25th August 2022

15 Years at Vodafone: Why I’ve Stayed So Long

Chiara Sambi
Head of Network Development Strategy, Governance & Transformation

I’ve changed roles often in my time with Vodafone. Moving around and experiencing different challenges has been a big advantage for me because I was able to keep developing in new areas but always in a leading technology company I knew and loved. I have deepened my skills and understanding of Network Engineering, Operations, Customer Support, Planning and Network Development, and each change has enriched my knowledge, cultural experiences and awareness of a wide variety of topics. Currently we are undergoing an organisational transformation, which has put me in the middle of yet another exciting challenge. 

As Head of the Network Development Strategy, Governance and Transformation group, my role is to guide and support the development of networks in the field. Our team is quite young, formed a year ago to guide operational strategy for the 12 countries Vodafone operates in across Europe. Our mission is to ensure we have a single harmonious operating model in place for all of the countries, instead of operating separately as we did previously, improving efficiencies, time to deliver and quality of network rollout.

Supporting women in STEM

I have been working in this sector for 20 years and it’s been great to see women progressively taking up more space over time. I have also seen management styles change, which I believe is partly a result of the influence of women taking on more leadership positions in the industry.

However, women are still a minority in some technology fields. Why? Because there are still relatively few women enrolling in STEM degrees at university. I wish more young women knew how fantastic a career in STEM can be, and that companies like Vodafone make the path for females in technology supportive, fulfilling, and full of opportunity. 

At Vodafone I have repeatedly been given the chance to explore different roles, specialise in certain areas and expand my skills. I have been supported to grow as a leader and a manager because I expressed my desire to do so. And I have completed an intercompany Master’s through Vodafone University that taught me so much and helped me to create an amazing network.

And that’s why I’ve never left!

I’m proud to work for a company that drives change

Vodafone has been incredible from a personal growth perspective. I’m encouraged to be creative and work flexibly, and I have the chance to engage with so many interesting people. But I am also just proud to be a part of this company in general. It’s diverse, extremely supportive of women and families, and makes it much easier for employees to balance careers with personal lives and responsibilities. I have a two-year-old and I was given nine months of parental leave when she was born. Now she is attending the Vodafone kindergarten whose availability and flexibility is incomparable to other kindergartens I could use. It definitely makes for a more peaceful and manageable life!

Furthermore, Vodafone pays attention to important social issues like climate change and gender equality. We are always driving initiatives and support for such issues and it reminds me that I am inside an organisation that wants to be part of society and to make it better, rather than just make money from it. It’s nice to know you are working for a company that genuinely contributes to positive change.