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News | 16 Sep 2021

Vodafone calls on global tech brands to ‘Change the Face’ of the industry

Global technology companies and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are working together to increase diversity and equality in the industry as part of the #ChangeTheFace alliance.

The alliance members – Deloitte, Digital Boost, Ericsson, Facebook, Founders4Schools, Girl Effect, IBM, Nokia, PwC, Samsung, UN Women and Vodafone – have pledged to share resources, insights and case studies to drive change.

Representatives from each organisation will discuss their plans and objectives as part of a UN ‘Goals House’ event in New York on 21 September.

First launched by Vodafone in March 2019, the #ChangeTheFace Alliance was born after a survey of 7,000 people across nine countries described the ‘face’ of the industry as “white, middle class and ‘trendy’”.

Since then Vodafone has introduced leading workplace policies on menopause and domestic violence, and has nurtured a pan-company black professionals’ network.

This renewed action in 2021 comes after a #ChangeTheFace survey found that ethnic minorities felt significantly less represented in tech ads than two years ago, with only 44% feeling represented in 2021, compared to 68% in 2019.

More positively, older age groups now feel somewhat more represented, with 38% of 55-64s agreeing versus 31% in 2019, especially for TV and movie streaming.

Serpil Timuray, CEO of Vodafone’s Europe Cluster and member of the Executive Committee said: “For the technology sector to reach its full potential, it needs to more fairly reflect the world in which we operate.

“I am delighted that major global technology leaders have embraced the ‘Change The Face’ initiative that Vodafone launched in 2019. As an Alliance we will work together on the same goal – to build a digital future that is diverse and inclusive.”

Hear more from the companies involved in #ChangeTheFace and learn about their initiatives.

The ‘#ChangeTheFace – Accelerating Diversity & Inclusion in the Tech Sector’ panel will be held both virtually and in-person at Soho Works in New York City, from 11:30-12:30pm EST on Tuesday 21, September. To RSVP please email: changetheface@freuds.com.

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