Virgin Media O2 to fund gender transition treatment

Mobile network Virgin Media O2, which employs around 18,000 people in the UK, has committed to fund gender transition treatment for transgender and non-binary employees, to help them access medical care, support and advice.

This fund was created as part of its plan to become a more equitable and inclusive business, through its diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) strategy ‘All In’. This is its first combined DEI strategy since Virgin Media and O2, which employs 17,500 workers across the UK, joined forces last year.

The business reported that work is underway to develop and implement a comprehensive package of support for transgender and non-binary staff.

This has been identified as one of a series of goals to help better represent the diverse communities Virgin Media O2 serves across the UK, which have also included measures to show greater support and allyship to people from marginalised communities. This includes working with 20/20 Change to fund mentoring courses for young people from underrepresented groups.

Virgin Media O2 said that by 2027 it aims for equal representation of women and men in senior leadership, 15% representation of minority ethnic groups in the leadership team, and 25% representation of minority ethnic groups across the wider organisation.

In order to achieve these goals, and to remove bias and systemic barriers, Virgin Media O2 said it plans to launch more equitable policies to ensure it is offering the right support and flexibility to all employees so they have everything they need to be their best at work and in their personal lives.

The business has also planned to set goals for individuals team across the business, which will be measured and reviewed regularly in order to meet its 2027 commitments.

It will continue to work with its employee networks, which represent the LGBTQ+ community, gender, disabled people, people who are neurodivergent, unpaid carers, and underrepresented ethnic groups, in order to help meet the needs of all its staff and to ensure they feel valued. Through this, Virgin Media O2 said it hopes to understand and tackle potential barriers in its hiring, promotion, and retention practices to ensure it drives forward meaningful change.

The organisation has also announced the continued roll-out of Equity Sequence training to more employees; this training includes a series of simple questions aimed at ensuring the business’ projects, policies and decisions are equitable.

Philipp Wohland, chief people officer at Virgin Media O2, said: “With our All In strategy we’re taking a step-change in our approach to creating a more inclusive and equitable business, both for our employees and customers, where we truly represent the diverse communities we serve.

“Virgin Media O2 is a great place to work and we’re committed to creating a culture where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.”