As a company operating in more than 200 countries and territories, diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) is central to who we are and an important driver of our innovation and performance. We believe our workforce should reflect the diversity of our customers and the communities we serve. We’ve made notable progress bringing more diverse candidates into our organization while continuing to develop a culture of inclusion to ensure they stay, grow, and thrive.
As of the end of 2021, our estimated 10,500 employees represented more than 120 countries and spoke 54 different languages. As we look toward 2025, we aim to increase our diversity in leadership and increase our racial and ethnic diversity among employees. In 2021, 84% of our candidate slates and 77% of interview panels globally were diverse.
We also work to build a diverse talent pipeline through our early career program. As an example, more than 60% of our interns in our Denver Headquarters Internship Program identified as Black/African American, Hispanic/ Latinx, or Asian. Globally, 45% of interns in the U.S., 40% in Lithuania, 20% in India, and 59% in Costa Rica identified as female.
Empowering and Developing Our Workforce
Investing in our people and building their capabilities to adapt, develop, and innovate is a top priority. We offer a variety of learning and development models and resources, including self-paced digital and facilitated formats, special assignments and projects, coaching, and mentoring. For example, leaders receive training on how to communicate and champion DEI principles, and teams engage with an Understanding Equity Toolkit that explains the difference between equality and equity, and guides them on how to communicate on related topics. In early 2022 , we piloted a program to identify diverse, underrepresented, and high-performing team members and connected them to sponsors who can help maximize their potential and growth.
Another key DEI component at Western Union is our Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), which serve as a catalyst for engaging employees around issues that are meaningful to them at the local, regional, and global levels. The executive-sponsored and employee-driven networks play an important role in attracting diverse talent, developing and retaining existing talent, and supporting an inclusive culture where employees can thrive. Two examples of our 13 ERGs are the Asian Pacific Islander Advisory Council and Parents and Caregivers ERG. Many ERGs lead and support global programs, holiday recognition and celebrations, and events to further foster an inclusive workplace (e.g.,International Women’s Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, Pride Month, and Juneteenth).
Building Inclusion In Our Communities
The Western Union Foundation supports numerous organizations aligned with our focus on diversity and inclusion, aimed at addressing social injustice and disparities for marginalized communities. Through UK organization Micro Rainbow, for example, the Foundation’s funding supported LGBTQ+ asylum seekers and refugees with mentorships, job training, and other monthly workshops to help combat barriers to economic and financial inclusion. In partnership with ERGs such as the Black Advisory Council, the Foundation has also undertaken Project Finish Line to help address barriers that may prevent Black, indigenous, and minority students from completing their degree programs.
Our work culture is one that rallies to positively impact lives in communities around the world. In 2021, approximately 75% of Western Union employees donated money or volunteered time to the Foundation or other community nonprofits, driving approximately $2.5 million in contributions and nearly 11,000 hours in volunteer time. Many employees also support the recently launched Mentorship Beyond Borders, a virtual mentorship program that enables them to mentor young people across the globe.
Our commitment to DEI includes equal pay for equal work. For the second year, in 2021, we achieved gender pay equity globally and racial/ethnicity pay equity in the U.S.
Progressing Programs, Reaching Goals
As we expand our work across all DEI areas, we will continue to focus on on achieving our 2025 goals to reach 40% women in senior management and above roles by 2025, and to reach 25% Hispanic/Latinx and Black/ African American employees in the U.S. by 2025. We’re We have several initiatives in place to help us achieve these goals, such as sponsorship and mentorship programs, advancing our focus on early career hiring, development, and retention of diverse populations, and deepening the impact of our ERGs.
Read more about our DEI progress in our Western Union 2021 Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Report.