Sodexo, world leader in Quality of Life Services, has received the “Woman Chair Prize,” which recognizes a company chaired by a woman with the highest percentage of women directors on its Board among the 200 largest companies of the Stoxx Europe 600.

The prize was presented on November 28 during the launch of the first edition of the European Gender Diversity Index organized by European Women on Boards (EWoB) and Ethics & Boards.

Sophie Bellon, Chairwoman of Sodexo’s Board of Directors, said: “This award is a very powerful recognition of the collective efforts towards constantly promoting diversity and inclusion taken by the entire Sodexo Community: our employees, our leaders and managers, our partners, our clients and our consumers. It gives us encouragement to continue to pursue and accelerate the journey to promote gender balance within our leadership and within our management, in all roles and not only functional ones. We are humbled by this award and energized to work harder on this important societal issue.”

Sodexo’s Board of Directors is now 54% women, while the Group's Executive Committee stands at 37% women, and 33% of executives are women. Overall, women make up 55% of Sodexo's 460,000 employees.

Looking beyond numbers, Sodexo believes that gender equality is a strategic imperative. Sodexo surveyed 50,000 of its managers from over 70 entities as part of its Gender Balance Study, which revealed that teams with a male-female ratio of between 40 percent and 60 percent out-performed on financial and non-financial indicators.  Sodexo’s goal is that by 2025 women will represent at least 40 percent of its senior leadership staff. To ensure that all senior executives—both men and women—understand the value placed in reaching this goal, 10 percent of their annual bonus is impacted by their progress toward meeting it.

To reach this goal, Sodexo has established a global strategy for gender equality; in order ensure opportunities for the advancement of women. This strategy forms the basis for a number of initiatives, including inclusive workplace training, mentoring, and gender networks throughout the Group. The cornerstone of this strategy is the SoTogether advisory board, which is dedicated to promoting women's professional advancement, and more broadly, gender equality on the global scale.


About the European Gender Diversity Index

European Women on Boards (EWoB) and Ethics & Boards published their first European Gender Diversity Index. The comparative ranking analyses the 200 largest companies of the Stoxx Europe 600 registered in nine European countries (*) with regards to gender diversity in corporate top positions on Boards and Executive committees. Three criteria have been applied to establish the 2018 Index:

  • The percentage of women on Boards
  • The presence of a woman serving as Chair of the Board
  • The presence of women serving as Chief Executive Officer or Chair of the Executive Board
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