PUBLISHED AS a supplement in The Times, the top 50 recognises the leading UK organisations which ensure their workplaces provide women with the opportunity to achieve their full potential.
The Times Top 50 Employers for Women is compiled though a partnership between The Times and Opportunity Now, the gender campaign within Business in the Community.
In addition, Sodexo won the Global Award at last night’s Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards, held at The Brewery in the City of London, in recognition of the measurable progress towards its international commitment to gender balance.
Set in 2009, Sodexo is already on the way to achieving its aspirational target of having 25 per cent of women in senior positions around the world by 2015. The Sodexo UK and Ireland board is already 38 per cent women.
The Sodexo Women’s International forum for talent (SWIFt) drives the organisation’s gender diversity approach across the globe. SWIFt is co-chaired by Sophie Bellon, the daughter of Sodexo’s founder Pierre Bellon, who is due to succeed him as chair of the company in 2016.
Made up of 34 top female and male executives from around the world, SWIFt UK and Ireland members include chief executive officer Debbie White (a SWIFt founder), Sodexo Education managing director Jane Bristow, Sodexo Justice Services deputy managing director Janine McDowell and Sodexo commercial director Michelle Hanson.
Debbie White, chief executive officer of Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “We are absolutely delighted to be included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women. It’s an excellent achievement that reflects the hard work not only of the Sodexo UK and Ireland diversity and inclusion council, the diversity and inclusion team and our Women Work employee network, but each employee at Sodexo because driving diversity is the responsibility of everyone in an organisation.
“We are also incredibly pleased that the global impetus and impact of SWIFt has been recognised with our Global Award win.”
Kathryn Nawrockyi, Director of Opportunity Now, said: “Congratulations to Sodexo on winning the Global Award at the Opportunity Now Excellence in Practice Awards 2014, and on being included in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2014.
“The standard of entries was incredibly high once again, and they should be hugely proud of their success. They are a great example of strong leadership; of how putting gender equality at the core of a business can create real, sustainable change for women, organisations and society as a whole. I hope other employers will be inspired by their work and use it to accelerate progress for women in their workforce.”