What really appealed to me about Vodafone initially was its culture. I’d been working as a telecommunications engineer for five years and I wanted to find a company I could really connect with and care about. As soon as I started my job in Vodafone’s Network Deployment department, I knew I’d found it. I was definitely in the right place to grow professionally and keep improving my skills. There was a lot of support for my development.
In five years, I’ve been promoted twice, most recently to my current role as Network Implementation Manager. My team builds our mobile and fixed networks in a number of regions in Italy, and we’ve driven the development of mobile networks in some of the biggest cities in the country. From the day I arrived at Vodafone, I felt that they understood and valued my ambition and being recognised as a leader here now is something I am very proud of.
Vodafone recognised my talent and allowed me to demonstrate both my technical and soft skills from the beginning. My leaders worked with me to build a long-term path for myself. I joined as a Radio Design Engineer and in less than two years, was made Technical Coordinator for a Radio Design team.
That role helped me to gain confidence with my planning and organisational skills, and also gave me the opportunity to be involved with presentations, projects and events across the business. I was acknowledged as a ‘Top Performer’ and ‘Top Talent’ many times during annual performance reviews, and participated in HR meetings, high level trainings and cross-functional middle management meetings where I had many constructive encounters.
All of those experiences culminated in me being recognised as a leader at Vodafone and being offered my current management role.
One weekend in early 2020, I said goodbye to my colleagues for what I thought was a weekend. However, we were interrupted sharply by the pandemic and I ended up not seeing any of them in person for two years!
I went on maternity leave while we were still in lockdown in Italy. My colleagues and manager were in touch with me regularly during that period and kept me updated on projects and changes (at my request). I was also able to join team events and all-hands meetings remotely if I wanted to.
But the most amazing thing about maternity leave at Vodafone is that your first four months of optional leave are actually fully paid, which is purely down to Vodafone – the government doesn’t mandate this. The company also encourages a ‘smart working’ model when you return to work, which means you can work flexible hours (or scale back) to make it easier to balance your new needs as a working mum. I found it all very empowering: I had this strong sense of being a female, building a career and a family at the same time, and not being made to choose between the two.
From an operational point of view, I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved with mobile networks in Italy. Vodafone has been recognised as the best mobile operator from certified authorities. In 2019, we implemented a dedicated network during an international mass-event where hundreds of thousands of visitors generated a traffic volume that had never been registered on a Vodafone network in Italy before.
From a personal perspective, I’m also very proud to be seen as a leader at Vodafone, at a relatively young age.
However, what makes me proudest of all is being part of a company that is so multicultural, inclusive and inspirational. The diversity of our teams, as well as the high calibre of the talent here, makes it a fertile environment for learning, development and career progress.
We’re all encouraged to engage in cross-departmental communication and collaborate both within and outside of our own teams and I think that makes us all better and more innovative as a result. I’m very proud of what I’ve achieved personally, and what my teams have achieved here. I’m looking forward to the next project!