International Womens Day Roundel International Womens Day Roundel

International Women’s Day
with Vodafone

Over £400 billion extra a year could flow into household income globally if all women on career breaks, at middle-manager level and above, came back into the workforce, according to KPMG research that we commissioned.  

There are an estimated 55 million such women. We want to help them to succeed, and have launched the world’s largest recruitment programme for women on career breaks, coinciding with International Women’s Day on 8 March 2017 (#BeBoldForChange).

We’ll be recruiting 1,000 talented women on career breaks into management roles over the next three years, under the Vodafone ReConnect programme. As our video explains, there are around 96 million skilled women aged 30-54 on career breaks worldwide, of whom 55 million have middle management experience – a huge pool of potential.

Connecting for change

At the same time we’ve announced our Connect commitment, which aims to provide 50 million women in developing countries with phones and access to technology which can help them start businesses or further their careers, and access healthcare.

Two women speaking at a counter  
Two women speaking at a counter

ReConnect for women returning to work

The Vodafone ReConnect programme is designed to attract talented women who have left the workplace for several years (in most cases to raise a family), and would like to return to work, either full-time or flexibly. Over 80% of respondents to a survey done for us by GfK said they needed more support to return, with many struggling to make the professional connections needed, or bring their skills up to date.

The ReConnect programme aims to recruit 1,000 women in the 26 countries where Vodafone operates, within three years. Half of them will take up management and leadership roles – accounting for around 10% of all Vodafone external management hires over the three years of ReConnect. The other half will go into a range of frontline roles.

ReConnect complements other Vodafone global initiatives focused on encouraging and supporting women in the workplace, including our ground-breaking global maternity policy announced in March 2015. 

More information about ReConnect, and details of the KPMG research and GfK survey, can be found in our media release.

Register for ReConnect

Lady using a phone

Connecting an extra 50 million women by 2025

Women in developing economies are on average 14% less likely to own a mobile phone than men – a far wider gender gap than in the developed world.

We analysed the root causes of this gender gap, country by country, and have developed commercial programmes to address the economic and cultural barriers. Our plan is to bring mobile technology to an additional 50 -million women by 2025 – #ConnectedSheCan. We’ll build on our existing initiatives such as Vodafone Turkey’s Women First programme, which connects more than 640,000 women entrepreneurs and small business owners – many of them in rural areas – with markets and customers.

10 years ago we launched our M-Pesa mobile money service. It’s used by more than 11 million women, who would otherwise be excluded from conventional banking services, for a wide range of transactions, micro-loans and savings and insurance products. 

Lady using a phone