Ariel Aghion: A True Gender Parity Ambassador

Published on : 3/1/22
    • Full name: Ariel Aghion
    • Title: Director of Logistics
    • Time with Sodexo: 20 years 
    • Location: Burlington, Ontario
    • Segment: Supply Management


    Discover Ariel and his Sodexo journey

    Ariel Aghion recently celebrated 20 years with Sodexo. Prior to joining the company, he worked for several years in the hospitality industry where he met his wife. In 2002, ready to start a family, Ariel was looking for a job with more regular hours that would allow him to have a good work-life balance so he could be there for his family. Since he had a degree in database management and knowledge of the food service management industry, a friend encouraged him to apply for the position of Purchasing Database Analyst at Sodexo. That's how his journey with the company began. Over the years, Ariel rose through the ranks to become Regional Purchasing Manager and Category Manager where he oversaw supplier contracts. Since November 2020, Ariel has been promoted to the position of Director of Logistics.


    Ariel's involvement in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

    Through his years with Sodexo, Ariel has become an ambassador for the SoTogether Canada resource group. Its mission is to promote a culture that values gender equality and enhances the individual and professional development of women. When he was young, Ariel's parents co-owned a restaurant and he witnessed the different looks and behaviors that customers, employees, and suppliers had towards his mother, even though she was equally co-owner with his father. Ariel didn't like that she was treated differently, and he knew that even 30 years later, many other women were still experiencing the same inequalities. SoTogether's work inspired him to want to be a part of the change and advance the cause of women.

    Ariel says:

    I was still a young father at the time. My daughter was about seven or eight years old. I was thinking about her and wondering who was going to take care of her and the future generations of women? That's when I said to myself, I must do something, we must do something, everybody must do something, to make our company and our country better for them.

    Ariel had also heard about the positive impacts of gender parity in the work teams and more specifically at the senior management level. It was therefore important for him to contribute to the professional development of women in the company so that they could achieve their ambitions.

    After six years as a SoTogether Ambassador, Ariel was approached to take on the position of Learning and Development Chair, a challenge he accepted even though it took him completely out of his comfort zone. In addition to developing new skills, it allowed him to show his children that facing new challenges makes us stronger. This position allowed him to educate and raise awareness on important topics such as burnout prevention, women in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), maternity and parental leave.

    Ariel says:

    I think our employees learn a lot from our resource groups. The information that is shared with us makes us stronger and it's something that we can share with our network and our families. For me, the key is education. You must take the time to learn to improve and you must listen to what is going on. It keeps us involved and it's rewarding. It makes us feel like we are contributing to a movement and creating a better society.

    International Women's Day 2022 will be an opportunity to celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of girls and women around the world. On the other hand, it is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the progress made towards gender equality but also of the work that remains to be done in this regard.

    Ariel says:

    For me, this day is important because we still have a lot of work to do. We have done some good things, but unfortunately, the bias about what women should do and how they should act is still there. It is important for us to break this mentality.