the prelude to open discrimination.

These unconscious biases constitute the greatest obstacle to achieving a diverse company, guided by the values that define our brand and our company vision: open, bold and trusted.

We choose it all... And, yes, we also choose everyone.

 

Some examples of our goals

In order to promote diverse talent, by 2020 we at Telefónica have set, among others, the following goals:

  • Achieve 30% of women in management positions.
  • Attract 25,000 talented young people worldwide.
  • Incorporate disability access as a basic element of all our processes.
  • Sensitize all employees about the importance of diversity and inclusive leadership.
  • Continue to promote talent development and skills upgrading programmes.
  • Continue to promote measures to improve the ability to balance work and personal life.

 

Although these plans and objectives mark the roadmap, diversity begins with the actions each and every one of us takes in our daily lives. Every step has to start with a question, not a decision. We have to continue being a company where employees dare to be themselves, share information and contribute opinions and suggestions without fear of making mistakes. In summary, a company capable of attracting and nurturing the best talent.

 

We Choose Everyone!

 

Laura Abasolo
Chief Finance and Control Officer & Global Diversity Sponsor, Telefónica