A History of Inclusion and Innovation: AT&T Receives 2014 GLSEN Respect Award

20 May 2014 | Scott Sapperstein

Tagged: Diversity, People,

At the 2014 GLSEN Respect Awards in New York City, I had the great honor of accepting GLSEN’s Commitment to Diversity & Inclusion Award on behalf of AT&T. The award reflects AT&T’s long-standing commitment to the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) community, and to diversity and inclusion as a whole. 

In 2004, the GLSEN Respect Awards were introduced to honor those individuals and institutions that stand up and stand out in extraordinary ways to support GLSEN’s vision of a world in which every child learns to accept and respect all people, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

AT&T will remain a strong ally of LGBT individuals and will continue to take action to promote equality and inclusion far into the future.  

In honoring AT&T, GLSEN focused on our 138-year history of inclusion and the incorporation of diversity into our company’s culture, which has produced technology and platforms for people from different backgrounds and places to connect anytime, anywhere. In 1975, AT&T was the first major American corporation to adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation. League at AT&T (LGBT and allied employees at AT&T) is the oldest LGBT Employee Research Group (ERG) in the country, founded in 1987. Our commitment to promoting the diverse culture of AT&T is one of the core reasons that we are viewed as a great workplace, business partner and member of the communities we serve, and is a central facet of our corporate culture and business success.

As a community supporter, we are proud of our commitment to LGBT individuals. During the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, we took the opportunity to be the first company to speak out against Russia’s anti-LGBT law and raise awareness of the importance of acceptance and equality. More recently, AT&T joined the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Business Coalition for Workplace Fairness (ENDA Coalition) to support the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), a federal bill to protect employees in the workplace. These are just two examples of our involvement with a community that we have a long history of supporting. In addition to this work, we have also contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars in scholarship money to college-bound LGBT students, along with millions of dollars and countless hours of time in support of LGBT causes.

We are humbled to receive this award and believe it signifies the importance of the work we do now and the work that still remains to be done. AT&T will remain a strong ally of LGBT individuals and will continue to take action to promote equality and inclusion far into the future.  

About the Author

Scott Sapperstein

Executive Director, AT&T Public Affairs


Scott Sapperstein is Executive Director Public Affairs for AT&T where he manages AT&T’s national third party relationships for the company’s Citizenship and Sustainability priorities and programs. Scott’s focus includes issues concerning: Education, Environment, Consumers, Military, Online Privacy and Safety, and National LGBT issues. Scott is also the company lead for the AT&T Consumer Advisory Panel.

Prior to joining the Public Affairs team, Scott served as Executive Director State Government Affairs for AT&T where he had primary responsibility for AT&T’s relationship with the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) and its Affiliates and was responsible for coordinating AT&T’s activities across business units.

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