Telefónica S A : We are committed to equality and respect for LGBT+ people –


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We are giving our employees a voice with the 'Pride of You' campaign

At Telefónica, we are very confident that the diversity in our teams, along with an inclusive leadership style, helps us achieve better business results. Therefore, we work to create and take care of the right structures so that the best professionals want to work, stay and grow with us.

This commitment has been reflected in the recent approval, by our Board of Directors, of the update of our Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which reflects Telefónica's commitment to equal opportunities and non-discriminatory treatment of people in all areas of our company. This Policy explicitly positions the company against any form of discrimination against people on the basis of their gender, sex, HIV status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, among other characteristics.

One of the areas of work is the inclusion of LGBT+ employees as, although sometimes we are not aware of it, there is still a lot of work to be done to achieve effective equality. This is demonstrated by the data from the study 'LGBT diversity in the workplace in Spain', in which Telefónica participated, and which showed that barely 38% of Spanish LGBT+ employees feel comfortable talking about their personal lives at work.

This means that while most people can converse with ease with their colleagues about their personal life, LGBT+ people often don't feel comfortable talking naturally about themselves for fear of suffering penalties in their professional development.

At Telefónica, we cannot allow ourselves to have professionals feeling that they are working in a hostile environment, where they cannot be themselves. We are convinced that encouraging an inclusive work culture, in addition to responding to principles of social justice, offers major advantages for the business: it allows us to attract and retain the best talent, encourage innovation and bring us closer to a diverse and changing society.

The virtual context in which a large number of employees are carrying out their work, due to the COVID-19 crisis, means that we are opening up a small part of our intimacy to our colleagues and bosses, by exposing our homes and families on video calls, which can be particularly sensitive for some LGBT+ employees.

This is why our goal in managing LGBT+ diversity is to ensure a safe, trusted space where all employees feel welcome regardless of their sexual orientation or identity. The willingness to speak publicly about LGTB+ diversity from the highest levels of management allows us to convey this commitment and let our employees know that their experiences matter to us.

Therefore, we want to ensure a safe, trusted space where all employees feel welcome regardless of their sexual orientation or identity.

In this sense, in order to encourage an equal and inclusive working environment in which all employees feel free to express themselves for who they are, we develop training courses, conferences or courses for all Group employees with the purpose of breaking down any stereotypes and unconscious biases.

We are aware of the importance of creating alliances, so we have strengthened our collaboration with expert entities on LGBT+ diversity. Working closely with both REDI, the Business Network for Diversity and LGTBI+ Inclusion, and FELGTB, the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals, has allowed us to deepen our understanding of the context and optimise the impact of our actions. The efforts made have earned Telefónica the recognition of the latter entity as one of the best companies in terms of LGBT+ diversity policies in Spain.

On the other hand, and with the dual objective of boosting the visibility of our LGBT+ employees and fostering the support of partners, we are working to give greater reach to the networks of 'LGBT+ employees and partners' present in several of our operations.

In addition, on the occasion of International LGBT+ Pride Day, we have organised an awareness-raising campaign under the claim 'Pride of You', through which we have given our employees a voice so that, first hand, they can express their concerns and proposals to ensure that no professional feels that they cannot be themselves at Telefónica.

Elena Valderrábano,

Global Director of Sustainability at Telefónica

Marta Machicot,

Chief People Officer at Telefónica

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