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At Virgin Media, inclusion isn’t about ticking boxes, meeting quotas or being politically correct. A truly inclusive culture will create a working environment where everyone can thrive and this will lead to higher levels of motivation, engagement and business performance.


It’s also about looking at who buys and uses our services and making sure we think like they do. A diverse workforce means we can better understand and deeply relate to our customers helping us drive innovation and deliver a consistently great customer experience.

We’re working to integrate diversity and inclusion into every aspect of our business, and this is championed at the highest level in the organisation by the CR Committee. In addition, we have recently established a diversity and inclusion committee, which is chaired by a member of the Executive Committee. The committee provides direction for our initiatives and promotes the sharing of best practice across the organisation.

One of our main areas of focus continues to be the gender balance in our business. It’s a big and complex issue, which can’t be solved overnight. The reality is that Virgin Media is a technology and engineering business, an industry that has traditionally been a less popular career choice for women.

Our gender split by business division

Our total gender split


 

How we did

Entry level

 


Bring in strong female candidates at entry levels.

 

In 2012, 40% of our graduates recruited were female, compared to 18% in 2011. That's a 22% improvement on the previous year's figures.

Middle & senior leadership

 


Ensure we have female applicants for all middle and senior leadership vacancies.

 

In 2012, 33% of all employees appointed to a leadership role at Director level (level B) were female, compared to only 9% in 2011. This is an upward trend we will continue to focus on, but due to changes in how the issue is being managed, we have set a revised target for 2013.

Group Executive Committee

 


Having three female candidates ready to take on a Group Executive Committee role (by end of 2013).

 

By the end of 2012 we were able to clearly identify one female candidate for a Group Executive Committee (GEC) role. However, we have set a revised target for 2013 because of changes in how the issue is managed.

Talent development

 


Strive for an equal gender balance amongst those employees that we prioritise for talent development by the end of 2013.

 

By the end of 2012, 20% of those identified as talented individuals at Executive Director level through to Head of Department level, were female.

Service technicians and installation teams

 


Employ 10% females of the total demand for Apprentice intake, to year ending 2012.

 

In 2012 we reached our target of 10% of our apprentice intake being female.

Charity & community

 


Develop digital solutions to drive increased staff engagement, such as incentivising staff to shout about their volunteering and giving activities through their own social media profiles.

 

We launched Blue Dots, an online initiative that enables our staff to shout about their charity involvement on their social networks.

Behind our targets

Women in leadership 

We are working towards increasing the number of women in leadership positions across the company. We currently have one female Executive Committee member and one non-executive board member. The proportion of female leaders in our senior leader roles increased to 22.5% and we have set a target of reaching 25% by the end of 2014. We are also continuing our efforts to attract more women into our engineering and technology functions particularly through our graduate entry programmes.

Think Act Report

We have signed up to the government’s ‘Think Act Report’ initiative which is aimed at promoting gender equality and greater transparency on reporting and sharing best practice. This is a voluntary framework that fits with our own approach and goals for addressing gender balance.

Apprenticeships

We continue to focus our efforts on attracting women into our technical roles. Last year, 10% of the intake for our Apprentice Field Service Technicians were female and we aim to ensure that we hire at least the same or a greater proportion in 2013.

Charity & community

We launched Blue Dots, an online initiative that enables our staff to shout about their charity involvement on their social networks.

However we learnt that staff volunteer and fundraise because of their personal passions rather than being driven by the rewards or prizes we offered through our rewards partner. We still believe that we can use social media to drive awareness of our community and charity giving, so we are working on using our internal engagement platform in 2013.

What’s next?

In 2013 we will continue to focus on the value a truly inclusive workforce can bring and work with everyone at Virgin Media to gain consensus on the need to change. We’ll also to seek new ways to promote a better gender balance through supporting women’s networks and flexible working aimed at both men and women. And we plan to integrate an understanding of the concept of “Unconscious Bias” – the idea that people have a tendency to favour those who are most like themselves - into all our induction and training programmes to help us promote a more inclusive and diverse workplace.