Global telecoms giant Vodafone has been named as overall winner at the first Breaking the Mould Awards, which celebrates firms doing the most to promote women in the boardroom.
A citation from the organizers of the event, UK’s Financial Mail on Sunday said: “Overall winner Vodafone has launched a series of initiatives to drive change from the leadership team down and from graduate level up”.
It noted that the move was spearheaded by the company’s Diversity & Inclusion Manager Sharon Kyle, a woman.
Just this week the Vodafone Group appointed a woman, Anne O’Leary as CEO of Vodafone Ireland. But this is not the first time a woman is heading Vodafone Ireland; in 2006 Teresa Elder was CEO of that company.
Anne O’Leary joined Vodafone Ireland from BT Ireland in 2008 as Enterprise Director, during which she spearheaded the expansion of the company’s product offering to Irish businesses and has overseen its direction as a total communications provider of mobile and fixed-line services.
In Ghana, Vodafone CEO Kyle Whitehill has appointed at least six women to top management positions as against three men including the CEO himself. This means women constitute some 66% of the Vodafone Ghana top executive.
The top women at Vodafone Ghana are Uche Ofodile – Chief Marketing Officer, Lucy Quist – Head of Strategy and Interim Head of Vodafone Business Solutions, Patricia Obo Nai – Chief Technical Officer, Stella Appiah-Nkansah – HR Director, Fitnat Naa Adjeley Adjetey – Head, Legal, and the latest is Nana Yaa Ofori Atta – Head, External Affairs.
Patricia Obo Nai was, for instance, adjudged the best woman in technology at the Second MobileWorld Ghana Telecoms Awards last year.
The company’s Head of Corporate Communications is also a woman, Carmen Bruce-Annan.
In an interview with Adom Business recently, Kyle Whitehill said he appreciates women for the valuable perspectives they bring to company policy and strategic decisions.
"I am told when you have 30% women in top management positions you are gauranteed better performance and I believe in that," he said.
He said he was proud that much of the successful projects by Vodafone Ghana were initiated and driven by women not only at the top level, but even from the junior management level.
Whitehill recalled that Vodafone’s recent Happy Feet campaign was the idea of a female national service person called Phoebe Akolatse, who “practically bumped into my office one day without invitation and blew my mind with this brilliant presentation on this phenomenal Happy Feet idea.”
‘Happy Feet’ takes Vodafone’s top and middle level executives out from time to time to meet and interact with the company’s low end customers in the markets, lorry stations, and everywhere they could be found.
Women at Vodafone could also be credited with the international award-winning Healthline, and Vodafone ICON and even the network quality.