Chief Executive Foreward

Nick Read

At Vodafone, it is important to us that our global workforce reflects the customers we serve and the societies within which we operate. 

Our long-term ambition is to become widely recognised as the world’s best employer for women and we want women to thrive in their careers throughout Vodafone. Our goal is that by 2030, 40% of management and leadership roles will be held by women. In 2021, we stand at 31.5%. 

In the UK, women constitute 36% of our c.14,500 strong workforce. This year our mean gender pay gap was calculated as 9.6% (a decrease from our 2020 figure of 12.0%). Our median gender pay gap was calculated as 12.4% (a decrease from our 2020 figure of 16.8%). Both metrics show that the average hourly pay for female employees is lower than the average hourly pay for male employees. This is primarily a consequence of more men than women holding senior or specialist, and therefore higher-paid, roles. 

We regularly review our progress and focus on those areas where we need to do better. We have introduced global policies and programmes this year to ensure we are creating an inclusive culture. In addition to our global parental leave, our ReConnect returner programme and our Global Domestic Violence policy, we have introduced hybrid working supporting a blend of office and remote working with flexible working. Our withstander training programme has launched, supporting employees in building skills to challenge inappropriate behaviour. 

We have also introduced menopause support, including training and an employee network to address the stigma of hormonal and life changes highlighted by our global menopause research as a barrier to thriving in the workplace. All of these initiatives aim to support the retention of women in our business as well as enable progression into more senior roles. We also continually support all our leaders to recognise unconscious bias in decision making and build inclusion as a core part of leadership development. 

We recognise that gender imbalance across organisations reflects both external and internal factors, such as the under-representation of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) industries. Vodafone offers mentoring and work experience programmes to inspire female students to explore the range of STEM-related career options available. 

Vodafone has made significant progress over the last five years with the 2020 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index recognising Vodafone as one of the top companies globally in leading the way towards more equal, inclusive workplaces. We are proud of the progress we are making but recognise there is more to be done. You can find out more about our initiatives, case studies and key statistics on our dedicated UK Gender Pay Gap webpage.