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A good sense of balance

A good sense of balance

Having a healthy, inclusive and diverse workforce is vital to Virgin Media’s success. Not only does it underpin our principles and culture – it is essential for our commercial success. Because by reflecting our customer-base better, we can help to ensure that we are in tune with the needs of our customers and the service they expect.

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A large part of our business is about technology and engineering, areas that are traditionally most popular with men, and back in 2010 we started work to tackle our gender imbalance.

Earlier this year, we set ourselves some new targets to help create a more balanced workforce. Targets include increasing the percentage of females in senior leadership roles to 25% by the end of 2014, ensuring we have female applicants for all middle and senior leadership vacancies, reviewing inclusion activity every quarter, and providing more opportunities for women to network.

We’ve made some great progress so far on all of these areas:

  • We now have 24% females in senior leadership roles (at Level A & B)
  • Female graduates now represent 53% for our ‘class of 2013’ (a 13% increase on 2012) and 38% of our class of 2013 interns are female
  • We’ve also created a sub committee to review inclusion activity each quarter, and our first meeting is scheduled to take place this month

Not only this, but we’ve introduced a number of initiatives to improve networking for women at Virgin Media, such as a new internal ‘Tap’ community for women called Glass Mirrors, and setting up the first practical support group called Through the Looking Glass for December where emerging talented women throughout the business, from apprentices through to graduates, can build connections, support one another and learn from our leaders.

Through our online learning system, ignite, we have a suite of training and development materials which includes information about inclusion awareness, and we’ll look to incorporate into all our future manager induction modules. We’ve also created an ‘Inclusion charter’ that celebrates difference and represents a shift of focus from demographic diversity to diversity of thought.

But it doesn’t stop there! During the coming months, we will host more networking events, and we’ll share our pilot ‘reverse mentoring’ scheme which takes place in December between one of newly recruited graduates and a senior leader to enhance innovation and use of social media, and start appreciating generational differences. We will kick the year off, however, with national mentoring month in January.