New Delhi: Telecom giant Vodafone has launched a programme ‘ReConnect’ to bring on board women professionals on a career break across 26 countries.The UK-based operator has also announced a slew of new commercial initiatives to help women in low-income and remote communities in emerging markets, particularly India and Africa, benefit from mobile phones.
“The Vodafone ReConnect programme is designed to attract talented women who have left the workplace for several years (in most cases to raise a family) who would like to return to work on a full-time or flexible basis but are struggling to make the professional connections needed or refresh the skills required,” it added. The programme will operate across 26 countries with a target of 1,000 ReConnect recruits within three years, it added.
“Under the ReConnect programme, up to 500 women on career breaks will be recruited into management roles over the next three years, accounting for around 10 per cent of all Vodafone external management hires over that period,” it said.
In addition, Vodafone will recruit up to 500 women on career breaks for a range of frontline roles, it added.
According to a research commissioned by Vodafone, there are an estimated 96 million skilled women aged 30-54 on career breaks worldwide, of whom an estimated 55 million have experience at middle-manager level and above.
If all such women globally were able to secure manager- level employment (assuming their recruitment did not lead to displacement of other employees), the associated value of additional economic activity generated could be in the region of GBP 151 billion per year.
The ReConnect programme will include recruitment outreach activities, training and induction programmes, unconscious bias training for hiring managers; and employment terms like flexible working options and a phased return to work.
“Our ambition to be one of the best employers for women in the world is central to that commitment. 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,” Vodafone Group Chief Executive Officer Vittorio Colao said.