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Press Release | 02 Aug 2018

Vodafone introduces trans-inclusive initiatives

Vodafone introduces trans-inclusive initiatives

Vodafone has announced a series of trans-inclusive initiatives, as part of the company’s commitment to improving the lives of employees and customers.

Vodafone has announced a series of trans-inclusive initiatives, as part of the company’s commitment to improving the lives of employees and customers.

The announcement comes ahead of Vodafone’s sponsorship of Brighton Pride this weekend, part of Pride events throughout the country which the company supports.

New initiatives include:  

  • Vodafone’s ‘Name Change’ process has been simplified and there is no need for a customer to visit a store or speak to a customer agent to do this. Instead it can be by post; it simply requires one form to be completed with proof of the name change. This is intended to remove anxiety which may arise from the need to speak to someone.  Full details can be accessed here: Name Change Process
  • A new ‘life events’ section has been added to Vodafone’s customer website to provide easier access to information on the ‘Name Change’ process. Vodafone has also made it easier to search and find relevant information.
  • For Pay Monthly customers, 24 months of bills will now be accessible, which can be used to support applications for a Gender Recognition Certificate.
  • A specialist team has been established to respond to ‘living as me’ requests, available on livingasme@help.vodafone.co.uk
  • Customers can also adopt the gender-neutral Mx prefix via our live chat, voice and retail channels.

Vodafone is a proud supporter of lesbian, bi, gay and trans communities and recognises that there are key moments when colleagues and customers may need additional support.

Vodafone has also been listening to LGBT+ communities and in particular the experience trans people have when engaging with large organisations.  Independent cross-sector research in April this year indicated that:

  • Trans and non-binary people felt it was a battle dealing with large organisations.
  • They felt they needed to ‘come out’ every time they engaged a customer service team.
  • The name change process caused anxiety, was prone to errors and felt unfair when compared to the experience of other groups.
  • Contact centre agents and in store advisors were quick to make judgements based on appearance and by sound of voice.
  • Gendered selections were exclusive and did not reflect all identities.
  • New biometric processes could be inflexible and proved a challenge for those transitioning.

In July 2018, the UK Government published results from a national LGBT+ survey which saw more than 108,000 LGBT+ people take part and provide insight into LGBT+ life across the UK.

Earlier this year, Vodafone launched an LGBT+ Retail Ambassador programme to train and support in-store employees with LGBT+ topics and new Ambassadors received training from Stonewall in May this year.  This has led to the rainbow symbol being incorporated into name badges and more than 100 retail stores have come out to support local pride events up and down the country.  This complements existing training initiatives such as the Vodafone Way of Care that incorporates LGBT+ scenarios into our front line training.

The company has introduced a customer reporting process that now tracks negative experiences LGBT+ customers may have experienced.  This will enable Vodafone to get faster feedback from LGBT+ customers on where change is needed to improve how we support customers.

These customer initiatives build on work Vodafone is already doing to support colleagues, which this year has included launching a “Friends of LGBT” accreditation programme and a series of initiatives to support young LGBT+ people when they start their first job.  This includes offering all new graduates an LGBT+ buddy and supporting 400 graduates through inclusive leadership training.

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For video and imagery, visit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/vodafonegroup/sets/72157670792947948/

For more information on Living as Me, visit: https://support.vodafone.co.uk/Account-bill-and-top-up/Life-events/1164045452/How-do-I-get-proof-that-I-m-living-as-me.htm

About Vodafone UK

Vodafone UK connects people, businesses and devices to help our customers benefit from digital innovation. Our services span mobile, fixed line connections, home and office broadband and the Internet of Things (IoT).

Having made the UK’s first mobile phone call and sent the first text message, Vodafone has a history as a tech pioneer. In 2018 we made the UK’s first live holographic call using 5G, and were first to start carrying live 5G traffic from a site in Salford, Greater Manchester. We now have 5G in more places than anyone else, with multiple locations now live across the UK and the rest of Europe.

Today we serve more than 18 million mobile and fixed line customers in the UK, with 4G network coverage at 99%.  Our customers voted us the UK’s Best Mobile Network at the 2018 Trusted Reviews Awards – for the second year in a row. To help deliver Gigabit UK, our full-fibre broadband roll-out programme now covers 15 UK towns and cities through partnerships with CityFibre and Openreach.

Connectivity is at the heart of what we do as it gives us a huge opportunity for good. We are using our network, products, talents and technology to help society prosper and respond to significant social and environmental issues.  Our free Digital Parenting magazine is helping families and schools across the UK to navigate the online world safely. Meanwhile, the Vodafone Foundation’s work with researchers at Imperial College is developing personalised cancer treatment using the processing power of smartphones.

We are part of Vodafone Group, one of the world’s largest technology communications companies, with mobile operations in 26 countries, partnerships with mobile networks in 55 more, and fixed broadband operations in 19 markets.  As of 30 September 2019, Vodafone Group had approximately 625 million mobile customers, 27 million fixed broadband customers, and 22 million TV customers – including all of the customers in Vodafone’s joint ventures and associates.

For more information about Vodafone UK, please visit: www.vodafone.co.uk

 

Vodafone UK Media Relations

Telephone: +44 (0) 1635 693 693

Twitter: @VodafoneUKNews

Website: https://newscentre.vodafone.co.uk

Vodafone Limited

Registered Office: Vodafone House, The Connection, Newbury, Berkshire RG14 2FN

Registered in England No: 1471587