As the Philippines’ largest fully integrated telecommunications company, PLDT Inc. (PLDT), along with its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), announced that it is cultivating “a more than 18,000-strong group-wide employee base that is reflective of the diversity of the many communities in which they operate.”
This announcement comes as the LGBTQIA community observes Pride this June; and as these two companies recognize that “companies with a diverse and inclusive workplace culture are more likely to be innovative and able to stay ahead of changes – qualities that are critical in the fast-paced world of telecommunications.”
“The strength of our organization is founded on the talent and diversity of our people, with each individual confident of being an integral part of our community. This is the inspiration of our unwavering commitment to promote an inclusive workplace – one that is safe regardless of gender, identity, sexual orientation, or expression,” said PLDT and Smart Chief People Officer Gina P. Ordoñez.
SOGIE-education webinar, virtual tributes
PLDT and Smart slated group-wide employee activities to move the needle towards gender equality in the workplace.
“PLDT and Smart Pride: Everyone is Included”, for one, was launched as a campaign aimed at raising awareness and promoting acceptance of LGBTQIA employees, “demonstrating the companies’ diversity and that every individual is valued.”
A webinar on the basics of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Expression (SOGIE) has also been scheduled, to help increase awareness and prevent acts of discrimination against people based on their SOGIE, which is “aligned with PLDT and Smart’s goal to provide a safe, secure, resilient and healthy working environment across all levels.”
Other virtual engagements and tributes are planned throughout June “to show support and acceptance of LGBTQIA colleagues. Starting with management representatives, messages from group-wide allies shall reinforce the message of inclusivity.”
Equal opportunity employer
LGBTQIA activists have been organizing since at least the 1920s, but it was the fervor caused by discriminatory incidents in Stonewall, New York in 1969 that helped catapult the movement to a new level. The advocacy has continuously evolved over the years into what is now known as Pride Month, which serves as a platform for LGBTQIA needs and rights such as protection against harassment and promoting equal employment opportunities.
In relation to the objectives of international LGBTQIA Pride month, “PLDT and Smart are employers that give equal opportunity to all qualified applicants. Both companies aspire for a work environment characterized by openness, trust and respect, and this is reflected in a group-wide non-discrimination policy in hiring,” a statement coming from the company stressed.
Commitment to the UNSDGs
PLDT and Smart’s initiatives for workplace gender equality also underscores the group’s commitment to helping the Philippines attain the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSGDs), such as SDG #5: Gender Equality and SDG #8: Decent Work and Economic Growth.
The activities similarly fall under projects that push for Excellence Through Human Capital, which is one of the seven sustainability pillars that make up the PLDT group’s Sustainability Framework.