Sophie Bellon“We believe that gender balance fosters creativity and innovation, and ultimately drives better business results. When women reach their full potential, businesses and society are stronger and more successful.”  - Sophie Bellon, Chairwoman of Sodexo’s Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer

Gender Balance Study

The study aimed to test the performance implications of a gender-inclusive work culture, as opposed to a culture in which one gender dominates over the other. 

We took a broad approach and cast a wider lens by examining women across all levels of management. Data was collected and analysed from over 50,000 managers from 70 entities worldwide. Management teams from a diverse range of functions, ranging from top leadership to site management, were all included. 

Sodexo’s previous research suggests that optimal outcomes when management teams have a gender ratio of 40% - 60% women, and this ratio was used in our 2018 study to define gender-balanced management. Other than measuring financial performance, we also examined non-financial business indicators as outcomes.



SoTogether LogoSince 2009, the cornerstone of Sodexo’s gender equality strategy has been SoTogether, a global advisory board (consisting of 26 active Senior Executives, 10 alumni and 5 associates from 20 nationalities) dedicated to driving gender balance by advancing women at all levels of the organization. This advisory board reports to the Executive Committee with the purpose of:

  1. To lead and drive the organization’s gender equality strategy.
  2. To enlist highly influential individuals onto the board who could effectively champion its work in their region and influence local leadership and cascade actions
  3. To make high potential women visible across the global organization, something which had already been shown to be instrumental in helping them progress.

SoTogether Gender Networks

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Women’s Empowerment Principles 

UN Women - United Nations Global Compact logoSodexo adheres to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles in the 64 countries in which we operate.
Launched on International Women’s Day in March 2010, the UN Women's Empowerment Principles are a set of principles for businesses, offering guidance on empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The principles emphasize the business case for corporate action in promoting gender equality and women's empowerment, and are informed by real-life business practices and input gathered from across the globe. Rather than being prescriptive or a new initiative that businesses must subscribe to, WEPs seek to encourage best practices by highlighting the gender aspect of good corporate citizenship, the UN Global Compact, and the role of business in sustainable development. We are signatories of the CEO’s Statement of Support for the UN Women Empowerment Principles, and have been since June 2015. In 2020, we were recognised by the UN WEPs in India for a gender-responsive marketplace due to our work on inclusive supply chains.

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Gender Equality European & International Standard (GEEIS)

GEEIS logoThe Gender Equality European and International Standard is an internationally-recognized label for companies demonstrating a strong and effective commitment to achieving gender equality and diversity in the workplace.  In the Asia Pacific region, Sodexo’s efforts towards gender equality in India have been certified by the Gender Equality European & International Standard (GEEIS). 


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