Pressing for progress on gender equality


Can you imagine that it will take 217 years to achieve gender equality in the world? 217 years...

This is what the World Economic Forum forecasts. And data shows that the gender gap is widening every day.

At Sodexo, we can do better. We can improve Quality of Life for everyone, faster, because empowering women empowers us all.
As one International Women's Day a year isn't enough, the purpose of this year is to press for progress, this is why:

We're making every day International Women's Day

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 as well as strengthen our visibility and notoriety as a global brand.  

Since the creation of Sodexo, our mission has been to improve quality of life of our employees and all who we serve and to contribute to the economic, social and environmental development of the communities, regions and countries in which we operate. As a company that promises to improve quality of life of people, corporate responsibility lies at the core of everything we do.

This is also true for gender balance and the advancement of women Sodexo has always placed at the heart of its economic, social and environmental development.

Sodexo undertakes many ambitious initiatives to further this goal, including training, mentoring, creating gender networks and raising awareness about gender-related issues. In nine years, the percentage of women in Group Senior Leaders has risen from 17% to 32% in 2017 while women now make up 50% of the Board of Directors.

The cornerstone of Sodexo’s gender strategy is the Sodexo Women's International Forum for talent, SWIFt, an advisory board dedicated to promoting women's advancement. SWIFt brings together 34 senior leaders representing 17 different nationalities from 4 continents and all areas of the organization. Facilitated by a ten-member Steering Committee, this group aims to increase women's representation in leadership positions through tangible initiatives with 4 objectives:

  • Reach 40% women among Sodexo's top senior leaders by 2025;
  • Increase the number of women in operations;
  • Create a culture of Inclusion;
  • Serve as role models and advocates for gender diversity.

We're making every day International Women's Day

As we are all concerned, every 8 of each month, let’s find out a new insight on gender equality that will help all of us to move the needle. Can we accept that it will take another 217 years for gender balance to be a matter of course? We always need to have this figure in mind: 217. And make sure we have gender equality at the top of our mind.

April 8: Promote gender equality on social media by supporting # pressforprogress

May 8: If you are leading a meeting, make sure every single person has a chance to share their opinions

June 8: According to the World Economic Forum, it will take 217 years to achieve gender equality in the world.


July 8: Read about visionary women to get inspiration


August 8: Advancing women’s equality can add $12 trillion to global growth, according to McKinsey & Company


September 8: If you see any examples of gender bias, speak up. Test how gender-biased you are.


October 8: Learn 8 interesting facts on Gender parity


November 8: Spread the word that your colleagues are appreciated. When they do something great, share the story with others.


December 8: Learn about gender stereotypes and tips on how to avoid them


January 8: Women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)


February 8: Explore the work Stop-hunger (set up by Sodexo employees) does to strive for a hunger-free world


Sodexo’s Gender Balance Study 2018

Sodexo’s Gender Balance Study 2018Comprehensive Sodexo study Finds Gender-Balanced Management Teams Perform Better on Key Business Objectives.