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News | 13 May 2021

Three Vodafone leaders named on 2021 EMpower Ethnic Minority Role Model Lists

Head of Indirect Partnerships, Kathy Quashie, returns to EMpower's Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executive Role Models List for a second year, joined by Wholesale & Strategy Director Vishal Dixit. Vodafone Business Director, Anne Sheehan, is named as a Top 50 Advocate Executive.

The Vodafone leaders were recognised by EMpower for helping to give diversity a higher profile within their organisation. For example, Kathy, also Chair of Vodafone’s Multicultural Inclusion Network, joined Anne to run a series of open ‘lunch-and-learn’ sessions in the wake of the tragic death of George Floyd.

‘Let’s talk about race’ aimed to give leaders a better understanding of the challenges that ethnic minority colleagues face today and how to overcome them.

Vishal Dixit, who became the Network’s executive sponsor in 2019, is as passionate about addressing these inequalities. In the past year alone, membership has increased by 400%.

Together, the group set about improving inclusivity across the organisation.

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Informed by feedback from colleagues, Kathy and Anne devised a number of initiatives across Vodafone Business, including specialised training for senior management, a cultural calendar which encourages representation at team events, and the introduction of a Reciprocal Mentoring programme.

Kathy, also a Non-Executive Director at Morgan Sindall Group and Transport for London Museum, paired senior leaders with mentors from the Black, Asian or Ethnic Minority (BAME) community to help broaden understanding and build new relationships.

“It’s so crucial that role models continue the job of leading by example and bringing others up with them,” she explained.

“Inspiration gives us the motivation to keep being our best selves, so it’s important that we keep inspiring all generations along the journey.”

Vishal also led the design of an Inclusive Leadership learning module for fellow executives, as well as Vodafone’s #CountMeIn campaign – a voluntary self-assessment of ethnicity, disability, unpaid care requirements, sexual orientation or gender identity, designed to help shape future comapny policies.

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“Inclusion is such an integral part of our culture and we celebrate diversity with a smile,” Vishal said, “I’m proud to play my part in that, and to help strengthen our roadmap for better race and ethnicity representation.”

For Anne, being recognised alongside her colleagues was the sign of something greater.

“EMpower is widely respected across the UK, so it’s an honour to be mentioned alongside Kathy and Vishal. But more than that, I’d say this is recognition for amazing work that so many people do every day across our organisation to make Vodafone an inclusive place for all.”

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