Viewpoint | 09 Dec 2021

Racial equality at work: ‘We need to reach higher’

Ensuring representation of Vodafone leaders from black and other ethnically underrepresented groups not only makes business sense – it’s the right thing to do, argues Clare Corkish, Vodafone's UK Director of Human Resources.

On the journey towards a more equal and just workplace, we must be honest about where we are now, and about how much work we still have to do.

This is why today we’re making a new commitment to increase the number of people from ethnically underrepresented backgrounds in leadership positions here at Vodafone UK.

By 2025, 20% of UK-based senior management will be from ethnically underrepresented backgrounds – 4% of whom will be black. These figures are currently 16% and 1% respectively.

Over many months we have immersed ourselves in listening, raising awareness and understanding our current representation, so setting these targets is a natural next step on our journey.

And these targets have been set not only with an eye on the UK’s demographics, but with the involvement of Vodafone’s Black Professionals and Multicultural Inclusion employee networks. We are aware that black communities are especially underrepresented – and this is why there’s a specific target for black leaders.

This isn’t about chasing numbers or ticking boxes. When people from marginalised backgrounds have opportunity, visibility and allyship at work, it’s tremendously beneficial for all involved.  Representing and mirroring the communities we serve, so as to meet their needs better, is also key to this initiative.

These UK targets are part of Vodafone Group’s wider Race, Ethnicity and Cultural Heritage (REACH) plan. Other elements already underway include allyship training and education on how to talk about race for every employee; mentoring; reviewing all steps of our attraction and selection processes; and holding our suppliers and contractors to account.

As a technology communications company, Vodafone builds the infrastructure, services and products of the future – but there can be no future without inclusion for all. This is core to our purpose as a company.

Reaching a brighter, more equitable workplace cannot wait. We must change faster, and we must do so now.

For more information about Vodafone Group’s REACH targets, click here.


Stay up-to-date with the very latest news from Vodafone by following us on Twitter and signing up for News Centre website notifications.