Vodafone LGBT+ Friends Network
The LGBT + Friends Network works to connect and support our people on lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT+) matters, whatever their background and wherever they are. It’s also helping to champion inclusion and celebrate diversity at work and in the community – all part of our approach to support our people to be at their best and have a great experience working here.
Our Network is open to everyone, whether they identify as LGBT+ themselves or not and supports all employees who may need advice or guidance. It’s a place where anyone can play a part in making a positive difference to our workplace, to our customers and to the communities we’re part of.
In 2018 the Vodafone LGBT + Friends Network was recognised by Stonewall as ‘Best Employee Network in the UK’. Recognition of both the passion and energy our people bring to inclusion and the way in which the Network partners with business leaders to change the way we do things to become even more inclusive.
Our Network has actively worked with our customer teams to ensure the way we work with customers is truly inclusive. We’ve also had a lot of fun at Pride events up and down the country! More than 100+ Retail stores took part in local pride celebrations and we have actively been at Stoke, Brighton, London, Manchester, Sparkle Glasgow and Lincoln Pride this year.
In partnership with OutNow we published multi-country and multi-sector research into the experience young LGBT+ people have when they start work. Results show that more than 41% of 18-25 year olds who were open about their sexual orientation or gender identity at University or College hide their identity when they start work. We want everyone who works for Vodafone to be their best self and feel that they can belong.
This is why we offer all graduates an LGBT+ buddy when they join. We also encourage all employees to become an accredited Friend of LGBT+.
In 2018, Vodafone UK was ranked no.42 on the UK Stonewall Workplace Equality Index. Internationally we are a Top 13 International LGBT+ employer as recognise by Stonewall. We have a zero tolerance approach to homophobic, biphobic and transphobic behaviour and encourage all our employees to be visible Friends, Allies and Supporters.
We’re proud of our LGBT + Friends Network.
We're delighted to say that all new global graduates will now be offered an LGBT+ buddy. If you're joining Vodafone, look out for this in your offer letter!
This year, Vodafone were proud to be the wristband sponsors for the biggest Gay Pride in the UK; Brighton Pride.
Jason Nicholson, Brighton Store Manager: “Each year the entirety of Brighton (and most other cities in the south) get together to celebrate equality and inclusion in the form of a wonderfully colourful, exciting and utterly fabulous Pride Festival. Brighton has always been a city at the forefront of inclusion and for years we have wanted to show our support by having some sort of involvement in the Pride Festival, this year our wish has come true and we are extremely proud to be able to fly the rainbow flag in our Vodafone colours. To us Brighton Pride isn’t just about the LGBT+ community, it’s about bringing everyone together in peace, love and harmony.”
VOXI marched at London Pride with over 100 of our employees leading the march. VOXI aims to give young people a platform to express themselves via endless social media and we're proud to celebrate diversity and inclusion alongside them. The VOXI concept for Pride is “Endless love”, the modification of VOXI’s strapline “Endless possibilities” - Love takes different shapes and forms, it means different things for all of us and the opportunities are endless.
Pride in a box:
This year we have provided over 70 of our Retail Stores with a “Pride in A Box” containing T-shirts, flags, bunting and balloons to enable them to “Pride Up” their stores to really get involved with their local pride activities.
Putting the LGBT+ in Care
Continuing on from the story above Cat talks about how her & the team launched a new process to support our transgender customers in getting the proof they need to support their application for a Gender Recognition Certificate.