Sustainability & Inclusion

Nurture an engaged workforce which represents the diversity of our customers and communities.

Why does it matter?

The business environment is evolving: in the future less attention will be focused on employee hours spent in corporate offices; less delineation will exist between the workplace and home; flexibility will be a necessity to attract, recruit and retain top talent; and innovation will be essential to survival and growth. Organisations cannot continue to do what they have to date: a different way of working and business environment is essential for organisational success.  

Diversity of thought, background and experience is essential to drive business performance.

While the business case to create an engaged and diverse workforce is widely understood and accepted, there are many indicators which demonstrate that there is a lot more work to do. The findings of the gender pay gap, the low representation of females in senior / C-Suite positions, the low uptake of females entering STEM roles and the disability employment gap highlight the need to do more.

At Virgin Media we know that building an inclusive environment is essential to our growth. We also believe we have a pivotal role within our industry to drive improved gender balance and an increase in employment of disabled people.

How are we making it happen?

This goal is overseen by our Ethics Committee which meets quarterly and is attended by functional leads from key business areas. Directors from our People and Corporate Affairs teams meet quarterly to review progress against plan.

We have underpinning gender and disability action plans. Our gender plan includes the actions outlined in our Gender Pay Gap report.

To drive progress on our goal, we have three areas of focus:

1) Attract and nurture the widest possible talent pool

Through utilising diverse talent channels and implementing our policy of having at least one female listed for every senior position vacancy to directly address bias and drive the creation of opportunities in traditionally male dominated areas of our business

2) Equip and empower our leaders to own and drive inclusion

Through making inclusion a leadership behaviour which is supported through development, measurement and reward it is our intent to make inclusion part of all our employees everyday business

3) Make inclusion a normal part of what we do and who we are

Our inclusion strategy is being driven by our Executive members and business leaders. We are changing our ways of working and complimenting this by making sure our physical work environments are accessible to all. Inclusion is part of everyone’s remit.

Performance against our goal sub targets in 2017

Here are our performance highlights for 2017, the third year of our 2020 More inclusive goal. If you are looking for information on what we’re focusing on for the remaining four years of the goal, take a look at our Goals roadmap.

Nurture an engaged workforce, which represents the diversity of our customers and communities

2017 target – Increase percentage of women in the workplace across all levels.

How we did – The overall percentage of women in our workplace remained the same, however as a result of proactive sourcing campaigns and female short list targeting we saw increased female representation across all our management and leadership populations. Our executive shortlists averaged 40% female. At lower job levels our 2017 vacancies required technical profiles and were challenging to fill which impacted our overall gender balance.

To address this in the future, in 2017 we refocused our inclusion plan and spent time laying the longer term groundwork to create a more evenly balanced workforce across all job areas and levels and to build a pipeline of sustainable female talent, particularly in science, technology, engineering and math areas.

Our plan enables us to activate a programme of activities designed to cultivate an environment where women can thrive, establish new markets/channels and equip our leaders with the skills and confidence to attract, find and retain female talent. Some examples of output from the revised plan in 2017 were a successfully targeted campaign to attract women into field tech roles, introduction of female shortlisting, screening of adverts for unconscious bias and designing new Leadership and Management development modules to help managers develop cultural awareness.

In addition to our focus on gender balance, we undertook an independent review of our disabled employee and customer practices.

Following this, we launched a disability action plan and communicated a line manager’s guide to over 1,800 line managers. To compliment this we introduced a programme to heighten disability awareness encouraging disability confidence across the organisation. This focus underpins our activity with Scope.

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