International Women’s Week celebrations at Vodafone India from March 5-March 13, 2015

vodafoneVodafone India’s customer mix is reflecting 33% of women. Our endeavour is to have our employee base & larger leadership teams reflect the proportion of women in our customer base. This makes having a diverse workforce a strategic business imperative for us. The number of women being hired is progressively increasing over the years. About a year & a half ago, the gender diversity ratio was at 14% – which now stands at 20%.

It has been a conscious effort by Vodafone India over the years to build an inclusive work environment such that diversity flourishes. One of the ways in which this is demonstrated is by celebrating International Women’s Day.

This year, in line with the Group, Vodafone India will be undertaking week long celebrations from March 5-13, 2015 to acknowledge women & their contribution to our world, society & organisation

The entire week will be celebrated with varied events focusing around the theme of 4 Cs (Customer, Colleagues, Communication, and Communities).

4C is Vodafone’s global model of Diversity & Inclusion.

Some of these events include:

  • Messages from SLT(Senior Leadership Team) to employees
  • Inspirational speaker sessions
  • Power hour on Inclusive behaviours for people managers
  • CEO/Lunches/ Breakfast with front line women
  • Mpowering women with Mpesa – A Customer event
  • Bundi March  – A community event


Activities undertaken by Vodafone India for the weeklong celebration:

  1. Video Address from Marten Pieters, MD & CEO, Vodafone India
  • The celebrations will kick-start on March 5, 2015 with a video message by Marten for all women employees. Marten is his address shares his views on the significance of International Women’s Day and the journey that Vodafone has traversed in the last few years.


  1. Global Webinar on March 9
  • All employees to wear RED with pride to celebrate the spirit of women!
  • A global video conference for all employees will be hosted by Vodafone Group Plc inviting all markets to participate.
  • The conference will be hosted by Vittorio Colao – Group CEO, Serpil Timuray – Regional CEO for Africa, Middle East, Asia Pacific and Sharon Doherty – Group Talent and Capability Director. Sunil Sood Chief Operating Officer and MD& CEO Designate, Vodafone India shall represent India in this discussion.
  • The panel will reflect on the Diversity and Inclusion achievements so far, discus priorities for the year ahead and also hear from some CEO’s and senior leadership teams from around the world.



  1. Announcement of the New Policy for Women
  • On March 10, Ashok Ramchandran, Director Human Resources will announce a new policy for women
  • This is a bold global step by Vodafone India as a company to signal how serious we are about attracting and retaining women in the company and supporting them through this important life stage.
  • Details to be made available shortly.


  1. Power Hour – Panel Discussion with Senior Leadership and External Speaker
  • “Power Hour” is a panel discussion on creating inclusive workplace organised for the very first time by Vodafone India
  • At the corporate level, on the panel will be Ashok Ramchandran, Director –HR, Naveen Chopra, Director –Vodafone Business Services and COO Designate, Preeti Sadarangani, Senior Vice President –Internal Audit along with Nirmala Menon, Partner – Interweave, Diversity Partner for Vodafone India
  • This panel discussion will be attended by Operations Directors, Business Heads & VIN (Vodafone Inclusivity Network) members.
  • At the circle level, “Power Hour” will be replicated to cover other line managers.
  • So in a nut shell, through this session, Vodafone will try and address unconscious bias such that we become a more inclusive workplace and continue to be a Great Place to work for women as much for men!
  • The objective is to sensitize the managers on how to avoid making gender sensitive interactions consciously or unconsciously


  1.  “Special Women in my life”
  • Vodafone Employees will be given a gift which they will in turn present to important women in their lives, thanking them for creating an impact


  1. M-Powering with M-Pesa
  • As part of the initiative, Vodafone will organize 3-6 days education camp in community slums of Bangalore to teach women, working as domestic help or small business like Vada Pao stalls, the importance of financial saving and how they can save using the M-Pesa mobile wallet


  1. Bundi March on March 13
  • In an attempt to raise awareness about women education, Vodafone employees will orgainse a ‘Bundi March’ in select circles.
  • The march will include 6-10 girls from the underprivileged section of the society dressed in school uniforms, marching through a pre decided route in the office premises, led by the Fundraising Champion of the respective circle.

Vodafone’s Diversity Journey:


  • Vodafone India has undertaken multiple initiatives to strengthen Diversity and Inclusion within its workplace.
  • As of today Vodafone has 20 % women in the organisation and are looking at increasing it to 30% in the coming years.
  • Vodafone’s  customer base comprises of 33% women


Innovative Policies to Induce Greater Diversity and Inclusion in Workforce

–          “Pathways to success” career development seriesto enable women managers take charge of their own careers and to develop into leadership roles.

–          Customized induction program and structured projects before giving them the role as soon as one becomes available.

–          Reciprocal mentoring for women talent on succession plans and for management trainees

–          Maternity transitioning process for women / line managers

–          Policies – flexi-work, home-based work, extended paid maternity leave, aligning sales incentive plans, prevention of sexual harassment policy.

–          Inclusive behaviours for people managers – Promoting Diversity

Circle wise Diversity Targets – Leading to better accountability and focus at various implementation.



  • Overall diversity(%) – Moved from 14% in 2013 to 20% in 2015 , a significant jump of 6% + in just 2 years

o    F Band (General Managers, Head and Associate Vice President): 14% , E Band (Vice President, Sr. Vice President, Executive Vice President): 8%  as on date

  • Female Zonal Managers: From 1 ZM in 2013  to 17 Zonal Managers today
  • Discover Graduates hires : Now stand at close to 50%   vs 38% in 2013
  • 21 F Band & above  women hired in FY15


Other Initiatives undertaken by Vodafone for Women Empowerment:

  1. Angel Stores: (all women stores)
  • Vodafone ‘Angel Stores’ in India are managed and run entirely by women employees. Women also run services like security, pantry, customer service and management.
  • This initiative is in line with Vodafone’s endeavour of encouraging diversity and inclusion at workplace.
  • Vodafone currently has 34 Angel Stores across 22 circles


  1. Project Samridhi
  • Project Samridhi is a first-of-its-kind initiative in the telecom industry – that employed women from the lowest echelons of the society as entrepreneurs, encouraging them to earn a living by selling Vodafone recharge coupons and e-top ups
  • Till date (over 120) women have been trained under this project


  1. Red Rickshaw Revolution 1
  • The Red rickshaw Revolution (RRR) is an initiative launched by the Vodafone Foundation in India to empower women for social development in India.
  • The Red rickshaw, which departed with three women on 9 March2013 , passed through cities like Alwar, Jaipur, Ajmer, Rajsamand, Shamlaji, Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Daman and Mumbai.
  • The Revolution raised funds for three NGOs, Apne Aap Women’s Collective (AAWC), Breakthrough and Corp India.
  • The initiative was aimed to educate women about their rights, and share the stories of successful women.


  1. Launch of Women of Pure Wonder
  • The Red Rickshaw Revolution culminated in the launch of a coffee table book ‘Women of Pure Wonder’ – a book that chronicles the struggle, survival, success traces stories of women who were met during the journey
  • The Vodafone Foundation’s book, ‘Women of Pure Wonder’ chronicles the struggle, survival and ultimate success of sixty extraordinary women
  • Proceeds from the sale of the Women of Pure Wonder book were given to empower girl children through the Naz Foundation


  1. Red Rickshaw Revolution 2
  • Red Rickshaw Revolution 2 (RRR 2) is a flagship initiative of Vodafone Foundation in India that focuses on women empowerment. RRR 2 aims to replicate the spirit and mission of season 1 and build on the vision of empowering women of India.
  • RRR2 was a digital journey covering 10 identified locations across 7 states from West to East India.
  • The journey began on 28th November 2014 and ended on 16th December 2014 with a culmination event in Kolkata, West Bengal.
  • The journey featured inauguration of Digital Community Information Resource Centres (dCIRC) and felicitation of the identified woman sarpanch at these identified locations as part of an inauguration event.


  1. Launch of Women of Pure Strength
  • The Launch of Women of Pure Strength- Vodafone’s second coffee table book is the culmination event of the Red Rickshaw Revolution 2
  • Published by Roli books, the book chronicles stories of the women featured in the campaign, along with stories of other influential and extraordinary women leaders.
  • Women of Pure Strength focuses on women occupying leadership positions in different fields like social, government and business.


  1. Rural Distribution Network (RUDI)
  • Vodafone Foundation collaborated with the Cherie Blair Foundation, a London-based organisation with a global reach, to develop a mobile-based management solution for the Rural Distribution Network (RUDI) of Self Employed Women’s Association (SEWA).
  • This mobile solution was created with the aim to help women in the RUDI network in Gujarat to sell farm produce within their local communities and generate more business opportunities
  • Since its inception, this solution has delivered incredible results enabling these women entrepreneurs to become more efficient, increase their sales, and generate more money