Vodafone diversity

Vodafone has been on an almost 10-year journey to make the company more inclusive and diverse.

The telecoms giant began to prioritise diversity in 2008, when Vittorio Colao took the helm as global CEO. He first decided to focus on improving working conditions for female employees, as he wanted to make the company a more attractive place to work for women.

That work has included rolling out a global maternity policy across all its markets, including a minimum of 16 weeks fully-paid maternity leave. New mothers returning to work are offered a 30-hour week on full pay for the first six months.

Vodafone has also launched what it claims is the world’s biggest programme to recruit women who have taken a career break, with plans to hire 1,000 people worldwide over three years — half in frontline roles such as call centres and shops and the other half in managerial positions. The aim is to tap into a deep pool of skilled workers who are trying to return to work after up to a decade out of the workplace.

“We don’t take diversity lightly. We don’t just talk about it, we look at policies. We also look at employee education, senior sponsorship, as well as our customers and the role it can play in our advertising,” Sharon Doherty, global organisation and people development director at Vodafone, tells Marketing Week.

Furthering its global inclusion agenda

Having initially focused on the experience of women in the workforce, Vodafone is now looking to further global inclusion agenda by supporting the LGBT+ community. It has decided that rather than it being a local issue, this is something it wants to have a point of view on globally and is rethinking its advertising with this in mind.

Working with its LGBT+ consumers, it has created inclusive advertising campaigns in various European markets. In Italy, one ad…