Last update: 27/06/2022
Banco Santander's LGBTIQ+ network, Embrace, launched in 2015 with a small group of employees in the UK. Now it has grown to over 5,000 LGTBIQ+ and ally members.
A lot has changed since then. Currently, Santander has LGBTIQ+ networks in the UK, the US, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Portugal, and at the Corporate Centre. Other subsidiaries run special initiatives to:
We continue to focus on diversity as a strategic driver of our transformation. We know every person is unique; but, together, people are essential to build a good organization to work in. Here are some of the initiatives this year across our footprint:
At Santander UK, 2,400 LGBTIQ+ people continue to reach milestones. This year, it featured for the first time in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, a well-known benchmark for progress in LGTBQ+ inclusion in the job market. Also, all branch windows, digital displays and ATMs have showed Pride logos. From June to September, Santander UK will participate in the Milton Keynes Pride (of which it is the main sponsor) and other parades across the UK.
Embrace at Santander US runs many initiatives, in which members tell inspiring stories about acceptance and support, illustrating the importance of inclusion through simple gestures like using preferred pronouns. Embrace US and its more than 500 members has created materials that demonstrate our commitment to the LGTBIQ+ community and promote awareness in society. It has also supported a wide range of external events, including a company event on 30 June, with US actress and activist Kathy Najimy.
Santander España did not want to miss out on Pride. It has run several initiatives, such as decorating corporate buildings and the Smart Red and Work Café branches with messages of support and the colours of the rainbow. During the last week of June, its headquarters will be lit up at night with the colours of the LGTBIQ+ flag. Alba Alonso Feijoo, founder of the Realkiddys educational project, took part in a virtual meeting from a Work Café branch in Vigo. Also, employees have heard testimonials from colleagues, taken part in competitions organized by the Embrace network and accessed training programmes to promote diversity and inclusion.
In late 2020, Embrace signed an agreement with Fundación 26 de Diciembre to take part in the Amber project, a programme that helps transgender people enter the job market, as the trans unemployment rate is very high. The employees’ LGTBIQ+ network behind this agreement was launched in September 2018. The Corporate Centre supports the Embrace initiative to make our organization even more diverse and inclusive. It has over 100 members from various areas, ages, cultures and creeds. Also in 2018, we became the first bank to join the Red Empresarial por la Diversidad e Inclusión LGTBIQ+ ("Business Network for LGBT+ Diversity and Inclusion"). We second the words of our Group Executive Chair, Ana Botín, on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (the event that started Pride Day) in 2019: “Our diversity is what makes us stronger”.