Sodexo, a leading FM services provider, won the Personal Fair and Diverse category at the Employers Network for Equality and Inclusion (enei) awards held in London on Wednesday (17 July).

Sodexo received the award for its commitment to embedding these values to create an inclusive working environment and integrating principles of diversity and inclusion (D&I) into their business.

Sodexo was recognised as a differentiator that leads to business growth and creates and maintains a personal, fair and diverse environment where employees can thrive and grow. It was highly praised for their three-level approach to D&I: at global, country and local level.

Achieving a target of over 25 per cent of senior positions held by women ahead of schedule – the Sodexo UK & Ireland executive team is made up of 38 per cent women – was also acknowledged by enei judges.

A D&I Council of 20 senior managers – set up in 2008 – develops, agrees and delivers Sodexo’s D&I strategy across its 35,000 employees in the UK and Ireland.

Judges at enei were also impressed by:

  • Use of social media – a dedicated Facebook page for customer-facing employees enabling engagement with frontline staff on D&I initiatives.

  • Employee recognition schemes strengthening relationships between managers and their teams. The annual Star Awards now includes an individual contribution to D&I under the Better Tomorrow Plan – Sodexo’s sustainability strategy to 2020.

  • The high level of two-way communication between the chief executive and staff, particularly through a bi-weekly blog and face-to-face road shows.

  • Project SEARCH, a work-based learning programme for people with disabilities run in partnership with a client.

  • Employee networks, such as Women Work – a network of 700 male and female members aiming to help female employees enhance their personal and professional growth.

Sodexo was also short-listed in the ‘Excellence in Training Award’ category and Margot Slattery, managing director for Ireland, was short-listed for the ‘Equality & Inclusion Champion of the Year’ award. The ceremony was held at the Law Society in the City of London.

Angela Williams, HR director of Sodexo UK & Ireland, said: “We’re delighted to be recognised in this way for the whole range of initiatives we have in place to encourage diversity in our business, all underpinned by our values of Service Spirit, Team Spirit and Spirit of Progress.

“Our D&I strategy is a fundamental component of our long-term growth and part of the Better Tomorrow Plan – our sustainability strategy to 2020. We aim to create a personal, fair and diverse environment where talent is identified and nurtured, and all our employees can thrive and grow.”

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