Millicom offers mobile and broadband telecommunications services and cable television in nine countries in Latin America. The company was founded in 1990 and is headquartered in Luxembourg. In 2020, it had 55 million mobile subscribers.
Millicom promotes digital opportunities for women through its flagship programme Conectadas. The programme has taught more than 320,000 women throughout Latin America how to access the internet and use it for their personal development and education, to access essential services and to expand their businesses. Millicom follows best practice by disclosing its financial contribution to the programme. The company also discloses the number of employees across its subsidiaries.
Millicom demonstrates a high-level commitment and accountability for cybersecurity. It also discloses how it responds to information security incidents. It reports government requests that it receives for personal information. Furthermore, the company applies the same privacy principles across all its subsidiaries. Millicom is also a leader in child online safety, having integrated child online protection into its strategic framework. The company works to block child sexual abuse material in four of its operating markets. It also operates an online safety platform for adolescents in Colombia in partnership with UNICEF, and has trained almost half a million youth on the benefits and risks of digital technology since 2016.
While Millicom provided support for access during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has an opportunity to promote universal and affordable access to digital technologies through a dedicated programme. The company can also commission a third party to assess the impacts of its Conectadas programme. Millicom should demonstrate how it ensures digital technologies are accessible for people with disabilities. In addition to reporting a breakdown of its employees for its subsidiaries across its countries of operations, Millicom can also provide a breakdown of income taxes paid in each operating country.
Millicom can provide a breakdown of the number of women attaining basic digital skills and those attaining business-focused digital skills through the Conectadas programme. It can also strengthen its support in this area by initiating a programme dedicated to advancing technical digital skills. Additionally, the company can consider an impact evaluation for its initiative to connect schools across Latin America to the internet.
Millicom can provide a public copy of its information security management certification. It can also follow best practice by reporting the number of data breaches it experiences. While the company reports government requests for personal information, it can provide a country-by-country breakdown of the number of requests received and those it has complied with. In addition to having integrated child online protection into its business strategy, Millicom can provide guidance on how its customers can report content that is sensitive to children. It can also explain how it works with authorities to combat child online abuse.
Apart from evidence that the company helps small business owners gain knowledge in scaling their business, little evidence was found of Millicom’s support for open, sustainable, inclusive and ethical innovation. The company has an opportunity to support tech innovation ecosystems, partner with universities on technology and sustainability research topics, and disclose the number of women working in technical roles at the company.
Core social indicators
The core social indicators assess societal expectations of business conduct that companies should meet if they aspire to be part of a system transformation that leaves no one behind.
Millicom commits to respecting human rights, but it has no public commitment to respect all the labour fundamentals outlined in the ILO core labour rights, including the right to freedom of association and collective bargaining. The company has a grievance mechanism accessible to both workers and external stakeholders to raise human rights concerns and complaints. Millicom also identifies and assesses the salient human rights issues in its own operations and in its business relationships, but it does not disclose how it takes action to address these issues.
Millicom publicly commits to the health and safety of its workers, and it places health and safety expectations on its business relationships and monitors their performance. The company is not explicit in stating that it does not require workers to work more than the regular and overtime hours. It also does not disclose the percentage of its workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements, and it provides no relevant evidence in relation to paying its workers a living wage. Millicom publicly commits to gender equality and women’s empowerment. In relation to workforce diversity, the company provides a breakdown of employees in different employee categories by gender. However, it has an opportunity to disclose information against other indicators of diversity per employee category, such as age group.
Millicom has a policy prohibiting bribery and corruption and takes steps to identify and address bribery and corruption. The company has a tax strategy that only covers its UK operations. Further, it discloses income taxes for some tax jurisdictions but not for all its individual tax jurisdictions. Millicom states that it does not make political contributions, but it does not have a publicly available policy document stating its overarching approach to lobbying and political engagement. It also does not provide any information in relation to its lobbying expenditures.