Sodexo has been recognised for the second consecutive year for its commitment to gender balance as one of The Times Top 50 Employers for Women.

Published today (22 April) 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.

Since Sodexo’s inclusion in the 2014 list, the company has announced a public pledge to publish a detailed breakdown of gender pay variances and rectify discrepancies across its 34,000 UK and Irish employees, the first company of its size and scope to report this level of detail.

Sodexo’s Gender Pay Pledge was launched alongside the announcement of the results of its Gender Balance Study, which gathered data from 52,000 Sodexo managers working in some 100 entities across its global footprint. The study has shown better performance across all the performance indicators measured, including employee engagement, brand image, consumer satisfaction, retention, organic growth and profits in parts of the business where there is gender balanced management (between 40-60 of managers are 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 35 members, including two executive sponsors and nine alumni members of top female and male executives from around the world, SWIFt UK and Ireland members include chief executive Debbie White (a SWIFt founder), Sodexo Education managing director Jane Bristow and Sodexo Justice Services deputy managing director Janine McDowell.

Debbie White, chief executive for Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “Driving gender equality throughout business is not only the right thing to do; it also drives better business outcomes. I’m therefore thrilled that Sodexo has been recognised in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women list for the second consecutive year. This accolade is testament to the outstanding work throughout our business and supported by our diversity and inclusion team and our gender workstream, which is helping us work towards our goal of having gender balanced teams at every level of the business.”

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