2021 Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Annual Report
TOGETHER BY DESIGN
At AT&T, we’re in the business of connecting people. We know that to connect the world, we must reflect the world. For over five decades, we’ve prioritized equity and encouraged diversity and inclusion.
Bringing people together from diverse backgrounds isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t just happen. But when we take the time to make meaningful connections and understand one another, we often find that our differences are the source of our greatest strengths.
In 2021, we continued to rewrite the blueprints for what it means to be a truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive company that brings people Together by Design.
As individuals, as a community and as a business, we are experiencing change on a scale many of us have never seen.
Market volatility, wildly varying rates of COVID-19 infections, and the spinoff of a significant business unit – all of these issues, plus others, influence how we engage with each other and the world.
Rather than see the challenges as roadblocks, we see them as opportunities to reinforce our commitment to the principles that undergird AT&T’s diversity, equity and inclusion across the business and in the communities we serve.
To connect with the world, we must reflect the world. We have to come together, to learn from one another and become stronger. We must be Together By Design, which is the theme of the 2021 AT&T Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Report.
While we continue to invest resources in our employees so they can be the catalysts for change in the communities, the unpredictability of life continues to play a significant role. Inspired by the goals we have set, we kept our head down and pushed forward, relying on one another to stay fortified. The results: another banner year for DE&I.
Our commitments to DE&I are designed to improve society and connect people to greater possibility. The investments we make in helping to close the digital divide, increase representation at AT&T and beyond, and foster economic empowerment put the ability to make a difference in the hands of people in our communities.
We’re continuing our efforts to support our $2 billion commitment to help bridge the digital divide in communities across the country. We’re also making progress on our goal to provide 1 million people in need with digital resources by the end of 2025, through our AT&T Connected Learning initiatives like Connected Learning Centers, free laptop distributions, and digital literacy and learning tools.
Additionally, AT&T Latin America received global recognition as a leading place to work and the AT&T Supplier Diversity program continues to connect businesses owned by underrepresented groups to economic opportunities.
The full report is a must-read, not only for understanding what makes AT&T a top company in innovation and employee engagement but to get excited about where we’re going next.
We stand firm in our DE&I beliefs, stronger than ever, and the ongoing success is due to the unique people who work here.
Thank you for all you do.
Chief Diversity Officer
With more than 200,000 employees across 63 countries, AT&T is one of the largest U.S.-based private employers. In 2021 we maintained a diverse workforce despite the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, increasing societal polarization and corporate transformation.
Overall, women make up 33% of our global workforce, a percentage that compares favorably to the average across companies in our industry. While the number of women in our U.S. frontline jobs decreased in 2021, representation of women in senior leadership positions increased. The percentage of diversity in our U.S. workforce increased to 47% last year, driven by employees in frontline and management positions. While we still have an opportunity to improve diversity at the senior leadership level, overall the representation of people of color in our workforce significantly exceeds that of other telecommunications companies.
Beyond race and gender, our employees represent a wide mix of generations, identities, abilities and experiences. This collective strength is the driving force behind our active Employee Networks (ENs) and Employee Resource Groups (ERGs). Along with advancing the professional development of their members, in 2021 our ENs and ERGs volunteered nearly 132,000 hours of their time and donated nearly $21 million in support of causes they champion – acts of service we recognized with the Excellence in Action Impact Awards at our 2021 Employee Group Conference.
In 2021 we also expanded our diversity dialogue to include faith with the launch of our new Employee Resource Group, Faith@Work. Co-founded by a Jewish employee and a Muslim employee, Faith@Work is committed to bringing together people of all faiths (or no faith at all) to learn more about different religions, collaborate on community engagement and increase understanding and respect for all expressions of religious belief.
To build a diverse and inclusive workforce, we prioritize recruiting and hiring talented people who reflect the world in which we live and work. In 2021, we collaborated with Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs), sponsored conferences, completed benchmarking surveys, and supported organizations and initiatives committed to providing an equal opportunity for all. When you look at the results, the extra effort was all worth it.
HBCUs – AT&T Creating Pathways to Success
At AT&T, we value Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs) as a rich source of the diverse talent we need to drive future innovation. Today, more than 2,600 HBCU graduates work at AT&T.
Since creating opportunities requires investment and nurturing of talent, in February 2021 we launched AT&T University’s HBCU Future Leaders Program, a multiyear mentoring and workforce readiness initiative for HBCU students. Through this program, mentees gain access to senior leaders and experts in technology and innovation and benefit from experiential learning and leadership skills development.
In November of 2021, we introduced our inaugural class of AT&T Dream in Black Rising Future Makers, recognizing 25 HBCU students who are making a positive impact on their campuses and in their communities. In addition, we launched three new HBCU athletic department sponsorships with Howard University, Florida A&M University (FAMU) and North Carolina A&T, furthering our commitment to support institutions and the students within.
Trailblazers. Innovators. Leaders. Women.
At AT&T, women are involved in every aspect of our business, and we’re committed to their professional development and advancement. In 2021, we continued to provide tools and resources to support women in all career stages. We also collaborated with Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code, Girl Scouts and other organizations that encourage more young women to pursue STEM careers.
Honoring Veterans Today and Every Day
In 2021 we continued supporting veterans, collaborating with the department of Defense Military Spouse Employment Partnership (MSEP), Blue Star Families, Hiring Our Heroes and others to hire veterans and their families and honor their service. We also joined the Department of Defense’s SkillBridge program, which gives service members leaving the military valuable civilian work experience through leadership training, mentorship and hands-on projects.
One of the World’s Best Workplaces
As a global company, our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion reaches around the world. We work across cultures, geographies and languages to create workplaces where employees can bring their whole selves to their jobs. And it’s working – in 2021, Great Place to Work® and Fortune magazine recognized our successes, ranking AT&T Latin America 14th on the World’s 25 Best Workplaces™.
The COVID-19 pandemic affected vulnerable populations disproportionally, despite positive digital participation outcomes for people worldwide. AT&T provided access to resources and services to communities experiencing challenges. Through volunteerism, philanthropy, and community partnerships, we use the AT&T brand to design a future where everyone has the opportunity to succeed.
In 2021 we continued to support LGBTQ+ rights and equal justice reforms, and also focused our efforts on helping to bridge the digital divide, which is the gap between those that have access to the connectivity, digital resources and skills they need to benefit from the online world and those that don’t. As a media and telecommunications company, we understand that while new technologies can create growth and opportunity, they can also heighten economic inequalities and sharpen social divisions. That’s why we made a commitment to invest $2 billion over the next three years to help bridge the digital divide for unconnected Americans, including residents of rural and underserved communities.
By expanding broadband networks, donating computers and providing free digital learning resources, we’re helping to close the homework gap and positively impact the lives of people living in underserved, underrepresented or low-income communities.
While closing the digital divide will require significant capital investment and close collaboration between the public and private sectors, CEO John Stankey noted that, “…the economic and social benefits of narrowing the digital divide will more than pay for itself.”
Connected Learning CentersSM
We believe equipping communities with the right tools and resources empowers people to achieve their dreams. That’s why in 2021 we collaborated with community organizations in underresourced areas to open the first of what will be more than 20 AT&T Connected Learning CentersSM. Located in cities across the U.S., these centers provide students and families with free access to high-speed AT&T Internet, Wi-Fi, computers and free digital literacy education courses in partnership with the Public Library Association.
Stop Asian Hate
Last year we witnessed a disturbing rise in violence against Asians, Asian Americans and Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI), reflecting a negative trend of increased prejudices associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocate groups like Stop AAPI Hate received reports of thousands of hate incidents, ranging from verbal harassment to physical assault.
AT&T showed its commitment to stand for equality by producing a multiplatform PSA campaign to raise awareness about escalating violence and committed $7 million last year to help the fight to #StopAsianHate.
We understand that actions speak louder than words, which is why meaningful volunteerism is central to how we give back. In 2021 our employees continued to serve their communities through AT&T BelievesSM, a company-wide, localized effort to combine employees’ passions and volunteerism with AT&T’s resources and relationships.
Last year, AT&T Believes’SM grassroots activations helped bridge the digital divide, build the job skills for tomorrow and provide basic necessities in times of crisis. Internationally, we launched six new AT&T BelievesSM chapters in 2021 (Belgium, the Czech Republic, India, Slovakia, Spain, and the UK & Ireland), adding to the 40+ U.S. markets where we’re already creating positive change in local communities.
AT&T’s customer base is multinational and multicultural – as diverse as the world itself. We strive to keep our customers’ needs at the center of everything we do, whether it’s interacting with them in their preferred language or ensuring they are positively represented in our marketing and advertising.
Last year, we continued to celebrate and connect with the communities we serve with customer initiatives like A Ti Y A Ti, Turn Up the Love and Dream in Black. These initiatives celebrate the diversity of our customers and address the unique interests of the Native American, Hispanic/Latino, LGBTQ+ and Black communities.
As the personal impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic reverberated into 2021, we responded to emerging customer needs with a new hotline service to help combat the mental health crisis in America. We also addressed the continuing economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic with affordable connectivity plans like the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program and the Affordable Connectivity Program.
By recognizing our customers for who they are, we are committed to keeping them connected to what matters to them most.
Sports connects people across borders, cultures and genders. Through the common ground of their love of the game, people can develop a greater understanding of each other and their communities. With "She’s Connected by AT&T," we continued to advance gender equality in 2021, featuring a professional golfer, a professional soccer player and a professional basketball player who are changemakers both on and off the playing field. With this documentary-style series, we hand the mic to these amazing women so they can tell their inspiring stories. Through these stories, and the support we provide to these athletes, we hope to inspire girls and women to achieve their own greatness.
Accessibility for All
AT&T is committed to connecting people with what they need to thrive in their everyday lives. Recognizing that 1 in 5 people in the United States will have some form of disability over the course of their lives, we design accessibility into our products and services. With features like text-to-speech capabilities, audio descriptions, and voice controls, we help ensure everyone can participate in what the world has to offer, whether or not they have a disability.
By challenging assumptions and deliberately pursuing innovation in delivering our products and services, we help provide everyone the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential.
We’re proud to be one of the first U.S. corporations to have a Supplier Diversity program. Launched in 1968 during a period of civil unrest, this program sought to alleviate the economic disparities many diverse businesses encountered at that time. Over the years our goal has remained simple: connect diverse businesses with opportunities to provide products and services to AT&T globally.
In 2021, AT&T spent $13.3 billion with certified diverse businesses, exceeding our 21.5% goal.* We also surpassed a $3 billion commitment to drive diversity, equity and inclusion across our business and the communities where we live and work by spending $3 billion with Black-owned suppliers. Through our continued commitment to our supplier outreach and development programs, we now have more than 20,000 suppliers around the world, representing the wide range of trades we engage with across our operating units.
Beyond the companies we do business with, AT&T’s Supplier Diversity program seeks to make meaningful and measurable contributions to the economic growth of diverse companies and communities. To that end, DE&I performance is a key component of AT&T Supplier Diversity strategy. In 2021, our supplier spend contributed directly to supporting over 400,000 diverse jobs with our suppliers and their subcontractors - 190,000 jobs for people of color and 220,000 jobs for women.**
With $214 billion spent with diverse suppliers over the past 53 years, we remain committed to creating a diverse, equitable and inclusive supply chain because we know it makes us a stronger company.
Buy Small, Local and Diverse
In response to the continued outcry for social justice in 2021, AT&T Supplier Diversity worked together with our External & Legislative Affairs team to support the economic development of underserved communities by increasing our purchases from small local diverse suppliers, particularly in communities of color.
While we initially focused on engaging community leaders in 10 metropolitan areas, as the program became more successful, we expanded our reach.
In the end, we awarded 83 contracts to 81 small diverse businesses in 65 cities across 22 states. Our spending through direct purchases and subcontracting exceeded $108 million – and we found another effective approach for increasing diversity, equity and inclusion in our supply chain.
We took another step to drive greater impact with our Supplier Diversity program in 2021 by bringing Overland-Tandberg into the company’s efforts to help bridge the digital divide.
A certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE), Overland-Tandberg is a multifaceted global technology company, serving over 100+ countries with more than 5 million products shipped to corporations and governments around the world.
When AT&T began opening Connected Learning CentersSM in 2021 to help close the digital divide, Overland-Tandberg led the onsite configuration of the computers and provided data management and security products for centers across the country – a collaborative effort that continues today.
Auto Parts Solution (APS) Distribution
Our Diversity Supplier Advocacy program is designed to coach, mentor and connect small to medium-sized businesses with other AT&T prime suppliers for growth opportunities.
In 2021, our supplier APS stepped up to this opportunity, showcasing their capabilities and willingness to partner in business-to-business (B2B) transactions with other AT&T suppliers. We facilitated meetings between APS and an existing supplier, establishing APS as a value-added reseller to AT&T.
But this was just the beginning. Soon, additional B2B opportunities were presented to APS, generating additional subcontracting agreements with other companies that extended their revenue growth beyond direct purchases from AT&T.
2021 DIVERSITY, EQUITY AND INCLUSION AWARDS
Although awards and recognition are not the driving force for our commitment and work toward diversity, equity and inclusion, we celebrate achieving recognition by a community of peers and industry leaders.
Here are the awards we received in 2021 for achieving our goals and honoring our values.
100 Best Corporate Citizens List
AMERICAN INDIAN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING SOCIETY
Top 50 Workplaces for STEM Native Professionals
Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index
CALVERT U.S. LARGE CAP CORE RESPONSIBLE INDEX FUND
AT&T is a constituent of the Responsible Index Fund.
DFW MINORITY SUPPLIER DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
2021 Corporation of the Year
Buy Those That Buy Us Award 2021
100% Disability Equality Index
AT&T has received 100% on this index for 7 consecutive years.
DIVERSITYINC TOP 50 COMPANIES FOR DIVERSITY
2021 Hall of Fame
2021 Specialty List
- #3 Executive Diversity Councils
- #4 Supplier Diversity
- #4 Mentoring
- #6 Top ESG
- #10 LGBTQ (First year ranking has been implemented)
DOW JONES SUSTAINABILITY NORTH AMERICA INDEX
Named to DJSI North America List
World's Most Ethical Companies
FLORIDA STATE MINORITY SUPPLIER DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
2021 Corporation of the Year
World's Most Admired Companies
GEORGIA MINORITY SUPPLIER DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL
2021 Corporation of the Year
GEORGIA WOMEN'S BUSINESS COUNCIL
Top Corporation for Women Owned Businesses
HISPANIC ASSOCIATION ON CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY (HACR) CORPORATE INCLUSION INDEX
5 Stars for Employment
5 Stars for Procurement
5 Stars for Philanthropy
4 Stars for Governance
AT&T has been recognized on this index for 11 consecutive years.
HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGN (HRC)
100% Corporate Equality Index
AT&T has achieved 100% on this index for 16 consecutive years.
HRC MEJORES LUGARES PARA TRABAJAR POR EQUIDAD
Ranked #1 in Telecom and 8 Overall
JUST CAPITAL / FORBES
JUST 100 - Ranked #1 in Telecom and 8 Overall
LOS MEJORES LUGARES PARA TRABAJAR
2021 Great Place to Work
MILITARY FRIENDLY MAGAZINE
2021 Military Friendly Employer
2021 Military Friendly Spouse Employer
2021 Military Friendly Supplier Diversity Program
2021 Military Friendly Top 10 Brand (Rank: #10)
Best for Vets
AT&T has been recognized on this list for 9 consecutive years.
NATIONAL BUSINESS INCLUSION CONSORTIUM
2021 Best of the Best Corporations for Inclusion
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION ON DISABILITY (NOD) EMPLOYMENT TRACKER
Awarded the NOD 2021 seal.
AT&T has been recognized on this list for five consecutive years.
NEW JERSEY BOARD OF PUBLIC UTILITIES SUPPLIER DIVERSITY DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL (SDDC)
COVID-19 Responder Award 2021
PAR RANKING DE EQUIDAD DE GÉNERO EN LAS ORGANIZACIONES
Top 10 LATAM
POINTS OF LIGHT
The Civic 50 - Most Community-Minded Companies in the U.S.
WOMEN'S BUSINESS ENTERPRISE NATIONAL COUNCIL
2021 America's Top Corporation for Women Businesses