Every day is International Women’s Day at Sodexo
March 08, 2019
While the rest of Australia dedicates 24 hours to celebrating women in the workplace on March 8, 2019, Sodexo CEO of Asia Pacific Mining Paul Cooper says true women’s empowerment comes from the day to day celebrations and actions of senior management.
Apart from the obvious benefits of increased employee morale that comes with gender equality in the workplace, evidence now suggests that gender parity also offers significant outcomes for commercial KPIs.
Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life Services, conducted a five-year study across 70 entities representing 70,000 managers worldwide. The study concluded that teams skewed at around 40% women and 60% men, achieve better productivity, increased operating margins, higher retention rates and decreased accidents.
“These results add a new and compelling dimension to a growing body of research that demonstrates the business benefits of gender equality,” Mr Cooper said.
“The distinctive nature of the study, with its examination of both financial and non-financial performance indicators across so many levels of management and the pipeline to leadership, is a significant piece of the overall picture on the importance of gender in the workforce.”
As an organisation focused on social responsibility, encompassed in its overarching strategy, Better Tomorrow 2025, Mr Cooper said Sodexo was committed to empowering women and strives to make every day International Women’s Day to improve the Quality of Life for all.
“Sodexo has long advocated the inclusion of women in its workforce. In Australia, we are incredibly proud to have 52% of our workforce represented by women, and 40% of our management team are female,” Mr Cooper said.
He is quick to point out that while numbers are a tangible metric and help set benchmarks, diversity and inclusion is not about ‘making the numbers’, but rather, “it is the culture of inclusion that is set and encouraged for all employees that establishes a diverse and inclusive workforce”.
One such area is Sodexo’s SWIFt program established in 2009 to bring together 35 senior leaders representing 15 different nationalities from four continents and all areas of the organisation.
SWIFt was created to accelerate the attainment of gender balance within the organisation through drive, commitment and leadership of senior managers. The program aims to increase the number of women in operations, create a culture of inclusion and create a committee of advocates and role models for gender diversity.
A true leader in diversity and inclusion, Sodexo was named in Bloomberg’s 2018 Gender-Equality Index for its advancement in gender equality and ranked in the top 10 of DiversityInc magazine's 'Top 50 Companies for Diversity' list for the 9th consecutive year and the Best Companies for ‘Multicultural Women’ list by Working Mother Magazine.
Sodexo was also recognised three times by FORTUNE Magazine in 2017, making FORTUNE Magazine's ‘World's Most Admired Companies’ list, FORTUNE Magazine's ‘Change the World’ list and the FORTUNE ‘500’ list.
SUGGESTED BREAK OUT BOX IN ARTICLE:
THE SODEXO GENDER BALANCE STUDY KEY FINDINGS:
- Operating margins significantly increased in gender-balanced teams
- Employee retention rate was 8% higher in gender-balanced entities
- Gender-balanced entities had an average client retention rate that was 9% higher than other entities
- Gender-balanced management reported an employee engagement rate of 14% more than other entities.
- The number of accidents was 12% less for gender-balanced teams
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To read the full version of the press release, please download the PDF.
- Press release (PDF)