15. 09. 2017 Corporate responsibility

Being the best employer for women means being the best employer for everyone

Karina Govindji, a global leader for Diversity & Inclusion programmes in Vodafone, will talk at the CEE CSR Summit 2017

In the CEE region, one can find many (also large) companies´ representatives whose reaction on the Diversity & Inclusion is: „We do not pay any special attention to this topic, as there is no problem in our company in this regard.“ What would be your message for them?

At Vodafone we want to attract and retain top talents and to do this we believe special attention on diversity is needed. In our experience, until companies are at 50 % representation of women, including at senior levels, and having reached representation of LGBT+ and ethnicity relative to the population, a continued focus on this area is needed.

There are various topics hidden under the D&I agenda – women career development , age diversity, LGBT or employing disabled… How to manage such a diverse agenda effectively?

Focusing on inclusion supports all areas of diversity as it creates a culture where everyone wants to belong. A focus on any one diversity area will provide benefits for others, e.g. flexible working helps attract women, however, both genders use it equally. LGBT+ community benefits from women specific focused agendas and vice a versa. Progress in any one of these diversity areas will propel progress in other areas and make your company a better place to work. We also need to acknowledge unseen types of diversity – e.g. diversity of thought as well as the traditional forms of diversity.

Vodafone has been internationally acclaimed for its Global Maternity Policy. What does it consist of? And, let´s be practical, does it pay off to the company?

Our leading Global Maternity Policy enables all women working for Vodafone, whether in India, America, Africa or Europe, to a minimum of 16 weeks paid maternity leave (in many countries it is already significantly more than this, so this is just a minimum requirement) and has a return to work transition, so for the first 6 months after returning from maternity leave, women can work 4 days and be paid 5.

Vodafone´s intention by 2025 is to become the best employer of women in the world. Why this is so important to your company?

Being the best employer for women is a key part of our strategy – and being the best employer for women means being the best employer for everyone.

From your personal point of view, what is the most important thing a working mother needs from her employer?

As a working mother, I am always looking for a work environment that values my contribution and performance and enables me to integrate work and life – flexibility is an important part of this. I also believe in working in an open and friendly culture where experiences can be shared and you can bring your whole self to work.

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