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.

2020 Key Performance Indicators
Total number of employees worldwide¹
Number of global part-time employees²
Average age of employees²
Total U.S. workforce diversity³ (women)
Total U.S. workforce diversity³ (people of color)
Total U.S. management diversity³ (women)
Total U.S. management diversity³ (people of color)
Percent of union-represented employees⁴
Number of employees, retirees and eligible dependents offered health and welfare benefits⁵
Amount invested in direct employee training and development programs⁴
Number of hours spent on employee training⁴
Amount invested in tuition assistance for employees⁴


1 2016–2017 data inclusive of AT&T Communications. 2018 data inclusive of AT&T Communications and WarnerMedia. 2019–2020 data inclusive of AT&T Inc.

2 2017 data inclusive of AT&T Communications. 2018–2020 data inclusive of AT&T Communications and Xandr.

3 2016–2017 data inclusive of AT&T Communications. 2018–2020 data inclusive of AT&T Communications and WarnerMedia.

4 2016–2020 data inclusive of AT&T Communications.

2016–2019 data inclusive of AT&T Communications. 2020 data inclusive of U.S.-based AT&T Inc. employees.



Our Action

Our jobs are vital to the communities we serve. We have employees in all 50 U.S. states and more than 68 countries.

Our employees make AT&T a great place to work while they deliver technology, media and telecommunications services to millions of consumers and businesses every day. In recent years, AT&T has received the following recognition: 2020 Fortune Best Big Companies to Work For, 2019 Best Big Companies to Work For, 2018 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For, 2017 Fortune 100 Best Companies to Work For. 

Diversity & Inclusion

At AT&T, success begins with our diverse and inclusive workforce, which is a product of our continuous effort to create a culture in which all employees can learn and grow. For more than 50 years, we have been 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 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. 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. We signed the Hispanic Promise, a first-of-its-kind national pledge to hire, promote, retain and celebrate Hispanics in the workplace. And we’ve joined the OneTen coalition, a group of corporations pledging to collectively hire 1 million Black Americans over the next 10 years.

WarnerMedia 6 6 In May 2021, we entered into an agreement to combine our WarnerMedia segment, subject to certain exceptions, with a subsidiary of Discovery, Inc. The transaction is subject to approval by Discovery shareholders and customary closing conditions, including receipt of regulatory approvals.t – and our suite of brands including Warner Bros., HBO, TNT, TBS, Cartoon Network, Adult Swim, Boomerang and many more – is committed to diversity and inclusion as a moral and business imperative. In September 2018, WarnerMedia was the first major entertainment company to release a Production Diversity Policy, confirming that our content and creative partners must 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 within the industry to ensure that 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. Learn more in our Media Pluralism, Ethics & Journalistic Integrity issue brief.

In 2020, more than 55% of open positions and 56% of promotions at AT&T were filled by diverse candidates. 7 7 Inclusive of AT&T Communications.
Furthering our Commitment to Social Justice

During the summer of 2020, WarnerMedia hosted a series of internal Listening Sessions on Racial Equity. These discussions, led by racial equity experts, helped build empathy and understanding for Black colleagues and communities of color. These sessions ultimately became the cornerstone of the “Listen. Understand. Act.” framework that has informed WarnerMedia’s Equity & Inclusion priorities, which include a focus on training, education and development.

AT&T also led a Business Roundtable (BRT) initiative of top CEOs to push for public policy changes that would deliver equal justice for all. To date, AT&T has supported and helped secure legislative reforms in 15 states in pursuit of equal justice for all Americans.

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 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 statuses. 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 39 employee groups. 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 – including 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 those in engineering, project management, 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 Diversity & Inclusion report.

Veteran Hiring Initiative

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

Supporting Our Employees During COVID-19

In 2020, given the need for social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, AT&T implemented a sweeping work-from-home policy for the majority of our employees. We authorized temporary compensation increases for frontline employees who couldn’t do their jobs from home and temporarily increased paid time off for employees whose families were impacted by COVID-19 illness. To help keep all our employees safe, we secured more than 5 million pounds of pandemic-related supplies, including more than 5 million face masks, 9 million pairs of sanitary gloves and more than 3 million bottles of hand sanitizer. To help safely return essential employees and contractors to work locations, the company developed and implemented a health screening based on CDC guidelines that has been taken more than 6 million times across 4 continents in 16 different languages.

We also committed more than $100 million to help WarnerMedia casts and crews while on production hiatus. And through the AT&T Employee Relief Fund – a 501(c)(3) public charity supported by employee donations and matching grants from the AT&T Foundation – we supported more than 275 colleagues requesting assistance for COVID-19-related personal hardships.

Over the course of the year, we prioritized employee well-being by conducting 2 surveys to learn how employees were coping with the hardships created by the pandemic and whether there were issues or needs they wanted the company to address – such as concerns about returning to the workplace.

We have completely covered the cost of COVID-19 testing, treatment and vaccines for employees and dependents through our AT&T health plans. Additional mental and physical health information and resources were deployed to help employees and their families practice better self-care, mindfulness and maintain optimal well-being.

Training & Career Development

Over more than 140 years, AT&T has evolved from a telephone company to an integrated telecommunications company. We’re committed to helping our employees grow along with our company by developing the skills that they – and AT&T– need today and in the future.

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 known as AT&T University.

How We Connect 

In 2020, AT&T launched a cultural transformation to improve the way we work and identify the behaviors we must embody to best serve our customers. We conducted employee focus groups, surveys and interviews to gain an honest evaluation of our strengths and weaknesses – learning that the rigor and processes historically serving AT&T well had at times become a barrier to performing our best amidst rapidly changing industries.

We launched the How We Connect culture model to amplify our most effective corporate behaviors and adopt behaviors and expectations that will help us transform and empower employees to discontinue practices that get in our way. We’re holding employees at all levels accountable through our ongoing performance development process, which incorporates a 360-degree feedback structure. Rather than the traditional approach of receiving feedback only from a supervisor, an assessment of performance is completed by the employee and their supervisor, peers and direct reports to provide well-rounded insight.  

We’re evaluating the success of the How We Connect initiative, in part, by replacing our traditional employee engagement survey with a 56-question culture survey that better measures how we’re doing as a company, as individual departments, and as supervisors or individual contributors. This shift has given us the insight needed to address the issues employees face in serving customers, moving faster, acting boldly and working together. It has provided a roadmap for future improvement to our organizational culture and a solid metric for progress over time.

Talent Development Programs

During 2020, 100% of employees with at least 3 months of service received a formal performance appraisal and review.7 While we do not track the frequency of career development discussions, our supervisors are encouraged to have continuous feedback discussions at least once a month with their direct reports 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.

In 2020, we invested about $166 million in direct employee training and professional development programs and delivered 16 million hours of training.7 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. 

We encourage management and nonmanagement 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. 

In 2020, Chief Learning Officer magazine awarded AT&T No. 1 2020 Organization of the Year for Learning and Development and 2020 CLO Editor’s Choice Award Best in Learning Execution.

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. AT&T University is our platform for developing a diverse leadership team, delivering strategic business training, and energizing our workforce to drive innovation. 
    • AT&T University Leadership includes training in leadership skills, health and wellness and other corporate initiatives. We offer more than 900 leadership and career courses, including partnerships with learning institutions such as Harvard Business and LinkedIn Learning. AT&T University also delivers content year-round through custom-built mobile learning applications, including the AT&T University app and Leading with Distinction 365, our weekly microlearning series.
  • Personalized Learning Experience (PLE): In 2019, we developed our PLE skills assessment tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to help employees see what jobs are available within the company, the skills required for each position, and whether demand in that particular area is projected to grow or shrink in the years ahead.
  • Virtual Studios Leader-Led Training: Virtual Studios broadcasts live, leader-led training to employees across the globe. The Studios first opened in 2013 and now consists of 10 control rooms and 12 stages capable of running approximately 70 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 2020, $1.8 million of incremental revenue was generated from 15,000 employees who received tutorial recommendations yielding 10,000 incremental new postpaid wireless customers. The overall lifetime value of these new customers is approximately $8 million.7
  • 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: We provide financial assistance to management and nonmanagement employees pursuing academic degrees that benefit both the employee and the company. In 2020, we invested $15.8 million in tuition assistance for both management and nonmanagement employees.7 More than 3,800 employees participated in the tuition reimbursement program.7

We closely monitor the number of employees who take advantage of these learning and development opportunities. Internal research shows that employees who have completed training are more likely to obtain a new job within the company than employees who have not done so.   

In 2020, as part of our talent attraction efforts, we launched the first ever AT&T HBCU Innovation Challenge. 25 teams from 17 Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) developed innovative solutions that use available AT&T 5G bandwidth capacity to help our communities. The final teams were coached by AT&T HBCU alumni and presented their solution to a panel of AT&T judges. The top team won $50,000 from AT&T CSR and the NETwork EG – and AT&T is actively recruiting the program participants.

We also created a free AT&T Summer Learning Academy externship program targeted at students who lost a different internship opportunity during the COVID-19 pandemic. We enrolled approximately 47,000 students from 1,900 different schools and 23 different countries. More than 822,500 hours of training were completed on topics ranging from business and technical acumen to personal growth and professional development.

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

Compensation & Benefits 8 8 Benefits and policies vary by country and operating company.

AT&T works hard to attract and retain talented, diverse and engaged employees. We regularly adapt our compensation model to ensure fair and inclusive pay practices across our business. And we are committed to pay equity for employees who hold the same jobs, work in the same geographic area and have the same levels of experience and performance

AT&T offers competitive benefits packages to attract and retain a highly qualified workforce. We offer comprehensive health insurance, life insurance, disability coverage and retirement plans as well as a variety of additional programs to help our employees navigate health challenges, life changes and plan for retirement.

Health and Welfare Benefits
In 2020, we offered health and welfare benefits to 1 million employees, retirees and their eligible dependents in the U.S. 9 9 Inclusive of U.S.-based AT&T Inc. employees.

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.

We offer a broad selection of benefits geared toward certain life events, including fertility and egg freezing services, adoption, maternity rooms and breastmilk shipping, childcare, elder care, gender reassignment and more. As part of our robust suite of family benefits, paid parental leave provides parents up to 12 weeks of paid time off to bond with the new addition to their family. 10 10 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. Beginning in 2021, we will also provide up to 3 weeks of paid time off to care for a child, grandchild, parent or other loved one for qualified situations. The time can be used continuously or intermittently and resets every calendar year. 11 11 Inclusive of AT&T Communications and Xandr. In addition, through our new family planning and support services, all our employees now have access to personal 24/7 virtual support for pregnancy, postpartum, loss, adoption/surrogacy and return to work.

Our medical programs offer employees and their families a variety of ways to take care of their health without having to go into the doctor’s office. Our specialized diabetes, hypertension, weight management and sleep programs allow our members to manage their conditions from the comfort of their home through connected devices (glucose monitors, blood pressure cuffs, scales and C-PAP machines) and access to specialized virtual care teams. In addition, during COVID-19, our company plans have covered 100% of virtual visit expenses to help ensure that our program members can get the care they need when they need it.

AT&T’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP) 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 CarePlus supplemental benefit program includes coverage of many experimental and expanded services rarely covered through a traditional health plan. Our members have access to services like a connected glucose-monitoring device for diabetes, AR/VR gaming digital therapy for children with ADHD, childbirth classes, doula support and even service animals.

Employee Well-Being

AT&T also offers Your Health Matters (YHM), a health and wellness program for employees that features 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. Employees can learn how to build habits for success, share tips with colleagues, and find motivation to pursue their wellness goals.

Over the past year, this program has focused on virtual and pandemic-related initiatives to support our employee’s well-being. Some highlights of 2020:

  • Hosted 7 virtual wellness events with over 4,000 total participants
  • Provided daily wellness resources to 185,000+ employees as part of the AT&T COVID-19 Daily Updates communications
  • Integrated digital COVID-19 resources provided to employees through Castlight to perform COVID-19 Self-Assessment and locate provider testing sites
  • Distributed a new monthly wellness newsletter to promote virtual events and resources to over 35,000 employees
  • Launched new digital health solutions for mental health, sleep apnea, diabetes, prediabetes and hypertension management
  • Created platforms and resources for a dynamic workforce to navigate virtual work and parenting

Though our on-site fitness centers were closed due to the pandemic, our fitness coaches led hundreds of virtual workouts, performed movement assessments and prescribed personalized plans to employees all over the globe. Health clinic staff provided services to the reduced number of on-site employees while offering telehealth appointments to those working from home.


AT&T offers a variety of work scheduling options, including alternative and compressed workweeks, flextime, makeup time and part-time schedules as well a robust virtual workforce program that includes full-time work-from-home positions.

As we look to life and operations beyond the pandemic, we are revising our business models to support flexible office space and at-home productivity for many employees on a going-forward basis. Management employees can be assigned to work primarily from home, go regularly to AT&T work locations based on the needs of the business or flex their time between home and an AT&T work location/client-location. Union-represented call center employees can apply to work in virtual centers, which allow them to work from home..


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-sponsored retirement savings plans totaled about $55 billion in assets as of December 31, 2020. In 2020, U.S. employees contributed more than $1.5 billion to our savings plans, and the company matched more than $800 million. As participants in the AT&T savings plans, employees can 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. As of December 31, 2020, $6.5 billion of employee retirement plan assets were under professional management.

Our internal Your Money Matters program helps 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.


Through AT&T Perks, we offer employee discounts and rewards on thousands of brands, including discounts for sporting events, travel, hotels, restaurants, cars and local establishments. AT&T employees and retirees are also eligible for special pricing on AT&T products and services, such as wireless rate plans and accessories, home phone and internet service and entertainment platforms such as HBO Max.

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

Union Relationships

With approximately 37% union-represented employees, we have one of the largest full-time, union-represented workforces in the U.S.7 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 21 union contracts as of December 31, 2020. Since 2017, we have reached, and union-represented employees have voted to ratify, 30 fair labor agreements. WarnerMedia participates in 117 recurring union agreements throughout the U.S. and Canada and 2 union agreements in the U.K. These various agreements, the majority of which are multiemployer, cover hundreds of thousands of individual employees in hundreds of different job classifications.

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 completed courses in each employee’s training record. To learn more, visit our Environment, Health & Safety Compliance issue brief.