The programme aims to place 1,000 women in either full or part time roles within the next three years
Vodafone has today (March 30) launched two campaigns as part of what it claims to be the ‘world’s largest recruitment drive.’
The first campaign is designed to increase work opportunities for woman who have either a lack of professional contacts or outdated skills because of a career break. Called the ‘ReConnect’ programme, it will operate across 26 countries, including Egypt, Germany, Ghana, Greece and the UK. Vodafone has set a target of placing 1,000 women on the programme either in full or part time roles within the next three years. Managerial and frontline opportunities will be split evenly between the 1,000 recruits,
Major features of the programme include training and induction to help women re-enter a working environment and flexible working options. Those on the programme can also choose a phased return to work, such as a four-day week for the first six months of employment.
According to research commissioned by Vodafone from KPMG, there are an estimated 96 million skilled women aged between 30 and 54 on career breaks worldwide. Around 55 million have experience at middle-manager level or above. The operator claimed the economic value of placing these women into manager-level positions would contribute £151 billion to the global economy each year,
A separate study was commissioned for the operator for GfK, which included a sample of 500 women across five countries on career breaks. More than 80 per cent of respondents claimed more support is needed for women who want to return to the workplace.
Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said: “We are committed to ensuring that our employees are drawn from diverse communities and societies. Our ambition to be one of the best employers for women in the world is central to that commitment. Companies often struggle to recruit and retain women in management and leadership roles. Innovations such as our global maternity policy and now our new ReConnect programme can make a real difference to women who work for us today and who will work for us in the future.”
The second campaign’s aim is to help women in emerging markets – such as India and Africa, gain access to mobile phones which can help improve their lives. Vodafone claims even access to basic voice and SMS services can have a transformative effect for hundreds of millions in emerging markets, enhancing their education, health and business opportunities. Women in emerging markets are 14 per cent less like to own a mobile phone than men, claimed Vodafone. It aims to bring mobile devices to 50 million women by 2025.
Vodafone Group chief commercial operations and strategy officer Serpil Timuray said: “When you put a mobile phone in a woman’s hand for the first time, you change her life forever. Mobile enables women to learn about the world around them, build a business, help educate themselves and their children, get access to healthcare advice and support and achieve financial security in countries with limited conventional banking services. We believe Vodafone has a powerful role to play in helping women everywhere achieve their full potential.”