Vodafone launches programme to attract and support LGBT+ talent

Vodafone strengthens brand as an inclusive employer

Vodafone strengthens brand as an inclusive employer

Vodafone understands that diversity is the lifeblood of their business. And, to ensure they are attracting the best possible talent, global household brands, such as Vodafone, need to be constantly searching for fresh, innovative voices to add to their global talent pool. However, the company is also aware that the younger LGBT+ community is concerned they will face discrimination at work and therefore may eel uncomfortable in the surroundings of employment. That's why Vodafone is once again raising the bar for LGBT+ colleagues and launching a multi-country programme that hopes to attract, support and retain the best talent from around the world. As background, Vodafone comissioned new international research by Out Now - and the findings were insightful. 

Vodafone supports LGBT talent

Hiring and supporting LGBT+ people in their first jobs

More than half (58%) of young LGBT+ people are not open about their sexual orientation or gender identity at work because they worry they will face discrimination from managers and colleagues, with 1 in 3 (31%) LGBT+ people admitting they went ‘back into the closet’ when they started their first job. This figure rises to 41% among 18-25-year-olds.

The Vodafone/Out Now research also found that over half (51%) of those surveyed said that they were ‘not out at all’ to their direct manager in their first job, and 37% were not out at all to their colleagues. These figures fall to 13% and 8% respectively in their current jobs, highlighting the need for more support when young people first start work. 

This extensive research, along with insights gathered from current LGBT+ employees at Vodafone, has informed a new multi-country programme at Vodafone ‘LGBT+ and Friends Connect’, which is aimed at hiring and supporting LGBT+ people in their first jobs and providing training for managers.

As a Stonewall UK Top 100 employer, Vodafone is incredibly proud of their LGBT+ & Friends network, which has been awarded Network of the Year. 

A culture that embraces everyone

Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said: “I am saddened that so many young LGBT+ people feel they still have to hide their status in the workplace. We are committed to creating a culture at Vodafone that embraces everyone for who they are, inclusive of sexual orientation and gender identity.

“Training for employees at all levels and visible signs of support through programmes like ours can make a real difference, and help to attract and retain a talented, diverse and productive workforce. The programme offers specific support for people starting their first job, which our research shows can be a particularly challenging experience for young LGBT+ people.  We are also encouraging all employees to educate themselves and support LGBT+ colleagues to help create a truly inclusive workplace.”

Vodafone has a zero-tolerance stance on homophobic, biphobic and transphobic discrimination, and works closely with leading diversity and inclusion NGOs on the development of materials and programmes for each of its local and international initiatives.

 To help create a culture where employees can be open about their sexual orientation and gender identity, Vodafone is launching:

  • LGBT+ inclusive messaging on Vodafone job adverts and career channels
  • A global ’buddying’ programme for LGBT+ graduates;
  • A refreshed Code of Conduct which will support LGBT+ inclusivity;
  • Graduate, induction and leadership training programmes to support, retain and help attract LGBT+ employees;
  • Toolkit for managers to create an LGBT+ inclusive workplace and
  •  An interactive learning programme for ally accreditation.

Vodafone diversity LGBTIQ

Encouraging women to thrive

Women are also high on the Vodafone recruitment and retention agenda, with tonnes of support for women to build exciting and challenging careers across multiple disciplines. From apprentices right at the very start of their journey to more experienced women who are seeking reintegration back into the professional world

Vodafone's transparent targets to encourage more women into senior roles across the business includes continual unconscious bias training, a focus on 'de-biasing' recruitment processes, and encouraging at least 50% of women into high potential leadership training programmes. These, among other impressive initiatives — including a pioneering maternity leave policy and industry-leading returners programme, as well as training to enhance women and girls careers in STEM subjects — place Vodafone at the forefront of the market when it comes to women choosing the best career options to fit their personal circumstances. 

Vodafone recruits LGBT talent

An exciting career path at Vodafone 

Vodafone is arguably one of the biggest household brands in the world today, and a superb choice for women who are seeking an inclusive, progressive employer. Women, LGBT+ colleagues, and people of diversity around the world are thriving in their careers at Vodafone — you can too! Search and apply for your next career move, today. 


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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