Last update: 27/06/2022

Banco Santander's LGTBIQ+ network, Embrace, was launched in 2015 by a small group of employees in the United Kingdom. Now it has over 5,000 members, including LGTBIQ+ people and allies. 

A lot has changed since then. Currently, Santander has LGTBIQ+ networks in the United Kingdom, the United States, Spain, Brazil, Mexico and Portugal, and at the corporate centre. Furthermore, other subsidiaries are running special initiatives with three aims, to: 

  • increase visibility: removing stereotypes and social stigma with support from leaders in the organization; 
  • promote inclusion: turning the workplace into a space for tolerance and respect where professional and personal differences enrich teams; and
  • strengthen development: through best practices to encourage new social initiatives. 

We continue to focus on diversity as a strategic driver in our transformation. We know that each person is unique and different, and together these people are an essential part of building a good organization to work in.

Here are some of the initiatives that are being carried out this year in the geographies where we are present: 

United Kingdom

At Santander UK, there are over 2,400 people from this community, which continues to reach milestones. The last milestone reached is this community’s presence, for the first time, in the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index, a well-known benchmarking tool for analysing progress in the inclusion of the LGTBQ+ community in the job market.

In addition, this year, all of the branch windows and digital displays as well as the bank’s ATMs have been personalized with Pride logos. From June to September, the UK subsidiary will join various parades held in the United Kingdom such as Milton Keynes Pride, of which it is the main sponsor. 

United States 

Embrace at Santander US is running many initiatives centred on first-hand accounts. From these initiatives we have uncovered inspiring stories from our members based on acceptance and support, which help us to understand the importance of inclusion through simple gestures, such as the preferential use of certain pronouns.

Therefore, through the Santander US network (which has over 500 members) awareness-raising materials have been created to demonstrate our commitment to the LGTBIQ+ community and to promote awareness in society. 

To this end, we have also supported a wide range of external events, as well as an internal event scheduled for 30 June, with the participation of Kathy Najimy, an American actress and activist.

Santander España, Madrid
Santander España, Madrid

Spain

Santander Spain did not want to miss out on this event and has therefore carried out several initiatives, such as decorating the corporate buildings (during the last week of June, its headquarters will be lit up at night with the colours of the LGTBIQ+ flag), and the Smart Red and Work Café branches, with messages of support and the colours of the rainbow. In fact, Alba Alonso Feijoo, founder of the educational project, Realkiddys, took part in a virtual meeting from one of the Work Café branches in Vigo.

In addition, employees in Spain have been able to hear testimonials from colleagues, take part in competitions organized by the Embrace network and access internal and external training programmes to promote diversity and inclusion.

Corporate Centre

In late 2020, Embrace signed an agreement with Fundación 26 de Diciembre to take part in the Amber project, a programme which focuses on helping people from the transgender community enter the jobs market, given that the unemployment rate of this community is very high. 

The employees’ LGTBIQ+ network behind this agreement was launched in September 2018. We support the Embrace initiative at our HQ to make our organization even more diverse and inclusive. It has over 100 members from various areas, ages, culture and beliefs.

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 chairman, Ana Botín on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots (the event that triggered Pride Day) in 2019: “our diversity is what makes us stronger”. 

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