AREEA Female Role Model Toolkit

Published on : 6/16/23
  • Sodexo Australia’s women in leadership speak to gender equity from the top down

    In a landscape where gender equity is at the forefront of discussion across all
    sectors and institutions, it is no longer enough to ‘be inclusive’ through passive
    gestures of wearing a purple ribbon or hosting a morning tea in recognition of
    International Women’s Day.

    This day originated in 1911 as a date of recognition to acknowledge the
    injustices, inequity, and barriers that around half of the world’s population
    was born into. It’s now a celebration of the progress made, and ultimately a
    commitment to real change in areas where it matters most. To achieve this
    change, every bit counts.

    From allyship for your female colleagues, as well as playing an active role to
    call out inappropriate or biased behaviour, this action ‘starts with the every
    day’—a sentiment reflected in the tagline of Sodexo Australia (Sodexo), leading
    facilities management and catering company.

    Recognising the critical role of diversity in the workforce and leadership team to
    drive success and systemic change, Sodexo pledged to work towards achieving
    at least 40% of its leadership team represented by women by 2025. Currently,
    women make up 60% of Sodexo’s board, 44% of all management, and 55% of
    the overall workforce.

    AREEA had the pleasure of speaking with five women who currently sit on
    Sodexo’s Country Leadership Team: Abhi Shan, Chief Financial Officer;
    Jana Bartlett, Operations Director, Mining West, Tammie Evans, Brand &
    Communications, Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity, Equity &
    Inclusion Director; Taryn Petersen, Executive Director, IFMS (Rio Tinto) and Toni
    Gore, Human Resources Director.

    As individuals who have achieved success in a competitive and historically
    male-dominated environment, these leaders have shared many of the same
    universal experiences of women; imposter syndrome at a job promotion, doing
    the same role for less pay, male counterparts being celebrated for traits that
    are reprimanded in women.

    The challenges these women have overcome are only one small facet of what
    unifies them. The larger (and more important) aspect is their whole-hearted
    belief that by leading from the front, setting the example, and empowering their
    teams, real change and gender equity can be achieved.

    AREEA sat down to discuss ‘embracing equity’ with these leaders.

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