Public companies called on to debate about LGBTI diversity in the labor field


Public companies called on to debate about LGBTI diversity in the labor field

imagen Public companies called on to debate about LGBTI diversity in the labor field
  • The event will include the participation of the Minister of Finance and Public Function M.ª Jesús Montero and the Vice Mayor of Madrid Begoña Villacís


Spain is one of the most advanced countries in the world in legal matters in terms of equal rights for LGBTI people. Despite this, there is still a long way to go in eradicating prejudices and stereotypes that are perpetuated in language and in certain behaviors within the workplace, which prevent LGBTI people from making themselves openly visible and fully developing their potential. The mpátika* study, 2019 shows that only 38% of LGBTI workers in Spain dare to make their sexual orientation and/or gender identity fully visible in their workplace for fear of repercussions in their career and in their labor relations . Many times, these behaviors are due to unconscious biases not only on the part of co-workers, but also on managers, who show them when selecting, hiring, developing and promoting. Eva M.ª Trillo, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Correos, states that “Correos is firmly committed to defending equal rights and making diversity visible as an inclusive and positive value in society. The axes on which actions are being carried out in order to promote inclusive work environments that are respectful of differences are: training, communication, social responsibility, talent, corporate culture, a healthy company and promotion”.

It is true that companies in Spain have a growing interest in ensuring a respectful work environment for all workers that enhances their involvement, performance and professional development, and that results in greater creativity, innovation and competitiveness. However, private companies are showing much more agility than public companies when it comes to implementing these policies. This is shown by the fact that, of the 117 large companies attached to REDI, only six of them are public (4 belong to MITMA, the first Ministry to sign a collaboration protocol with REDI).

A pending signature is that public companies, just as private ones are required, apply policies so that the group is fully integrated into the labor market, as the companies that will participate in the event on the 16th are already doing, which promote inclusive work spaces free of discrimination with LGBTI people. “Public companies must confirm themselves as the great promoters of equality, inclusion and authentic social change. The actions carried out by public institutions mark the path that the Spanish business ecosystem will follow”, says David García Núñez, President of MWCC-Madrid Capital Mundial. In this context, Martín Navarro i Vicent, Director of Human Resources at Adif, explained that : “It is up to us to be exemplary in the exercise of these practices and assume leadership roles to make them effective. We work on awareness campaigns with the objectives of normalizing diversity, making known the value and talent it brings and facilitating a place without labor discrimination for reasons of gender identity, where they can develop professionally.” And this is what this company is doing, which has SDG 5 very much in mind in its 2030 Strategic Plan.

For his part, Álvaro Padial, a member of the COFIDES Talent and Technology Area, confirms: “When policies and protocols are drawn up to guarantee equality, people feel more free to share the day-to-day of their affective relationships in a natural way because they feel protected. The work environment improves considerably and the happiness of this group as well”. He recommends that companies incorporate this type of measure into their agenda, but previously making a diagnosis of their starting situation. And that is what ENAIRE did when it joined REDI: “We carried out a survey at the corporate level to measure the degree of maturity of the workforce in terms of LGBTI diversity, and also so that those who participated could be aware of their degree of knowledge about this reality, and we were able to verify that the commitment to diversity had already been made by a significant part of the workforce, but until then we were unaware of it, because there had been no opportunity to express it”, comments Jose Luis Meler, the company’s Director of People .

More than 3.5 million people in Spain work in the public sector, 17% of the total active population according to data from the third quarter of 2022, so public companies are an important agent of change. Accompanying them in their transformation process is one of REDI’s tasks, as well as making visible the lack of job opportunities for trans people in Spain and encouraging their hiring.

The event on the 16th will close with a welcome to the companies that have joined the association over the last six months: large companies such as Alcon, Aqualia, Banco Sabadell, Brico Depôt, Cushman & Wakefield, Dominion Global, Exolum, EY , Gi Group Holding, Haleon, IBM, Meisa and Redeia; other medians like Ashurst and Freshfields; small companies Galde, Hibooboo, King’s Training, Leon Hunter, Magenta People, Maricoin, Patrizia, PrideCom, Talentum Evolution, Vervo Legal and WeEQUAL. The non-profit organization Ashoka Foundation has also joined.

REDI, Business Network for LGBTI Diversity and Inclusion, has called on public companies to discuss the importance of working on diversity in the workplace. The event, which will take place on February 16 at the COFIDES auditorium (Pº de la Castellana 278, Madrid), will be welcomed by the Minister of Finance and Public Service M.ª Jesús Montero, and will be closed by the Deputy Mayor from Madrid Begona Villacis. José Luis Curbelo, President of COFIDES, will give the welcome, and Ízaro Assa de Amilibia, President of REDI and Global Head of Diversity at BBVA, will open the event. The first block will consist of the round table ‘The role of the public company as a driver of diversity and inclusion’, with the participation of Martín Navarro i Vicent, Director of HR at Adif, Álvaro Padial, member of the Talent and Technology area of COFIDES , Eva M.ª Trillo, Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Correos, and José Luis Meler, Director of People at ENAIRE. In the second block, an inspirational conversation will be established between David García Núñez, President of MWCC-Madrid Capital Mundial, and Gonzalo Ortiz, Senior Manager of Health & Public Services at Accenture. Both professionals have worked in both public and private companies and will testify to the differences they have been able to observe in diversity management. All the companies that will participate in the event are adhered to REDI, which accompanies them in their process of cultural transformation through human resources, legal compliance, communication strategy, etc. to generate more respectful and inclusive work environments. At the meeting, they will explain how they are carrying out this transformation and what the changes are entailing, both in the work environment and in productivity.

REDI is a non-profit association that brings together nearly 200 organizations and companies, both national (Amadeus, BBVA, Cepsa, Correos, Inditex, Repsol, Telefónica, Santander or Uría Menéndez, among others), as well as important international corporations. Its main commitment is to promote an inclusive environment that is respectful of diversity in organizations, making them places where the talent of people is valued regardless of their identity, gender expression or sexual orientation. Since 2018, the year in which it began its activity, REDI has signed collaboration protocols with different organizations such as the CEOE and the Ministry of Transport, Mobility and Urban Agenda; and has promoted debates in the biotechnological-pharmaceutical and financial-banking sectors. Of all the companies belonging to the REDI ecosystem, only six are public.