Last week Natalie Bickford, HR Director at Sodexo, a leading provider of on-site service solutions, was awarded the Working Mums Champion Award at the third Top Employer Awards 2012, which took place at London’s Soho Hotel.

Natalie BickfordThe Awards celebrate the achievements of companies leading the way in creating family friendly working. The Champion award is aimed at mothers who successfully combine work and parenting.

Natalie was chosen for the award for her personal style and commitment to championing working mums and for going above and beyond her remit and having steered innovative policies which were having real results.

On winning the award Natalie said she was “delighted that such an important area to me personally and professionally has been recognised in this way. The hard work and passion of my team at Sodexo has put me in a position where changes can be realised. I’m really looking forward to building on this success.”

Natalie has promoted personal and professional development opportunities for women at Sodexo in order to increase the confidence, awareness and skills of female employees. One initiative has been the introduction of the company’s Women Work employee network the aim of which is to facilitate networking events that develop relationships and promote awareness of the contributions and challenges women face and to support programmes and practices designed to increase the retention of female employees.

Natalie also supported the introduction of a ‘Parenting Handbook’ which provides accessible information about family-related leave for employees, and sanctioned a review of Sodexo’s Maternity and Paternity policies which resulted in the introduction of occupational rates of pay for maternity.

In September 2012 Natalie was appointed new human resources director for Sodexo Europe.

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