The Times Top 50 Employers for Women list, compiled in partnership with Business in the Community, is the longest running – and most widely respected – award for employers committed to achieving gender equality at work.
Charlotte Woodworth, Gender Equality Campaign Director at Business in the Community, said: “This year marks 10 years of the awards, and the bar was especially high.
“A decade of expertise and experience underpins Business In the Community’s assessment, which sees organisations reviewed across a wide range of areas including transparency around pay practices, family friendly policies, and to what extent the gender equality agenda is embedded into wider strategy.”
Vodafone’s global aim
Vodafone’s goal is to become the best employer for women in the world by 2025. Last year, Helen Lamprell, General Counsel & External Affairs Director, Vodafone UK, said: “We’re on the right track. We aim to support women at every stage of their professional lives – in the workplace, and before starting a career as well.”
The aim of the telecoms company is to connect 50 million women living in emerging markets to help improve their lives, as well as reconnecting women back into work.
As part of this ambition, Vodafone set a revised global target for women to hold 45% of management and leadership roles by 2030.
As of 31 March 2020, women held 31% of management and leadership roles across the markets Vodafone operates in. And Vodafone UK’s board, below chief executive level, is equally split between men and women.
Late last year, Vodafone also announced that all employees worldwide will be offered 16 weeks of fully-paid parental leave. This new initiative gives parents the opportunity to spend more time with their new child, as well as giving their partners some relief.
How Vodafone is helping women
The ReConnect programme, which Vodafone launched in 2018, is designed to help professional women who have taken a career break get back into work.
The scheme includes training and coaching to refresh and enhance returning professionals’ skills – helping them progress further in their careers. Those who join Vodafone are also offered flexible working options and a phased return to work.
Last year, Vodafone launched an internal Domestic Abuse Policy that supports employees experiencing domestic abuse by providing support, guidance and paid safe leave.
Victims are encouraged to speak to their managers and can record any leave they take as a result as generic annual leave to ensure confidentiality. This leave is not deducted from their annual leave entitlement.
Feedback from employees has been positive – the move has helped managers to understand what they can pro-actively do to support their team members in difficult situations.
Encouraging girls from a young age
Over recent years, Vodafone has also been on a mission to tackle the lack of girls taking science, technology, enginering and maths (STEM) subjects in school or college. Since its launch in 2017, Vodafone’s #CodeLikeAGirl programme has reached more than 3,000 girls in 23 markets.
As part of the programme, Vodafone offers girls aged 14–18 a one-week digital course where they learn to code a website.
Vodafone has also made a firm commitment to champion the education of refugee girls through an innovative Instant Network Schools program that has given over 83,500 young refugee students access to a quality digital education.
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