Vodafone

Vodafone

Berkshire, UK

www.vodafone.com

Grade: A

 

Summary: At Vodafone, their timeline of diversity success deserves tremendous admiration – they can be a model organization for others to follow:

2008: One of the first global companies to externally declare a gender target

2010: Begins hiring male and female graduates in equal numbers

2014: Connected Women report highlights transformative projects across our markets

2015:

  • Pioneering Global Maternity Policy launches
  • Commitment to educating 3m young refugees, Vodafone becomes global UN HeforShe partner
  • Vittorio Colao, Vodafone CEO recognized globally as a role model by the BBC.

2016:

  • Commitment from 10 CEOs to connect 50 million women in emerging markets
  • Unconscious bias training rolls out globally across Vodafone global markets for all employees

What products or services does your company produce?

Vodafone is one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies and provides a range of services, including voice, messaging, data and fixed communications. Vodafone has mobile operations in 26 countries, partners with mobile networks in 48 more, and fixed broadband operations in 17 markets. As of 30 of September 2016, Vodafone had 470 million mobile customers and 14 million fixed broadband customers.

How long has your company been in business?

25 years; Vodafone was founded in the UK in 1991.

What specific diversity initiatives has your company undertaken? Please include documentation from company handbooks or policy manuals.

Vodafone has been on a journey to achieving improved diversity for many years and today our program is well embedded within our company backed by strong support at the leadership level. We have also embedded plans to support the LGBT community globally and have received external recognition for these efforts.

2008: One of the first global companies to externally declare a gender target

2010: Begins hiring male and female graduates in equal numbers

2014: Connected Women report highlights transformative projects across our markets

2015:

  • Pioneering Global Maternity Policy launches
  • Commitment to educating 3m young refugees, Vodafone becomes global UN HeforShe partner
  • Vittorio Colao, Vodafone CEO recognized globally as a role model by the BBC – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-34863688

2016:

  • Commitment from 10 CEOs to connect 50 million women in emerging markets
  • Unconscious bias training rolls out globally across Vodafone global markets for all employees

Does your company offer training for current managers to ensure they are employing inclusionary hiring practices, and are they held accountable for doing so?

Yes. Diversity and inclusion is a key focus in our Leadership Essentials program, attended by over 3,000 new line managers each year, and forms part of our induction program for all senior leaders.

In 2012, we rolled out top team Unconscious Bias training globally. This training has been refreshed and improved, and all leadership teams across Vodafone will go through the new Unconscious Bias training in 2016.

Vodafone has declared a goal of gender diversity – an overarching recruitment goal of 50% or above of hires being female. As of December 2016, for the 2016/2017 fiscal year, 51% of hires in the US are female. We are focused on continuing each year to improve this statistic. We use a data analytics tool called Textio to improve our gender tone of job descriptions in the market to increase applicant. To avoid potential forms of diversity bias, resumes are submitted to hiring managers without names or addresses. The interview process remains consistent to be fair for all applicants and focuses on a competency based interview questioning.

Explain how your diversity programs have evolved over time?

See response to question #3.

vodafone-banner

Please detail the success of your diversity programs? Include statistics supporting an increase in minority hiring or promotions in your response.

25% of our Vodafone board is made up of women, which is an increase from 21% in 2014. For our non-executive committee we have achieved 25% female representation.

Our executive population and pipeline is very healthy with representation matching the number of women in the entire organization, our global CEO has committed to the +1 program which encourages our top senior managers who do not have a 50:50 balance in their team to increase the number of female direct reports they employ by one per year thus affecting our executive board representation in due course.

Externally we have been reporting on gender data for over five years on our website that is accessible to anyone.

How do you measure the success of your diversity initiatives?

We believe that diversity plays an important role in the success of our business and is the right thing to do. Our diversity and inclusion strategy outlines our ambition to be a company that empowers all diverse employees to be at their best. Improving diversity and enhancing inclusion across the business has been an ongoing priority for the last five years and there is a genuine will and commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive culture across Vodafone.

We have a global diversity director that reports to the head of HR. Within the team, we have approximately 30 people globally – which includes two full-time employees globally, and then one representative from each Vodafone market that are focused on diversity. In addition each local market has a committee that includes several employees. We provide twice yearly updates to the Vodafone Board and quarterly updates to the Vodafone Group executive committee. We use multiple internal communications channels including Vodafone Yammer, our intranet, weekly communications via email, videos, newsletters, etc.

Specifically, when it comes to people of color, the LGBTQ community, the disabled and others – what specific steps have you taken to encourage applicants from these communities to seek employment with your company?

To avoid potential forms of diversity bias, resumes are submitted to hiring managers without names and addresses. The interview process remains consistent to be fair for all applicants and focuses on a competency based interview questioning.

How do you ensure representation of these groups in management and board-level positions?

On gender, we have set ourselves, and externally communicated, a world leading ambition – to become the best employer for women by 2025 and achieve 30% women in senior leadership by 2020.

In addition, we create diverse communities that strive to improve inclusiveness and development of the community and its members such as our Americas Women’s Network and our LGBT community.

Do you have any initiatives to give back to underprovided communities? What about other minority groups?

The Vodafone Americas Foundation (VAF) supports many programs and activities in communities where our employees live and work, especially targeted for the diverse populations. The Vodafone Americas Foundation is part of Vodafone’s global network of 27 foundations and is affiliated with Vodafone Group.

One of these programs is the Centro Community, a group that offers an online platform for entrepreneurs to jump start their business. This project has already launched several minority-owned businesses that in turn boosted their local economies. VAF also operates the Wireless Innovation Project that supports technology to create solutions for the underserved communities.

This year we were able to partner with a local youth organization to present an Anti-Cyber Bullying panel to bring awareness of the issues that minority groups including LGBTQ populations suffer; we are now using this information to ideate a targeted solution.

Locally, VAF sponsored the New York Front Runners Pride Run in 2016. This was our first venture to partnering with a local LGBTQ organization around a specific event. We were able to have a presence at the run, support the runners and distribute recruiting brochures. These efforts are important in the Americas market as people are not aware that we have a presence locally.

Are there other initiatives your organization supports to help equip people in disadvantaged communities to better compete for tech-related careers?

Yes, Vodafone Americas Foundation supports young women’s coding programs such as Technovation, Girls Who Code, Black Girls Code and TechGirlz to develop and strengthen the pipeline of diverse group of future engineering workforce. Vodafone believes that investing in youth is one of the best ways to build technology workforce for the next generation, that is why we support the YouthRadio, and organization that trains youth in production both radio and TV as well as the music industry, some of which are featured on NPR.

The Vodafone Americas Foundation has partnered with the Vodafone Americas Women’s Network and the non-profit group Npower to invite students from impacted schools to learn about resume writing and career building workshops. We feel that by supporting mentorship programs like these, we are able to not only help the future workforce, but also strengthen our connections with local communities.

What specific plans are in place at your organization to help you become even more diverse in the future?

On a local level within the Americas, the Diversity & Inclusion committee has set a goal of doing community outreach with local organizations to deepen our relationships within undeserved communities. In the coming year, we will focus on people of color and the LGBTQ communities. This is to help grow awareness of the brand and potentially tap into new sources of talent to grow the diversity within our employee base.

For 2017, we will deepen our relationships with our customers by sharing best practices between our diversity committees and our Americas Foundation. We have begun discussions with other organizations to look for opportunities to engage and partner on shared interests.

On gender, we have set ourselves, and externally communicated, a world leading ambition – to become the best employer for women by 2025 and achieve 30% women in senior leadership by 2020. Although progress has been made, there are steps being taken now in order for us to achieve our ambitions.

We will continue to drive initiatives that encompass all aspects of diversity with a consistent focus on the shared priorities and supporting markets to achieve their goals on locally embedded strategies.

At Vodafone we believe…

  • Diversity and inclusion is good for our business and the right thing to do.
  • All diversities must matter if we are able to be truly inclusive: Gender, culture, skills, age, LGBT and disability…
  • Leaders have a positive intent…they must be aware of unconscious bias and neutralize it.
  • Individuals own their career…role models, allies, mentors, leaders and Vodafone can inspire support.
  • Appointments are always based on merit, with equal pay and without discrimination.

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