Sodexo Named as One of the Top Three Companies for African Americans on 2009 DiversityInc Top Ten Companies List

April 07, 2009

Company lauded for valuing the opinions of African American employees

Sodexo Named as One of the Top Three Companies for African Americans on 2009 DiversityInc Top Ten Companies List

GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 7, 2009 — The commitment to diversity at Sodexo, a leading integrated food and facilities management services company, “allows me to be open about who I am as an African American and a woman and have a voice in the company,” said Sonia Suber, Sodexo vice president for Information Systems and Technology for Health Care Services and chair of the African American Leadership Forum network group.

Suber went on to say, “Sodexo values the opinions of its African American employees – we don’t have to fit into a cookie-cutter mold to succeed in this organization.”

Sodexo rose in the rankings over the 2008 DiversityInc designations for African Americans employees, from number nine last year to number three today. Factors contributing to Sodexo’s high placement include:

  • Sodexo CEO and President George Chavel served as co-chair of the National Urban League's Equal Opportunity Dinner.

  • One-third of the Sodexo Advisory Board is African American.

  • The Sodexo work force is 26 percent African American; new hires are 30 percent African American.

Altogether 401 companies, an increase of 14 percent from last year’s 352 contenders, competed for the DiversityInc honors.

“Sodexo’s diversity is our strength – it allows us to improve our service,” added Suber. “Sodexo’s like a very large and very personable family, with a variety of different people doing numerous different jobs. We feel a sense of community and a commitment from the company to support our efforts.”

DiversityInc considered race/ethnicity/gender/age-demographics questions surrounding the work force, new hires, management by levels, promotions and retention. DiversityInc includes questions on work/life benefits and recruitment strategies, including those aimed at lesbian/gay/bisexual/ transgender (LGBT) people and people with disabilities.

Factors in Sodexo's success were its diversity-training and employee-engagement metrics, its trendsetting mentoring programs, its full complement of progressive work/life programs, and its external communications and partnerships that brand it as a diversity leader.

About DiversityInc
Launched in 1997, DiversityInc is the leading business publication connecting diversity and the bottom line, with 1 million unique monthly visitors. DiversityInc.com includes the largest diversity job board in the nation. DiversityInc also produces events and conducts benchmarking, custom research and consulting.

Sodexo, Inc.
Sodexo, Inc. (www.sodexoUSA.com) is a leading integrated facilities management services company in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, with $7.7 billion (USD) in annual revenue and 120,000 employees. Sodexo serves more than ten million customers daily in corporations, health care, long term care and retirement centers, schools, college campuses, government, and remote sites. Sodexo, Inc., headquartered in Gaithersburg, Md., is a member of Sodexo Group, and funds all administrative costs for the Sodexo Foundation (www.sodexofoundation.org), an independent charitable organization that, since its founding in 1999, has made more than $11 million in grants to fight hunger in America. 

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