Abhi Shan - Chief Financial Officer, Sodexo Australia

Published on : 6/23/23
Reading time : 5 min
  • Newly appointed Chief Financial Officer for Sodexo Australia, Abhi has been with Sodexo for 21 years and has worked in executive finance roles for Sodexo in Singapore, Paris and Melbourne.

    Through various diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and programs, Sodexo is committed to creating a work environment where every employee feels valued, supported, and empowered to succeed. In particular, gender balance and mentorship have proven to be invaluable tools for career growth and development.

    On the occasion of Women in Mining Day, we had the pleasure of speaking with Abhi Shan to discuss the importance of embracing equity in the industry. Abhi shared some valuable insights and answered questions about allyship and the growth of women in mining for AREEA (Australian Resources & Energy Employer Association).

    To get a deeper understanding of the discussion, please find an excerpt of the Q&A session below:

    How can businesses invest in the professional development of its women?

    Having grown up in Asia in a culture where women tend to be placed as second choice, we aren’t told we can lead and aren’t given the resources needed to step into these places. When reflecting on the importance of women investing in their professional development and striving for leadership roles, I believe in the importance of setting an example.

    As a society, we need to challenge and change the narrative of ‘traditional’ leadership, to get to the point where women in leadership is not a novelty. By shifting the conversation to having the right people in the right roles, diversity will naturally emerge and advance individuals as well as organisations. 


    How integral have role models, mentors, or active managers been to your career?

    I am in the fortunate position to confidently say that I have had many, many role models in my life. Perhaps the role model in my life that has had such a lasting and propound impact has been the matriarchs of my family.

    A widow and mother of three, my grandmother put each of her children— including my mother—through university, while still finding the time to raise me. She was a university lecturer, and would make a daily 123km commute via bus to and from our home, still finding the time in her day to cook for the house, and tutor myself and my aunt. Even as a child, it seemed she had millions of conflicting tasks, but she managed them all with a grace that I work to emulate every day. She never cut corners, saw all her commitments through, and did it without ever uttering a complaint.

    My can-do attitude and work acumen comes from my mum, who as a single parent and 4-foot-eight Asian woman built her own business off the back of her hard work and self-belief. I easily regard her as one of the most successful people in my life. 

    Diversity, Equity and Inclusion are deeply embedded in our core values. Read more about our commitments 

    Read the AREEA Female Role Model Toolkit

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