The Women’s Forum Global Meeting brings together more than 250 speakers and over 1,200 participants from all over the world to create a natural space for women to discuss and learn from each other. This year, the focus of the forum is on “Leading for a more equitable world”. Sodexo is a key figure of this event. Since 2007, Sodexo’s commitment to gender balance has made us a natural partner to the Women’s Forum.
Gender balance key to success
A gold partner to the event, Sodexo sees the Forum as an opportunity to showcase commitments to gender balance. As well as sharing and learning best practices in gender diversity from around the world, the Women’s Forum is also a chance for Sodexo to increase its visibility as a global brand engaged in positive action. This year Sodexo is also a proud member of the Mexican Delegation to the Forum.
Keynote speakers from Sodexo such as Michel Landel, Group CEO, Rohini Anand, Chief Diversity Officer; Neil Barrett, Group Vice President Sustainable Development will explore issues surrounding the advancement of women. Among this year’s speakers from the worlds of media, politics and business are also Christine Lagarde, International Monetary Fund Managing Director; Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Chairperson of the National League for Democracy and Nobel Peace Prize recipient; Carlos Ghosn, Renault-Nissan Alliance Chairman and CEO; and Christophe de Margerie, Total Chairman and CEO.
“For all of our great work, we must remain vigilant. We have to achieve more. We must be bolder! Shake things up! Take on bigger challenges! We must continue to work to make Sodexo a company where every single one of our employees can enjoy access to the same opportunities, to grow and to develop his or her career.” Landel acknowledges.
Sodexo’s successes have been recognized worldwide: Sodexo recently topped the French Ministry’s league table of publicly quoted companies for gender balance within its leadership team (the Palmarès de la féminisation des instances dirigeantes). In North America, Sodexo is the only company to rank in the top two in DiversityInc’s Top 50 for five consecutive years. In 2012, Sodexo received a prestigious Catalyst Award honoring exceptional business initiatives that advance women in the workplace.
Leadership driving change
The The Sodexo Women’s International Forum for talent, SWIFt, was created in 2009 by Sodexo’s CEO Michel Landel “to accelerate the attainment of gender balance within Sodexo, through personal drive, commitment and leadership of its high level leaders”. He appointed Dr. Rohini Anand, Senior Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer at the head of SWIFt to design, develop and implement a dedicated strategy. Dr Anand is today SWIFt co-chair along with Sophie Bellon, Chairwoman of the Board of Directors.
SWIFt brings together 35 senior leaders representing 15 different nationalities from 4 continents and all areas of the organization. Facilitated by a six-member Steering Committee, this group aims to increase women’s representation in leadership positions through tangible initiatives with 4 objectives:
Reach 25 women among Sodexo’s top 300 senior leaders by 2015;
Increase the number of women in operations;
Create a culture of Inclusion;
Serve as role models and advocates for gender diversity.