For T-Mobile, Transparency And Accountability Are Key To A Successful DE&I Strategy
This week T-Mobile released a second Environment, Sustainability and Governance (ESG) Reporting In it, the company shares its progress in the core area that guides its ESG work: “Equal Opportunity, Digital Empowerment and a Prosperous Planet”.
In this article, I’ll focus on what CEO Mike Sievert calls “the heart and soul of the company and the keys to its success”—its people, the structure of its Magenta (corporate color) culture.
During the pandemic, most organizations are realizing the importance of staying connected with their employees. In times of extreme insecurity and stress, prompt and transparent communication is needed to build trust. Additionally, understanding how employees feel about their day jobs and the companies they work for is critical to assessing engagement and overall employee satisfaction.
T-Mobile measures the health of its culture through a confidential survey called “Our Voice,” which is sent to employees several times a year.
In October 2021, data from approximately 39,000 T-Mobile employees who participated in the survey indicated a customer-centric and inclusive environment:
- 87% of employees say their teams clearly prioritize customer experience at work
- 86% of employees say their own teams create an inclusive work environment that “makes me me”.
- 80% of employees would recommend T-Mobile as a great place to work
In addition to surveys and roundtable discussions moderated by directors and vice presidents, T-Mobile hosts quarterly all-hands meetings where everyone can ask Mike Sievert questions directly on topics like new business offerings and responding to the pandemic.
T-Mobile’s Equity in Action grew out of these conversations, focusing on three areas where employees want to see the company continue to work: increasing diversity in leadership roles, maintaining the company’s culture of respect, and improving skills by supporting education and positively impacting the community. Chance.
Specifically for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DE&I), the company has set 54 goals, which the company refers to as “commitments,” which truly emphasize a commitment to its talent rather than some external stakeholder. In the report, T-Mobile said it has fulfilled 27 promises so far and is working to fulfill the remaining 27. Delivered Promises include:
- External Diversity and Inclusion Council and California Council established
- Added diverse representation to T-Mobile’s board
- Expanding access to wireless services through organizations serving underserved communities
- Partnerships with minority-owned banks
- Increase procurement activities with diversified businesses
Internal and external allies
For its DE&I strategy, T-Mobile relies on internal and external allies, such as its Inclusion Council, Leadership Task Force, Oversight Committee, and External Diversity and Inclusion Council, a group of thinkers and advocates in the field who help support the company The goal.
Holli Martinez, VP of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, believes that aligning business goals with Equity in Action goals and Employee Resource Group (ERG) strategies at the company-wide and local level allows T-Mobile to simplify DE&I practices while meeting local needs for maximum impact. ERG is an important internal partner in Martinez’s efforts. What started as a grassroots movement is now an important part of the company’s culture, with nearly 40% of employees involved in one or more ERGs. Six ERGs and four sub-affiliated groups drive action to address business and employee pain points. For example, the Women and Allies Network pointed to gaps in T-Mobile’s benefits in family planning and conception, and the company addressed those pain points by adding benefits. Likewise, when the Pride and Allies group called for increased surrogacy benefits, the company also increased those benefits.
Pay Equity and Careers
Pay equity plays an important role in T-Mobile’s efforts to be a fair and inclusive workplace. The company’s commitment is that employees will be paid fairly for their work, regardless of gender, race/ethnicity, or other aspects of status unrelated to their job performance. In addition, companies consider factors such as market data, employee roles and experience, work location, and performance.
Economic stability is closely related to personal growth and careers. In 2021, T-Mobile partnered with McKinsey to launch two programs to empower underrepresented leaders. McKinsey Manager Accelerator focuses on improving leadership mindsets and behaviors and deepening participants’ understanding of nine business topics. The McKinsey Executive Leadership Program provides future leaders with peer networking and sponsorship to help them achieve their ambitions and develop new skills. Career development is not only based on performance and output. The ability to progress requires skills that are not often taught in school or at work. Being able to rely on sponsors and mentors who are willing to have transparent conversations based on their own experiences is the most powerful tool the program has to offer.
Numbers are only part of the story
When it comes to DE&I, the numbers reported in each annual report are always a cause for concern. T-Mobile has a far better workforce than most tech companies. Employees who identify as women make up 41% of the company’s workforce (same as 2020). While that number dropped to 33.8% by executives (from 32.4% in 2020), the percentage is still much higher than most tech companies. Not wanting to take anything away from T-Mobile’s plans, the fact that about 39% of U.S. employees work in retail helps explain the above-average numbers. That said, T-Mobile’s leadership is evident from a diverse board of directors. Diversity is broadly defined in T-Mobile’s Director Selection Guidelines, including factors such as gender, race, ethnicity, geographic, cultural and professional diversity. As of December 31, 2021, 7 of the 14 Board members identified as women and/or members of traditionally underrepresented racial/ethnic groups.
T-Mobile’s business mission is to connect people so everyone can thrive. For the company itself, connecting people is at the heart of the inclusive culture being built, so the company itself can thrive today and for years to come.
Disclosure: The Heart of Tech is a research and consulting firm that works with or has engaged in research, analysis, and consulting services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this column. The author does not hold any equity in any of the companies mentioned in this column.