Sodexo Receives 2009 Disability Matters Award
April 01, 2009
Sodexo Organization for disAbilities Resources champions company's efforts
GAITHERSBURG, Md., April 1, 2009 – Sodexo Inc. received the 2009 Disability Matters Award in the category of Work Life for its pioneering work and commitment to supporting people with disabilities and their families. The award was presented by Work Life Matters Magazine and Springboard Consulting. The integrated food and facilities management company and its employee network group, Sodexo Organization for disAbilities Resources (SOAR), will be honored as one of nine award recipients during the Disabilities Matters Conference in New York City, in April.
During its first year, SOAR made great strides towards its goal to create a culture that embraces, values and fully utilizes persons with disabilities. The group collaborated with Sodexo University to create a self-paced and interactive e-learning module on disability awareness for employees. In addition, SOAR spearheaded a series of events and webinars with the National Organization on Disabilities to recognize and promote National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
“As the mother of a child with Down syndrome, I see how much my daughter has to offer at such a young age, and it makes me realize how much we as a society underestimate the abilities of persons with disabilities,” said Adrienne Vadell Sturges, Sodexo assistant general counsel and co-chair of SOAR. “Through my work with Sodexo and SOAR, I hope to change people’s perceptions through education, training and the creation of inclusive work opportunities.”
Staff from Sodexo’s Talent Acquisition Group and SOAR members have been reaching out to national and regional groups to identify partners to assist Sodexo in recruiting qualified individuals with disabilities. Sodexo plans to launch at least two pilot programs in different geographic areas to focus on identifying, training and retaining employees with disabilities.
“I have always been impressed, at times overwhelmed, by the results and value we add to our organization by providing proactive leadership in fostering opportunities for individuals with disabilities,” added Mike Connor, Sodexo area general manager, Senior Services, and SOAR co-chair.
Sodexo established its first SOAR regional chapter in Buffalo, N.Y. last October and plans to launch at least two more regional chapters this year. The company is also on schedule to train more than 30 regional ambassadors, Sodexo volunteers who are interested in representing SOAR and communicating its efforts and goals at local and regional events and functions.
“It is so personally gratifying to see the incredible commitment of our awardees to supporting people with disabilities and their families in so many aspects of their businesses,” said Springboard Consulting President Nadine Vogel. “It illustrates their recognition and commitment to the inclusion of a community that is now considered to be the largest minority market in the world.”
Work Life Matters Magazine is a national quarterly publication that educates senior executives at Fortune 1000 companies about the importance of providing work life services and resources to our nation’s workforce. The magazine is mailed to 5,000 CEOs, CFOs and human resource directors and is distributed on newsstands at Office Depot locations throughout the United States.
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.