Sophie Bellon“We believe that gender balance fosters creativity and innovation, and ultimately drives better business results. When women reach their full potential, businesses and society are stronger and more successful.”  - Sophie Bellon, Chairwoman of Sodexo’s Board of Directors

Denis Machuel“Gender diversity is essential. It’s more than a moral obligation – it’s a business imperative and a differentiator. At Sodexo, greater diversity and inclusiveness are part of a cultural transformation requiring time and humility.” - Denis Machuel, Sodexo’s CEO

Our Objectives & Progress

Our goal is to have women represent at least 40% of Sodexo’s leadership by 2025 and 100% of employees working within entities having gender-balanced management teams.

Our progress thus far, along with some key figures: 
Women represent:

Sodexo Global Gender Balance Study

To understand how gender-balanced teams impact our performance, Sodexo surveyed over 50,000 managers across 70 entities with improved outcomes over five years. Our Global Gender Balance Study suggests that optimal outcomes are achieved when management teams have a gender ratio of 40% – 60% women, showing positive impacts on key performance indicators:

  • Operating Margins: The number of entities significantly increasing operating margins between FY14 and FY16 increased by 8 percentage points
  • Client Retention: The number of entities with a client retention rate of 90% or more in FY16 saw gender-balanced teams increase by 9 percentage points
  • Safety: The number of entities that saw a decrease in workplace accident rates between FY14 and FY16 increased by 12 percentage points
  • Employee Engagement: The number of entities with an employee engagement rate higher than the external benchmark in FY16 increased by 14 percentage points
  • Employee Retention: The average employee retention rate in FY16 increased by 8 percentage points

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SoTogether LogoSince 2009, the cornerstone of Sodexo’s gender equality strategy has been SoTogether, a global advisory board (consisting of 26 active Senior Executives, 10 alumni and 5 associates from 20 nationalities) dedicated to driving gender balance by advancing women at all levels of the organization. This advisory board reports to the Executive Committee with the purpose of:

  1. To lead and drive the organization’s gender equality strategy.
  2. To enlist highly influential individuals onto the board who could effectively champion its work in their region and influence local leadership and cascade actions
  3. To make high potential women visible across the global organization, something which had already been shown to be instrumental in helping them progress.

SoTogether Gender Networks

Women’s Empowerment Principles 

UN Women - United Nations Global Compact logoSodexo adheres to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles in the 57 countries in which we operate.
Launched on International Women’s Day in March 2010, the UN Women's Empowerment Principles are a set of principles for businesses, offering guidance on empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community. The principles emphasize the business case for corporate action in promoting gender equality and women's empowerment, and are informed by real-life business practices and input gathered from across the globe. Rather than being prescriptive or a new initiative that businesses must subscribe to, WEPs seek to encourage best practices by highlighting the gender aspect of good corporate citizenship, the UN Global Compact, and the role of business in sustainable development. We are signers of the CEO’s Statement of Support for the UN Women Empowerment Principles, and have been since June 2015.

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Gender Equality European & International Standard (GEEIS)

GEEIS logoThe Gender Equality European and International Standard is an internationally-recognized label for companies demonstrating a strong and effective commitment to achieving gender equality and diversity in the workplace.  Sodexo’s efforts towards gender equality in France, India and Madagascar are certified by the Gender Equality European & International Standard (GEEIS). Sodexo also received a GEEIS-SDG trophy in 2019 for Sodexo Brazil initiative with the Paraisópolis Project in Sao Paolo, led by Sodexo Stop Hunger Institute – Brazil for the contribution to the project to women empowerment and advancing the UN SDGs.


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Closing the Gender Gap

Closing the gender gap is part of Sodexo’s global, long-term commitment to promoting equality. Sodexo remains committed to closing the gender pay and professional gap across its entities.

Gender pay gap

Sodexo is committed to decreasing the gender pay gap across our UK entities to 10% by 2025. Since 2016, Sodexo UK publishes the difference between gross hourly earnings for all men in an organization versus gross hourly earnings for all women. The latest report revealed a mean 14.12% overall gender pay gap.

Women-Men Professional Equality Index

Each year, in France, the Women-Men Professional Equality Index ranks companies’ progress on closing the gender professional gap based on criteria including promotions, pay increases, maternity leave and the top ten salaries for women. In 2020, Sodexo obtained a score of 99 out of 100 across 11 entities.

Learn more about the ranking of the entities in France

SoTogether client event: "Gender Equality Means Business" on March 6, 2019

In partnership with the SoTogether Advisory Board and the RLC Central Europe, clients and local partners, were invited to the Telekom headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany to discuss “Gender Equality Means Business”. Thirty-five client organizations participated in this event. Global and local issues were discussed, along with various practices and solutions for promoting gender equality in Germany.


Sodexo regularly receives prizes and international recognition for its diversity & inclusion initiatives, especially with respect to gender equality .

International Women's Day (IWD)

International Women's Day (IWD) is traditionally a day dedicated to the celebration of the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. Celebrated each 8 March worldwide, IWD is the opportunity to showcase the great work we are doing with our gender balance commitments.

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