Four Sodexo employees have been named among top ethnic minority leaders, published today in the Financial Times.

Michelle Delices and Raj Verma are named at numbers 92 and 86 respectively in The EMpower 100 Ethnic Minority Executives List, with the EMpower 50 Ethnic Minority Future Leaders list including Sajna Rahman and Harpreet Cheema at positions 37 and 47 respectively.
The EMpower Role Model lists are a reflection and celebration of the incredible achievements of the black, Asian and minority ethnic business community in UK, Ireland, United States and Canada, and published annually in the FT.

Michelle Delices (pictured, top left) is the most senior black woman in Sodexo UK and Ireland.  Michelle is service operations director for business growth and improvement at Sodexo and sits on Sodexo’s Origins employee network.

Michelle has set up an executive sponsorship scheme for female talent and a recruitment initiative to tackle unconscious bias at Sodexo. Externally, Michelle has worked with young ethnic minority people serving community sentences, focusing on role modelling and making them see how unique they are, and continues to mentor young black men.

Raj Verma (top right) became Sodexo’s first ethnic minority senior vice president, human resources, for the company’s global corporate services business in 2015.

Raj is executive sponsor of the global Sodexo Culture and Origins taskforce for local minorities. He regularly coaches and mentors employees from ethnic minority backgrounds, and externally is a mentor on the acclaimed Warwick Business School Mentoring Programme.

Sodexo Healthcare business development manager Sajna Rahman (lower left) is an active member of internal and external diversity and inclusion networks. Over the last six years working at Sodexo she has organised many events bringing together younger people from ethnic minority backgrounds and senior leaders.

Harpreet Cheema (lower right) is head of promotions, digital and insight at Sodexo, the youngest of all Sodexo’s food platform department heads. Harpreet joined the Origins employee network group committee in 2016, and has been active member since, for example creating a manager toolkit to support frontline managers to break down barriers and understand why we must focus on black Asian minority ethnic employees.

Suki Sandhu, CEO and founder of Empower, said: “Our lists exist to drive the empowerment of ethnic minorities within business. Role modelling is fundamental to ensuring equality of opportunity and more inclusive workplace cultures. Those who have achieved personal success have a responsibility to inspire the next generation of ethnic minority leaders, and those featured on our lists are more than living up to it. Through these lists we hope to encourage individuals and businesses to stand up and work together to drive change in our society and workplaces - doing so will inspire the diverse leaders of tomorrow.”

Sean Haley, Sodexo UK & Ireland region chair, said: “Congratulations to Michelle, Raj, Sajna and Harpreet on this fantastic achievement. They are excellent role models in the business and we are proud to have such good representation on the Empower lists.”

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