Gender Equality Awards 2016: Transparency Award - Sodexo UK & Ireland

Award Type: 

Sodexo believes that gender balance is a key driver towards better business performance. This is evidenced by global internal research into gender balance which found that teams with gender balanced management performed better across all major business indicators (organic growth, profit, employee engagement, brand image, consumer satisfaction and retention), than those without. 

Sodexo believes that a strategic approach to diversity and inclusion is essential for attracting, retaining and developing talent and for driving engagement and productivity. As a service provider, its people are the most important asset Sodexo has, meaning an engaged and committed workforce is not just a ‘nice to have’, it is the key driver to success.

Sodexo UK & Ireland publishes gender equality information to signal an unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion to its customers, clients, stakeholders – and to its employees.  

In March 2015, Sodexo UK & Ireland publicly set out a commitment to transparency with the launch of its Public Service Pledge, an ethical manifesto for contracts and conduct, citizens and communities. Gender pay reporting is one of 16 commitments in the Pledge.

Sodexo’s global board has set out its position on reporting gender balance information. For Sodexo UK & Ireland specifically, the decision on what and how to report was reached at board level with commitment of the regional (UK & Ireland) chair and the senior leadership team. The strategy for pay reporting was agreed after consultation from the Reward and Diversity and Inclusion teams. 

In summer  2016, Sodexo UK & Ireland will publish an overall gender pay figure. This will constitute the average hourly rate of women versus the average hourly rate of men, and be broken down by business segment (e.g. Corporate Services, Justice, Healthcare) and by employee band (e.g. customer-facing staff through to senior management). Where feasible, these figures will also be published by ethnicity, disability and by working pattern.

The Reward team is responsible for delivering Sodexo’s pay reporting pledge and will carry out the audit using Sodexo’s SAP/payroll system. Sodexo will continue to report annually against the aspirational targets set out in its CR reports, and once it has completed the first full pay audit it will set out targets for the various indicators.

Sodexo intends to conduct company-wide pay audits every two years as well as quarterly ‘spot audits’ within different business divisions.  

One of the metrics used in a gender balance business report was employee engagement, and Sodexo’s strategic approach to diversity and inclusion is having a positive impact on this.

Sodexo reported that gender-balanced teams experienced on average an increase of four points of the global engagement rate versus only one point for other teams between 2010 and 2012.  In the 2014 engagement survey in UK & Ireland the statement “I feel Sodexo values diversity in the workplace” achieved a 78% engagement score, 14 points above the UK external benchmark. 

When it comes to publishing, Sodexo intends to communicate its gender pay reporting by publishing a summary of the pay audit on the company website. The report will also be made available to employees through its intranet, employee website, other internal communications channels as well as relevant diversity and inclusion employee networks.  

Sodexo will engage with the media and utilise social media channels to communicate its pay audit results and narrative. Sodexo will also inform clients and other stakeholders of the report