Chief Executive Foreward

Nick Read

At Vodafone, diversity and inclusion are core to who we are, reinforcing our ambition to be a company whose global workforce reflects the customers we serve and the broader societies within which we operate. Our strong history of being pioneers in policies relating to domestic violence and abuse, flexible working, maternity and parental leave policies are key enablers to our long-term ambition to be recognised as the world’s best employer for women by 2025. 

Our goal for women to hold 40% of our management and leadership roles by 2030 is already reflected at Board level, demonstrating our senior commitment towards this ambition. Globally, women hold over 31% of our management and leadership roles.  

In the UK, women constitute 36% of our c.15,000 strong workforce and this year our mean gender pay gap was calculated as 12.0% (a slight increase from our 2019 figure of 10.9% but below our 2018 figure of 16.1%). Our median gender pay gap was calculated as 16.8% (a decrease from our 2019 figure of 19.1%). Both metrics show that the average hourly pay for female employees continues to be 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.  

The nature of the statutory calculation means the gap will fluctuate year on year, influenced by changes in our business structure, company performance and the percentage of men and women at all levels and positions. With our commitment to embed an inclusive culture, we continue our work to reduce the gap and have made good progress since the publication of the first report in 2017.  

To meet our ambition to become the world’s best employer for women we have a number of programmes in place. These include global parental leave, which supports families to share caring responsibilities in the home, flexible working policies, our Domestic Violence and Abuse policy, and our ReConnect programme.  

Targets regarding women in management have also been embedded as part of broader Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) measures in our Long-Term Incentive Plans for 2020 for our Executive Committee and Senior Leadership Team. Our transparent reward policies and processes are underpinned by our Fair Pay Principles. Further details of our Fair Pay Principles and our reward policies and processes can be found on our UK Gender Pay Gap webpage. 

We also recognise that gender imbalance across organisations reflects the ongoing challenge of the under-representation of women working in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) sectors. We continue to support female students to recognise the range of STEM-related options available to them such as with our #Codelikeagirl initiative which has reached over 3,500 female students since 2017. 

We are proud to be recognised by the 2021 Bloomberg Gender-Equality Index and the 2020 Refinitiv Diversity and Inclusion Index as one of the top companies globally leading the way towards more equal, inclusive workplaces. While we have made progress, we are committed to doing more.