This week mark’s International Women’s Week, a global week to celebrate the economic, political, and social achievements of women. It’s a time to understand the road that women have traveled to try to gain equality rights throughout the world, but it is also a time to discuss the fact that there is still work to be done. In fact, the World Economic Forum predicts that a slowdown in the already glacial pace of progress meant the gender gap wouldn’t close entirely until 2133.
Vodafone Americas is committed to helping close the gender gap and is working with the Vodafone Americas Foundation to celebrate women across the country. This week, there will be a number of initiatives for Vodafone employees to get involved to discuss and focus on women’s equality.
Red Shoes Tuesday
Vodafone is encouraging employees to join in the nationwide movement of wearing red shoes or ties on Tuesday, March 8th, to show support for women’s career growth and continue the conversation about gender parity. In addition to wearing red to raise awareness, Vodafone will raise money for Dress for Success (DFS), an organization that promotes the economic independence of women by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development opportunities.
The Unconscious Bias
Diversity and inclusion is integral to how we relate to our communities and of course, to each other as colleagues in the workplace. Vodafone is working to drive an inclusive culture that enables the ability to value difference among employees. In honor of International Women’s Week, Vodafone employees will be invited to join interactive discussions around the unconscious bias that women may face – what it is, why we have it and why it is important to do something about it. It’s these types of issues that women face every day that need to be acknowledged and discussed.
Empowering Women & Girls through Technology
In addition to empowering employees to celebrate International Women’s Week, Vodafone Americas and Vodafone Americas Foundation have taken steps to support women and girls beyond just one week.
Last week, the Vodafone Americas Foundation announced a new initiative to empower women and girls through technology. The new focus area will provide grants and additional support to technology-driven programs designed to strengthen the stance of women and girls. By adding this initiative to its three original priorities – spark innovation, improve lives, and strengthen the global development sector – the Vodafone Americas Foundation will support programs designed to enable and empower women and girls through the advantages of technology.
These initiatives under the Vodafone Americas Foundation’s new empowering women priority joins a larger Vodafone commitment to promote women within technology. In 2015, Vodafone became one of the first organizations in the world to define a mandatory minimum maternity benefits standard. The company also committed to increasing the number of women in leadership roles within its company to 30 percent.
Happy International Women’s Week!