AT&T Issue Briefs

Our issue briefs provide additional details on topics identified as most important by our stakeholders. View all the issue briefs on the Reporting Library for a comprehensive overview or choose an issue in the drop-down menu.


Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
Employee diversity, equality & inclusion MA; Talent attraction engagement & retention MA; 
102-8; 102-41; 404-1; 404-2; 404-3; 405-1

Global Reporting Initiative Standard Disclosures
Employee diversity, equality & inclusion MA; Talent attraction engagement & retention MA; 102-8; 102-41; 404-1; 404-2; 404-3; 405-1

Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Employee diversity, equality & inclusion; Labor rights & relations; Talent attraction, engagement & retention

Stakeholder Engagement Topics
Employee diversity, equality & inclusion; Labor rights & relations; Talent attraction, engagement & retention



Our Position


Talented, engaged employees are key to our company’s success, and we strive to be an employer of choice by investing in our people. Competitive pay, benefits and engagement opportunities help attract and retain a highly qualified workforce.

2019 Key Performance Indicators
Total number of employees worldwide¹
Number of global part-time employees²
Average age of employees²
Total U.S. workforce diversity³
33.2% women; 44.8% people of color
Total U.S. management diversity³
36% women; 39.4% people of color
Percentage of union-represented employees⁴
Approximately 40%
Number of employees, retirees and eligible dependents offered health and welfare benefits⁴
Amount invested in direct employee training and development programs⁴
Number of hours spent on employee training⁴
Amount invested in tuition assistance for both management and non-management employees⁴


1 Inclusive of AT&T Communications, WarnerMedia, Xandr and AT&T Latin America.

2 Inclusive of AT&T Communications and Xandr.

3 Inclusive of AT&T Communications, WarnerMedia and Xandr.

4 Inclusive of AT&T Communications.



Our Action

Our jobs are vital to the communities we serve. We have employees in each of the 50 U.S. states and in more than 60 countries. 1 1 Inclusive of AT&T Communications, WarnerMedia, Xandr and AT&T Latin America.

Our employees make AT&T a great place to work as they deliver incredible technology, media and telecommunications services to millions of consumers and businesses every day. In return, we invest in their continuous development and welcome their innovative ideas. In 2019, AT&T was named to Fortune’s inaugural Best Big Companies to Work For list.

Diversity & Inclusion

At AT&T, success begins with our diverse and inclusive workforce – a product of our deliberate effort to create a culture in which all employees have the opportunity to learn and grow. We have a history of promoting diversity. More than 50 years ago, we were a leader in developing our supplier diversity program. And in 1975, AT&T became one of the first major American corporations to adopt a policy prohibiting discrimination against employees based on sexual orientation. 

We convene several councils to drive awareness and employee engagement in diversity and inclusion, including:

  • CEO’s Diversity Council
  • Senior Executive Diversity Council
  • Business Unit Diversity Expert Team
  • Employee Group Presidents Council 

As a leading global employer, we have a responsibility to strengthen and support all forms of diversity in the communities where we operate. AT&T is part of the Business Coalition for the Equality Act – a group of leading U.S. employers that support the addition of LGBTQ+ individuals to the list of groups afforded basic protections under U.S. federal law. And we endorse the United Nations (U.N.) Standards of Conduct for Business, which offer a holistic framework of best practices to help combat discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity globally.

WarnerMedia – and our suite of brands including Warner Bros., HBO, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and many more – has long been committed to diversity and inclusion as a moral and business imperative. It is essential that our content and creative partners reflect the diversity of our society and the world around us. We work together with other production companies, networks, guilds, unions, talent agencies and others in the industry to ensure there is greater inclusion of women, people of color, the LGBTQ+ community, those with disabilities and other underrepresented groups both in front of and behind the camera. In September 2018, WarnerMedia was the first major entertainment company to release a Production Diversity Policy, which included the commitment to report on our diversity and inclusion efforts annually. Learn more about our production in our Media Pluralism, Ethics & Journalistic Integrity issue brief.

For more information about all of our diversity and inclusion initiatives, visit the AT&T Diversity & Inclusion website and the WarnerMedia Diversity & Inclusion website.

Equal Opportunity Employment

At AT&T, we encourage success based on our individual merits and abilities without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, disability, marital status, citizenship status, military status, protected veteran status, employment status or other protected status. We support and obey laws that prohibit discrimination everywhere we do business. AT&T fully considers all qualified applicants, including those with a criminal history.  

Employee Groups

To create a culture of inclusion in our workforce, we encourage employees to join one or more of our 50+ employee groups.1 These groups exemplify our company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion through their efforts in the workplace, marketplace and community while focusing on their members’ professional development and opportunities for community service. They represent the diverse cultural and experiential dimensions of our workforce – women, black, Asian/Pacific Islander, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, military veterans, parents – and individuals with similar professional interests such as engineering, project management, and media and entertainment technology. Several of our employee groups, such as Mujeres en Acción and Pulse of India, specifically engage employees outside of the U.S. All AT&T employees are welcome to join any of our employee groups. 

For more information about our employee groups, read our Diveristy & Inclusion report

Veteran Hiring Initiative

We reached our goal to hire 20,000 veterans by 2020 ahead of schedule. We remain focused on identifying new opportunities for veterans so that they can continue to succeed in a variety of industries. For example, we announced the AT&T Veterans Media Fellowship, alongside Veterans in Media & Entertainment (VME), a program that provides a comprehensive and in-depth understanding of the media industry landscape and critical business functions and a project-based curriculum designed to provide real-life, job-ready skills. We’re also committed to helping address the staggering unemployment of veteran spouses by supporting the Blue Star Families’ Spouseforce initiative.

Training & Career Development

We’ve evolved from a telephone company to a mobility company and now to an integrated media and communications company. We’re committed to helping our employees develop the skills that both they – and the company – need today and in the future. Our efforts focus on 4 main areas: 

  1. Equipping and skilling employees
  2. Attracting critical talent
  3. Fostering high engagement
  4. Evolving compensation plans

These focus areas encompass a wide range of initiatives, including personalized training, mentoring and career development programs offered through our award-winning internal training organization, AT&T University.

In 2019, we invested about $200 million in direct employee training and professional development programs and delivered 16 million hours of training. 4 4 Inclusive of AT&T Communications. We’re recognized as a leader in career development because of this investment. As we work to inspire a culture of continuous learning, we have training designed for all employees throughout their career: new hire training, continuous training for a current role and skills transformation training for a potential future role. 

During 2019, 100% of employees with at least 3 months of service received a formal performance appraisal and review.4 While we do not track the frequency of career development discussions, supervisors are encouraged to have continuous feedback discussions at least once a month and a career discussion once a year, which may or may not occur during a formal review. Career discussions with employees may focus on short- or long-term career planning.

Our culture promotes open feedback through the AT&T Performance Development process, where employees and supervisors are encouraged to have regular conversations throughout the year and all employees are encouraged to give and request feedback.

Talent Development Programs

We encourage management and non-management employees to be the strongest contributors and leaders possible through internal job-based and leadership development training, tuition aid and various external training and development programs. These efforts have led to reduced training time, improved employee performance, reduced operational costs and revenue growth as well as better talent attraction, engagement and retention metrics. 

Some examples of our training and development programs and resources include:

  • AT&T University: Our internal training organization, AT&T University, works across our business to create and deliver best-in-class training solutions that positively impact our workforce – from frontline employees to senior executives. AT&T University is our platform for developing a diverse leadership team, delivering strategic business training and alignment, and energizing our workforce to drive innovation.
    • AT&T University Leadership includes training in leadership skills, health and wellness, and other corporate initiatives. Through multiple innovative delivery media, we offer more than 200 leadership and career courses, including partnerships with esteemed learning institutions. 
    • AT&T University’s flagship program, Leading with Distinction (LWD), is redesigned each year to support our top corporate priorities and now reaches all AT&T managers.
    • AT&T University also delivers content year-round through custom-built mobile learning applications, including the AT&T University App and LWD 365, our weekly micro-learning series.
  • Personalized Learning Experience (PLE): The PLE is a one-stop training resource that is tailored to the needs and goals of each employee. It supports a continuous learning process, giving employees an easy, personalized way to keep their skills relevant. This resource includes job-title-specific training for either an employee’s current position or a desired position.
  • Virtual Studios Leader-Led Training: Virtual Studios enables live leader-led training to be broadcast to learners across the globe. The Studios first opened in 2013 and now consists of 10 control rooms and 12 stages that are capable of running approximately 90 hours of live content each day. 
  • Real Time Training: Real Time Training, a dynamic methodology that uses machine learning, delivers small-bite training content to individual employees to improve role-specific key performance indicators (KPIs). We identify who needs training and when, as well as which training solution is most likely to drive the greatest performance improvements for the employee’s respective KPIs. 
    • For example, in 2019, 6,000 employees received tutorial recommendations that resulted in the reduction of nearly 2,000 customer site visits (or “truck rolls”), which equaled recognizable savings and increased revenues as high as 20% in key product areas.
    • Additional pilots were launched within AT&T consumer sales and business customer service call centers, which resulted in more than 32,000 training recommendations and 14,000 course completions, achieving a revenue increase of more than $1 million.
    • Real Time Training was also expanded for Technical Field Operations, generating more than $700,000 in revenue.
  • Advanced Learning Collaborations: AT&T continues to expand our internal employee offerings by collaborating with external learning partners and top universities. For example, more than 550 employees have earned either Fundamental and/or Advanced Cybersecurity badges from Champlain College. In 2019, AT&T joined Champlain College to offer tuition reimbursement for a Bachelor of Science degree in Cybersecurity, allowing employees to apply 18 academic credits earned from 6 badge courses toward the degree. AT&T also negotiated a $25,000 tuition cap with Champlain College for the degree program to reduce costs for AT&T and its employees.
  • Tuition Reimbursement Program: Financial assistance is provided to management and non-management employees pursuing academic degrees that benefit both the employee and the company. In 2019, $18 million was invested in tuition assistance for both management and non-management employees.3 More than 4,500 employees participated in the tuition reimbursement program.4

Other Efforts: WarnerMedia offers leadership development programs and learning opportunities to employees across levels of the company through a combination of internal and external nomination-based programs. Tuition reimbursement programs are also in place. The single most important measure of success – and the one AT&T leaders follow closely – is the number of employees who take advantage of these resources to gain new skills and then move into critical roles. Our internal applicants who have completed training as part of our continuous learning and skilling efforts are much more likely to get a new job within the company than internal applicants who have not done so, and they’re much more likely to make a career advancement.

To learn about current and future employee skills development, please visit our Building Digital Skills issue brief. 

Training on Sustainability, Compliance & Ethics

Our future depends on sustainable solutions that improve our lives, and designers have a unique role to play in the way forward. Through AT&T University, we offer Learning Design for Sustainability training to employees of all levels. This course explores the tools, resources and best practices of sustainable design, covering the philosophy of designing physical objects, the “built” environment and services to comply with the principles of social, economic and ecological sustainability.

AT&T also provides targeted training to managers with direct reports on their responsibilities regarding corporate compliance and ethics. This training includes topics such as promoting a culture of compliance and ethics, incorporating ethics into business decision making, identifying and preventing retaliation, and creating and maintaining an open-door culture. Completion of these trainings is part of managers’ annual performance evaluation.

Talent Attraction

AT&T relies on our ability to recruit, educate and retain talented people. We continually adapt components of our compensation, benefits and retention programs to maintain some of the most competitive packages in the telecom and media/entertainment industries.

Compensation & Benefits
AT&T offers competitive packages to attract and retain a highly qualified workforce. 5 5 Benefits and policies vary by country and operating company. We offer comprehensive life insurance, and health and disability coverage. In 2019, we offered health and welfare benefits to more than 1 million employees, retirees and their eligible dependents in the U.S. For many employees, we offer flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement accounts, and/or payroll deductions and company contributions to employees’ health savings accounts that allow employees to pay for out-of-pocket health care and dependent care costs with tax-advantaged funds.

Through an array of retirement vehicles – including defined benefit and/or defined contribution plans – we are helping employees plan for their retirement. Employees can save toward retirement through employer-sponsored benefit plans and all full-time U.S. employees are eligible for a 401(k) savings plan with a generous company match.

AT&T sponsors a number of savings plans with about $52 billion in assets as of December 31, 2019. In 2019, U.S. employees contributed more than $1.5 billion to our savings plans, and the company matched in excess of $800 million. As participants in the AT&T savings plans, employees are able to choose from a wide range of investment options with varying risk tolerance levels to assist in their retirement needs. Savings plan participants have access to an investment advisory service with 2 levels of service: free online tools or fee-based professional account management with an adviser.

Through our Your Money Matters program, we help employees achieve holistic financial wellness by providing educational workshops, videos and an interactive social media site that serves as a central communications hub for all money-related topics. Employees can participate in forums, read blogs and learn from colleagues.

We offer a broad selection of benefits geared toward certain life events, including fertility and egg freezing services, adoption, family planning and maternity consulting, breastmilk shipping and maternity rooms, childcare, elder care, gender reassignment and the treatment of certain investigational medical conditions not covered by traditional health plans.5 As part of our robust suite of family benefits, paid parental leave provides moms and dads up to 8 weeks of paid time off to bond with the new addition to their family. 6 6 This time is provided in excess of any time provided by state or local law, and any short-term disability benefits/time off for recovering mothers. The United States does not have a legally required minimum for paid family leave. Currently, the 1993 federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) offers 12 weeks of unpaid maternity leave. This time may be extended for birthing moms when paired with applicable short-term disability benefits.5 AT&T also offers an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), which provides professional and confidential assistance to employees and their families who are experiencing work-related or personal issues that may affect the quality of their professional or personal life. Our employees are also eligible for employee discounts on AT&T-branded products and services where available.

AT&T offers a flexible spending account that eligible employees may use for eligible childcare and adult care expenses. Our CarePlus supplemental benefit program covers Lasik eye surgery and service animal support, among other services.

Through AT&T Perks, we offer discounts and rewards on thousands of brands, including discounts for sporting events, travel, hotels, restaurants, cars and local establishments. Many of the offers also include additional cash back.

To view more details about our benefits, visit our careers website.

Employee Well-Being

In 2019, AT&T extended the health and well-being benefits of the Castlight platform to all our domestic employees.1 Via a desktop and mobile app, employees can select health goals; receive points for learning about AT&T benefits and programs and redeem those for rewards; track deductibles, spending and claims and access benefits and digital insurance cards.

We also offer employees on-site events for biometric health screenings and flu shots at more than 20 company locations. Employees value these events since, due to AT&T’s size and number of locations, we’ve historically held Benefits-sponsored on-site health events at only the largest locations.

AT&T also offers Your Health Matters (YHM), a health and wellness program for employees featuring trending nutrition, fitness, mental well-being and preventative care content. The vision of YHM is to deliver a world-class, comprehensive health and wellness program that engages our participants, supports health care consumerism and manages and helps improve health care conditions and costs for participants.

Your Health Matters is showcased to employees on our internal social media platform, YHM tSpace. Employees can learn how to build habits for success, share tips with colleagues and find motivation to pursue their wellness goals. Over the past decade this program raised awareness for mental health through the Stamp Out Stigma campaign and other health and wellness initiatives. Some highlights from 2019:

  • YHM 6th Annual Stamp Out Stigma campaign: Served as an opportunity to drive community visits and membership – garnering more than 750 new YHM members.
  • Push Your Limits YHM Push-Up Challenge: Received more than 14,000 views and 100 comments, making the challenge the most engaging post of 2019.
  • YHM Champions program: Gained more than 300 new members.
  • The Commit to Fit campaign: Had participation from more than 2,600 members, receiving more than 250 positive comments and forum posts. 
  • Employee-generated “12 Days of Fitness” video: Received more than 5,000 views, making the post one of the most viewed of the year. 

WarnerMedia also places great value on employee health and wellness and offers on-site, state-of-the-art fitness centers and health clinics. WarnerMedia Fit Nation is a global community of people who provide each other mutual support to be physically active no matter their fitness level.

In addition, AT&T’s Flexible Workplace Program enables flexible work arrangements, such as work from home. Many employees can also utilize flextime, compressed work weeks and part-time schedules to assist in employees’ work-life balance.

Union Relationships

With approximately 40% union-represented employees, we have one of the largest full-time union-represented workforces in America.3 We’ve built cooperative relationships with our unions, primarily with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW). We work diligently with our unions to create competitive contracts that provide good wages and benefits for our employees.

AT&T Communications has nearly 2 dozen union contracts as of May 1, 2020. Since 2017, we have reached, and union-represented employees have voted to ratify, 25 fair labor agreements. WarnerMedia participates in 117 different collective bargaining agreements throughout the U.S. and Canada, 2 agreements in England and project agreements in Australia. These agreements, the majority of which are multi-employer, cover more than 300,000 potential employee-members working in a freelance industry where they move from company to company.

Recent agreements are proof that, even during challenging economic times, the company and unions can work together to provide and protect high-quality middle-class careers – jobs with competitive wages and benefits that are among the best in the country.

Please see the AT&T Bargaining website for additional details.

Employee Engagement

Our employees reflect our corporate culture, and their engagement is a key component of our approach to corporate community engagement efforts. Through our wide collection of corporate community engagement opportunities, employees can give their time or money, or make other personal commitments to their communities. We offer company-sponsored activities and support for both teams and individuals. For more information, visit our Community Engagement issue brief.


Our goal is to provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees – it’s an essential aspect of our Environment, Health and Safety (EH&S) Policy. We work diligently to protect our employees through the prevention of occupational injuries, illnesses and workplace incidents. We provide job-specific EH&S training to all employees based on established guidelines and record successfully completed courses in each employee’s training record. To learn more, visit our Environment, Health & Safety Compliance issue brief.