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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