SoTogether closes gender gap

Published on : 3/8/19
  • The formation of SoTogether brings us closer to gender equality and rising business success.

    It may be 2019, but gender disparities remain disturbing. From wages and household responsibilities to political rights and literacy, women around the world are disadvantaged. 

    According to the World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report 2018, it will take decades to close the overall gender gap – 61 years in Western Europe, 70 years in South Asia and even up to 165 years in North America. 

    The findings only mean one thing, that there’s never been a more important time to press for progress. And so we start right here within Sodexo with the formation of SoTogether, a movement to facilitate the rise of all capable women to prominence. 

    But what exactly does SoTogether do? And how will the efforts help? Here, we answer the most frequently asked questions. 

    Why the name SoTogether?

    The new name and identity remind us that success can only be sustainable when women and men partner together on a level playing field. Based on Sodexo’s Gender Balance Study 2018, a gender-balanced management team brings about better results across all areas of business including employee engagement, talent retention, client retention and operating margins.

    The launch of SoTogether also brings a slew of new initiatives that will help everyone chart the career path they desire.

    What will So Together do to promote gender equality?

    SoTogether aims to:

    • Provide strategic input and recommendations to the Group executive committee.
    • Identify impactful actions and a roadmap to address gaps and meet new targets. 
    • Engage and influence leadership teams on the business benefits of gender balance.  
    • Make talent visible to the organisation by exposing co-workers to the global team.

    How is SoTogether brought to life in the Asia-Pacific?

    We have made wonderful progress since SoTogether’s launch in 2018. Networks have formed and are fast expanding in China, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore. These networks are crucial to discovering new talents and sharing best practices.

    In India, we participated in the Women in Leadership (WILL) conference in late 2018 by presenting Sodexo’s diversity and inclusion strategy. Our network in India also took part in the Pinkathon run in Mumbai, an event to raise breast cancer awareness. This was a great opportunity for the public to engage with women from Sodexo and keep fit through running. 

    Meanwhile, Sodexo China has invited staff to share their personal stories for “Superwomen Day”, and 10 inspiring “superwomen” are recognised. 

    How does SoTogether help women advance their careers?

    We organise activities to promote mentoring, sponsorship and growth opportunities at the workplace. One initiative we are particularly excited about is #SheWorks, a job shadowing opportunity that will take place between now and 30 June 2019. This allows for cross-functional interactions and insights, giving everyone a wider perspective on career opportunities within Sodexo.

    The event successfully debuted in the Philippines, with candidates from Life Project 4 Youth (an NGO that advances social and professional integration of excluded youths) going on a three-day job shadowing programme. During their time with us, they learnt about Sodexo’s business, culture, ways of working and work opportunities from our #SheWorks ambassadors. 

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