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.

Every day is International Women’s Day at Sodexo


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.  



  • 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 

For more information about Sodexo, visit here.

About Sodexo in Australia: Sodexo in Australia employs a diverse workforce of over 5,000 employees. Sodexo delivers a unique array of over 100 integrated services lines including: catering, facilities management, concierge services, security, asset maintenance and hospitality services in the following segments: Corporate, Healthcare & Seniors, Education, Justice and Energy & Resources both on and off shore.

About Sodexo: Founded in Marseille in 1966 by Pierre Bellon, Sodexo is the global leader in services that improve Quality of Life, an essential factor in individual and organizational performance. Operating in 72 countries, Sodexo serves 100 million consumers each day
through its unique combination of On-site Services, Benefits and Rewards Services and Personal and Home Services. Sodexo provides clients an integrated offering developed over more than 50 years of experience: from foodservices, reception,
maintenance and cleaning, to facilities and equipment management; from services and programs fostering employees’ engagement to solutions that simplify and optimize their mobility and expenses management, to in-home assistance, child care centers and concierge services. Sodexo’s success and performance are founded on its independence, its sustainable business model and its ability to continuously develop and engage its 460,000 employees throughout the world.
Sodexo is included in the CAC 40, FTSE 4 Good and DJSI indices.

Key figures (as of August 31, 2018)

20.4 billion euro in consolidated revenues

460,000 employees

19th largest employer worldwide

72 countries

100 million consumers served daily

15 billion euro market capitalization (as of April 10, 2019)

To read the full version of the press release, please download the PDF.

Back to the list

For media enquiries

Tammie EVANS

Media Enquiries
Sodexo National Support Centre
Level 8 - 607 St Kilda Road
Melbourne VIC 3004