Building a Long-Lasting and Impactful Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Plan

By Mike SievertSeptember 23, 2020

As T-Mobile and Sprint were planning our long-anticipated merger, we realized that we had a significant opportunity in front of us. We could use our new scale and resources as a larger combined company, to not only get bigger, but also to become BETTER in so many ways. This was our opportunity to seize.

Knowing we would be opening our doors to millions of additional customers and welcoming thousands of new employees, we embraced the challenge to create a new T-Mobile with a unique customer-obsessed culture, centered on attracting, retaining and developing the best team in the history of our industry. And to do that, we knew it would be absolutely essential to further commit to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) as a long-term strategy. So back in October 2019, we decided to make a significant $25 million investment in this effort, entering into an important Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work closely with six major American DE&I advocacy organizations to expand on our long-standing commitment to DE&I: the National Urban League, National Action Network, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Asian Pacific American Advocates, League of United Latin American Citizens and UnidosUS.

And now, with our merger complete, I’m pleased to share that we are officially kicking off this exciting work. The timing is more relevant and critical than we could have predicted, and the issues that the MOU addresses are even more pressing today than when we entered into the agreement last year. As our nation is experiencing a profound moment, and there is real momentum to address racial equity, significant change is more within our reach than in any recent time. And we at T-Mobile are committed to being part of that change.

I’m excited today to announce that a team of incredible leaders will advise us in these efforts.

As part of the MOU, we have formed an External Diversity and Inclusion Council that is made up of some of the best advocates and thinkers in the DE&I space. Each of the organizations that signed the MOU has a seat on the council, and we rounded out the group with seven more esteemed leaders. Now 14 members strong, the council is already helping us identify priorities and chart a Strategic Diversity Plan to set meaningful goals and hold ourselves accountable to accomplish them.

It’s truly an honor to introduce the members of T-Mobile’s External Diversity and Inclusion Council, for the first time here!

Marc Morial, President & CEO, National Urban League

Marc, who will serve as Council chair, has long been a trusted advisor to T-Mobile and is a recognized leader of America’s Black community. He served as Mayor of New Orleans, president of the United States Conference of Mayors, and Louisiana State Senator.

Kevin Allis, CEO, National Congress of American Indians

Kevin is an enrolled member of the Forest County Potawatomi Community and a longtime advocate for American Indian equity. He is an attorney practicing Federal Indian law and labor and employment litigation and has served as an officer with the Baltimore Police Department.

Sindy Benavides, CEO, League of United Latin American Citizens

A Honduran-born immigrant who now leads the oldest Hispanic civil rights organization in the country, Sindy is now CEO of LULAC and has devoted her career to public service, ensuring that countless young people, women and immigrants have the same opportunities she did.

Gilbert F. Casellas, Former Chairman, EEOC

Gil has extensive legal and policy experience having served as a diversity, equity and inclusion advisor to several major corporations, governmental commissions and universities as well as the chief diversity officer of a Fortune 50 company.

Rachelle Chong, California Emerging Technology Fund Board Member and former FCC Commissioner

Rachelle was the first Asian American appointed to the Federal Communications Commission. As special counsel to CETF, she’s fought to bridge the digital divide by advocating for public policy, public awareness and strategic partnerships in California and Washington, D.C.

Maurita Coley Flippin, Esq., President and CEO, Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council         

Maurita is a lawyer and media executive with a background in telecom and internet law, and policy and business operations. She’s been involved in mass media most of her career, including as a member of the BET executive team, and has produced several award-winning independent films produced by filmmakers of color.

Alphonso David, President, Human Rights Campaign  

Alphonso is the first civil rights lawyer and person of color to serve as president of the Human Rights Campaign in the organization’s nearly 40-year history. In 2015, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed Alphonso to serve as the governor’s chief counsel and principal legal advisor.

Carol Glazer, President, National Organization on Disability

Carol is president of the National Organization on Disability, the nation’s oldest civil rights organization that represents 57 million people. She’s an expert on the employment of people with disabilities and is the mother of two children, one of whom was born with hydrocephalus and has physical and intellectual disabilities.

Derrick Johnson, President, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

Before becoming president and CEO of the NAACP, Derrick served as president of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference leading campaigns for voting rights and equitable education. He also founded One Voice Inc., a non-profit focused on improving the quality of life for African Americans through civic engagement training and initiatives.

Ken Lee, CEO, OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates 

Ken became CEO of OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates after retiring from UPS, where he was the first Asian Pacific American vice president. He also currently serves as chair of the Asian Diversity Advisory Council for Comcast NBC Universal and is a member of the Charter Diversity Council and AT&T Consumer Advisory Panel.

Janet Murguía, President, UnidosUS

Janet has testified before Congress about issues affecting the Latino community, such as education, health care, immigration reform, civil rights and the economy. Before being named president of UnidosUS in 2005, she was deputy campaign manager for Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign and was a White House advisor to President Bill Clinton.

Rev. Al Sharpton, President and Founder, National Action Network

Hailed by former President Barack Obama as a “champion for the downtrodden,” the Reverend Al Sharpton founded the National Action Network in 1991 in the tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to fight for one standard of justice, decency and equal opportunities for all people. NAN now has more than 100 chapters across the country.

Jin Sung, Chair of the Board, National Diversity Coalition

Along with serving as chair of the NDC, a national advocacy organization focusing on elevating corporate social responsibility, Jin is also the pastor of Episkiazo Christian Church, a multicultural church in Anaheim, Calif. She is deeply passionate about bridging corporate America with underserved communities and advocating for minority access and social justice. 

John C. Yang, President and Executive Director, Asian Americans Advancing Justice -AAJC

At Advancing Justice - AAJC, John leads the fight to empower Asian Americans to create a more just America through public policy advocacy, education and litigation. He is an accomplished attorney who served in the Obama Administration as Senior Advisor for Trade and Strategic Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Commerce and helped secure nominations and confirmations of over 20 Asian American and Pacific Islander federal judges, and numerous Senate-confirmed presidential appointments.

These leaders have devoted their lives to advancing civil rights and creating a better future for everyone in America. We are grateful that each will play an essential role in helping us advance our strategic DE&I goals at T-Mobile. 

I feel honored to lead T-Mobile during this pivotal chapter, as we build a company with a truly differentiated culture, and advance our DE&I goals, to serve customers and compete more sustainably and effectively than ever before. Our vision is simple: to become the most loved brand in the history of our industry. And we need the best team in the history of our industry to get there. I’m thankful that our new External Diversity and Inclusion Council is now in place to help us with an essential aspect of this ambitious vision.