June 28 is International LGBTI Pride Day. On this day, people around the world gather to celebrate the fight for equal rights and equal treatment for all individuals, regardless of their biological sex, their orientation, their sexual identity or their gender role. BBVA has joined the cause, illuminating for the first time its landmark La Vela high-rise, in its corporate headquarters in Madrid with the colors of the Pride flag. A symbolic gesture that the company is making while launching a campaign to raise awareness among its employees about LGBTI diversity at the workplace.
In 1978, the LGTBI community chose the rainbow flag as the symbol of the diversity it stands for. For the first time, La Vela, the high-rise at the center of BBVA’s corporate complex in Spain, was lit up in the six colors of the flag to showcase the bank’s support to the LGTBI cause. The diversity challenge has become one of the key drivers of BBVA’s transformation efforts in employee management and training. A diverse workplace, in the broadest sense of the term, allows the company to better address the needs of its increasingly disparate customer base and offer a more comprehensive service.
For this reason, the institution is undertaking a series of initiatives aimed at promoting inclusion of groups with a lower representation or facing more difficulties at the time of getting hired or promoted. And LGTBI-related initiatives are a pivotal part of this project.
One of these initiatives has been the making of a video featuring a series of testimonials by LGTBI employees, people who’ve volunteered to recount their experiences at the workplace and the challenges that they’ve faced because of their sexuality. In the video, some allies of the project also discuss the ways in which a better work environment can be attained, identifying some of the unconscious biases that hinder normalization.
Promoting good practices in LGBTI matters
BBVA has endorsed the UN’s anti-LGBTI Discrimination Standards of Conduct for Business, drawn up in collaboration with the Institute for Human Rights and Business and based on the Guiding Principles for Business and Human Rights. By adhering to these principles that safeguard LGBTI rights at the workplace, BBVA commits to guarantee fair treatment and to activate measures aimed at detecting potential sexual orientation or identity discrimination cases.
“We welcome BBVA among the 260 early supporters of the UN Global LGBTI Standards for Business. The private sector plays a crucial role in respecting and supporting the human rights of LGBTI people and BBVA’s commitment is sending a powerful signal in the markets in which it operates, ” said Fabrice Houdart, United Nations Human Rights Officer and co-author of the Standards .
Joining this UN-promoted initiative is just another step in BBVA’s strategy to foster an inclusive and respectful work environment, which recognizes talent regardless of identity, gender expression or sexual orientation, and promotes innovation and creativity. BBVA’s commitment to diversity and inclusion has turned the Group into one of the leading corporate voices on the matter. As a result, the company is listed in some of the world’s most prominent rankings on the matter, including Bloomberg's Gender Equality Index. BBVA is also one of the 200 companies worldwide included in Equileap’s ‘Gender Equality Global Report & Ranking’, and is also featured in and Intrama’s Informe VariableD2019, which ranks Spain’s top-30 businesses based on diversity and equality practices.
In the U.S. BBVA has been supporting the LGBTI for a long time and recently earned the top mark (100%) in the ‘Corporate Equality Index’, the country’s premier benchmarking survey on corporate policies and practices related to LGBTI workplace equality
Another initiatives that BBVA has promoted, such as the a project related to the use of inclusive language in the wording of job advertisements, have been selected by the Spanish Chapter of the World Compact as one of the best practices linked to the SDG 5.. Also, the Group has joined REDI (Business Network for LGBTI Diversity and Inclusion), has participated in a number of events, such as the Lesbian Day of Visibility, and has renewed its commitment to the Diversity Charter at European level and endorsed the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles.
La Vela, in BBVA corporate headquarters in Madrid with the colors of the Pride flag - BBVA