We’re championing equality

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Business is a driving force in the push for equality

2018 has been a big year for women’s rights. #MeToo coincided with 100 years since British women won the right to vote, sparking global debate and putting gender inequality firmly back in the spotlight. 

Gender is not the only dividing line in the push for equality. Race, ethnicity and sexuality still influence the type of experiences and opportunities people have in life and work.

We believe business is an important driving force in the push for equality. Millions of people connect with our business every day and this gives us a great opportunity to encourage change. This starts within Vodafone, with our employees. We then use our people, products and brand to champion equality within society. 

Download Championing Equality [PDF:1.2MB]

Helping women break through the glass ceiling

Gender inequality plays out most noticeably in work, at senior levels. There’s about half as many women are in top positions as men, as women often leave to have children and returning can be hard.  

ReConnect is helping women push through this glass ceiling. It’s the world’s largest programme to get people back to work after a career break. From India to Ghana, to the UK, it’s running in all our markets and we plan to recruit 1,000 people via ReConnect by 2020. 

Most (80%) ReConnectors are women and we focus on recruiting senior people to improve the gender balance at the top of our business. We’re also sharing our experience of ReConnect with suppliers and customers to address the gender gap in business more broadly.  

Find out about ReConnect 

Inspiring the next generation of women into our industry

Telecommunications, like many STEM industries, tends to be male dominated. For every 100 men in STEM careers, there’s only 13 women.

To inspire the next generation of female talent into our industry, we launched Code Like a Girl. This one-week immersive workshop helps girls (14-18 years) learn basic digital skills, including how to code a website.

So far, around 162 girls have completed the training in the UK and over 600 globally. The programme is running in 18 countries in Europe, India and Middle East with around 1,000 girls set to benefit by the end of 2018. 

Flying the LGBT+ flag

We stand in solidarity with the LGBT+ community, and proudly fly the flag at Pride festivals each year. We’re a Stonewall top 100 LGBT+ inclusive organisation (#19 in 2020) and a Stonewall top global employer.

Our research found that over half of people (58%) don’t feel they can be open about their sexuality at work. So, we’ve added training for managers and a buddy scheme to our LGBT+ Friends Connect program. Read our report
 

Our LGBT+ Friends Network was Stonewall’s top LGBT+ network of 2018.

Helping people at risk of domestic abuse

In the UK, one in four women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Men are also victims and it affects every aspect of a person's life, including their children. It's happening everyday but most people don't know how to deal with it.

The Vodafone Foundation (UK registered charity 108962) has been working with domestic violence charity, Hestia, to create the Bright Sky app for people in abusive relationships, or concerned friends or family. The app helps users work out how safe their situation is and links them to specialist services to get help. Find out more about Bright Sky or download it at the Apple App Store and Google Play Store

The Bright Sky app follows years of work developing TecSOS - a mobile device that connects people at the highest risk of abuse directly to the police. Find out more about TecSOS