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On 9 August, we are celebrating Women's Day, and the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Vodacom and Vodafone are renewing their commitment to gender equality by launching a powerful campaign under the banner #ConnectedSheCan.
The campaign targets a broad spectrum of women who face a range of challenges around work. For many women, returning to work after a career break or pregnancy is challenging and companies can do more to ease this transition back into a career. For many other women, a lack of access to technology means they have fewer opportunities. #ConnectedSheCan shows what women are capable of when these boundaries are removed.
ReConnect aims to remove the boundaries that prevent experienced women from re-entering the workforce after a career break, encouraging companies to put schemes in place to make it easier for women to return to work.
ReConnect aims to provide 50-million women in developing countries with phones and access to technology, which will help them start businesses, access information to further their careers and access healthcare.
Vodacom’s commitment to gender diversity
Vodacom is also committed to providing an equal workplace for women. The Women’s Network Forum mentorship programme promotes female leadership and promotion. Female executives at Vodacom take on the role of mentors to high-potential women in junior management roles. The mentees are taken through a mentorship programme for leaders at Wits Business School.
The forum serves as an important platform to engage with women on advancing the gender equality plan within the company, and it keeps Vodacom accountable on its targets for an equitable workplace. Various factors have an impact on gender diversity, and the Women’s Network Forum provides an open and transparent space for conversations about achieving as well as ensuring there is an open and transparent conversation about the barriers to gender equality.
Currently, 43% of Vodacom’s workforce is female. In the last year, promotions of female employees rose by 9%, while 17% of the executive workforce is female. Vodacom’s working policies also allow women more flexibility around maternity leave and returning to work.
We are winners
The Gender Mainstreaming categories won in the Private Sector Awards were:
- Winner of Women on Boards
- Winner of Disability
- Winner of Diversity and Transformation
- Joint Second Finalist - Women Empowerment in the workplace
- Second Finalist – Empowerment of Women in the Community
- Second finalist in Equal Representation and Participation
- Overall Gender Mainstreaming Champions 2016 - Vodacom