Leading international companies highlight importance of implementing LGTBI inclusion policies
REDI, the first business-to-business network of professionals and benchmark forum for diversity and inclusion of LGBTI employees in Spain, has organized a new event “REDI to Embrace” to welcome new affiliated companies and with which they are currently becoming 95 member organizations.
On this occasion, the conference revolved around equality and human rights, framed in the context of International Women’s Day. The president of REDI, zaro Assa de Amilibia, responsible for the “Be Yourself” project at BBVA, welcomed this virtual event putting in context the importance of the role of companies in social evolution. “Businesses have catalytic power that crosses borders and can impact human rights through their corporate cultures. The event began with the institutional table “Business, human rights and sustainable development goals” where a global vision of the challenges and trends at national and international levels was given, as well as the sustainable development goals of the ‘Agenda 2030 in the area of LGBTI Equality and Diversity.
Marta Mndez, sector head of the human rights office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation, explained the work carried out in this office within the framework of the United Nations, stressing that the non- discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and the assessment of the impact of business activity on human rights, are two of the priorities of Spanish foreign policy in matters of human rights. ‘man. He also referred to the feminist foreign policy strategy recently launched by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which includes and aligns with the equality policies implemented by the Sustainable Development Goals.
Javier Molero, Director of Projects and Agenda 2030 of the Spanish United Nations Global Compact Network, continued to talk about the ten principles of the Global Compact and took key actions for companies to work on the Sustainable Development Goals in emphasizing equality and diversity and can integrate them into their organizations. Referring to LGBTI diversity in the professional environment, he stressed that “it is essential to promote LGTBI rights in Spanish companies as it will fight against discrimination in the workplace in accordance with the 2030 Agenda. L ‘inclusion of all people without discrimination, they ask for it’.
At the end of his speech, Salvador Lorenzo, head of diversity at Repsol and vice-president of REDI; Pablo Gonzlez Ruiz de la Torre, CEO and Founder of Trivu and Vice President of REDI; and Mara Ortuo, attached to the management of REDI, welcomed 17 new companies that are already part of this business network: ADIF, Apogeo Digital, BP, e-Trivium, ENAIRE, Gabeiras Abogados, Generali, Globant, INECO, LLYC , Mediktor, Puertos del Estado, Retales Comunicacin, SEAT SA, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy, Sporty and Verizon Media.
The event continued with the corporate table “Multinationals for equality and human rights”, where several companies spoke about their corporate culture in
inclusion and diversity issues, the differences between countries and the way different policies are applied at the local level. Ester Navas, Partner at Baker McKenzie and LGTBI Champion, spoke about the tiered model they have adopted in their offices, realizing that a ‘one size fits all’ approach does not work for all countries to support LGBTI equality, although it guarantees the safety, comfort and respect of all its employees and collaborators. “In our firm, we are committed from the start with the SDGs, in which our diversity and inclusion policies fit perfectly. As an international company, we adhere to the United Nations standards of business conduct to deal with discrimination against people. LGBTI since its inception and we are very proud that one of our initiatives – the first point of contact – has been recognized as good practice in these standards. As we want to go further, we also work with our clients by advising them on the implementation of gender diversity. and LGTBI inclusion policies aligned with the SDGs, with the aim that more and more companies are active in this area “.
Ignacio Velilla, Managing Director of Equinix Espaa explained how his company is committed to the values of the event: “Our commitment to diversity, inclusion and belonging are core values in the Equinix culture. This commitment marks what we do and how we make decisions in the service of our company and our employees. At Equinix, we are committed to making employees feel welcome and can confidently say, “I feel safe, I belong and I am important. For our company, being part of REDI is one more step in our policy of diversity, equality and fairness for each of our employees ”. Beatriz Martnez, Senior Legal Council of Equinix Spain and Portugal, also participated in this table, which spoke about the way in which a multinational company faces cultural diversity and the actions it carries out at the global level, highlighting the EMEA, when it comes to companies. He also detailed some examples of cases that have occurred in various socio-cultural contexts.
Asier Crespo, Legal Director of Microsoft Ibrica, closed the company table explaining the company’s good practices in the context of human rights, as well as the categorization they have developed by country. “Respect for equality and human rights is a core value of Microsoft. It is inseparable from our corporate mission to enable each person and organization on the planet to go further with our technologies. We are taking a proactive direction, along with other companies and institutions, to promote the implementation of the United Nations LGTBI Principles of Conduct Against Discrimination in the Workplace. In a multinational environment like the one in which we operate, we have created good practices that contribute to decision-making from an equality and human rights perspective ”.
The closing was carried out by CEOE Internacional President Marta Blanco, who underlined the importance of the company in the fight for human rights at the global level, while stressing that the commitment to diversity is “A lever for competitiveness”, since “companies that promote diversity in their management and staff tend to obtain better economic results”. According to him, this is so because of “the increasingly intense struggle to attract talent”, motivated by demographic changes; changing business operations due to the commitment to sustainability and digitization, and an imbalance between supply and demand in the labor market, which requires employees with very specific profiles.
Specifically, to promote diversity, he highlighted the alliances between CEOE Foundation and Adecco Foundation to carry out the #CEOPorLaDiversidad initiative, as well as CEOE and REDI to promote LGBTI diversity and inclusion. At the international level, he valued CEOE’s commitment to promote diversity in international forums such as the G20, through the B20 or the Global Business Coalition -GBC-, the United Nations and some of its specialized organizations.
Alba Herrero, Director of SAP Human Resources and Vice President of REDI, closed the meeting by stressing the need for corporate forums such as the one offered by REDI so that companies can share their best practices and improve the companies they serve.