3. Granting six-month paid maternity leave
In 2015, a major step in creating an equitable work-life balance for Telenor female employees in Asia was taken. Apart from in Bangladesh, female employees were at the time entitled to less than six months of funded maternity leave per local regulations and personnel practices. This could lead to women deciding to leave the workforce to have children. An internal Telenor survey also revealed that some women might not return, resulting in lost leadership opportunities and staff turnover cost. Therefore, and in line with its corporate vision of advocating diversity and developing more female leaders, Telenor Group adopted a six-month paid maternity leave policy as a minimum standard across all its markets.
4. Striving for a more gender balanced workforce
Over the last years, Telenor has undertaken several initiatives to make its workforce more gender balanced. In all its business units, Telenor has established Women Inspirational Networks, conducted gender pay equality analysis, and standardised paid paternal leave, as mentioned above. In addition, it has instituted a committee to ensure that attention is paid to the diversity and competence in senior management. Backed by equally important local gender balance initiatives in the respective business units, Telenor has experienced an increase in female employees from 33 in 2016 to 38 per cent in 2021. During the same time span, the percentage of women leaders has grown from 26 to 32 per cent while women in senior leader groups have risen from 22 to 32 per cent. In the Telenor Group’s General Executive Management, the percentage of women has increased from 25 to 50 per cent.
5. Inspiring our peers
At Telenor, we ‘Create together’. This is also evident in the way we work to break biases. By joining forces, we believe we can inspire and motivate change at a greater scale than we can do alone. This year, we led the development of a guide published by the Nordic CEOs for a Sustainable Future that sets out concrete steps on how businesses, organisations, and governments can promote a more diverse and inclusive workplace. This group of CEOs from leading Nordic businesses, which includes Telenor Group CEO Sigve Brekke, have also committed to several gender balance driving ambitions. They are also calling on the Nordic governments to enhance overall diversity and inclusion in the Nordic region with an emphasis on gender equality and women’s empowerment. In 2021, Telenor put diversity and inclusion on its top 40 suppliers’ agenda by asking about their policies, targets, and future ambitions for a well-balanced workforce. Telenor also remains committed to the United Nations Women Empowerment Principles, which requires compliance with seven key gender equality principles.