Sodexo Canada’s unique approach to gender balance earns spot in first edition of emerging practice guide for United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals
May 24, 2019
Our work on gender balance is featured in the the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Emerging Practice Guide.
Burlington, ON, May 22, 2019– Sodexo Canada’s research-driven efforts to achieve optimal gender balance in the workplace are among the entries featured in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Emerging Practice Guide, published today by the Canadian network of the United Nations Global Compact, Global Compact Network Canada(GCNC), in partnership withGlobal Affairs Canada.
The guide includes examples of initiatives from 40 companies and organizations, intended to advance action towards each of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015. Download the guide.
“Sodexo Canada has translated the Sustainable Development Goal of gender equality into a company-wide objective to achieve a balanced talent mix, supported by an inclusive environment,” says Suzanne Bergeron, President, Sodexo Canada. “Our presence in this important guide coupled with our Platinum Certification for Gender Parity demonstrate our leadership in advancing women at levels of our organization.”
In 2011, Sodexo Canada’s parent company, Sodexo Group in France, launched a multi-year study on the impact of a gender-inclusive culture, with data from more than 50,000 managers at 70 Sodexo entities worldwide. In 2014, Sodexo expanded this study to analyze the impact of gender on finance-based performance indicators as well as employee engagement, employee retention, client retention and safety. The study also examined women across all levels of management to gain better insight on the talent pipeline that will ultimately affect gender balance at the top tier of leadership.
“What we found was that the company performed better in most performance indicators when women occupied between 40 per cent to 60 per cent of management,” says Bergeron. “We set this optimal ratio as a target for our gender balance goals.”
Historically, women have been the primary drivers behind workplace initiatives related to gender equality. Sodexo breaks new ground by making this Sustainable Development Goal a shared responsibility for everyone in the organization. The company recently created an advisory board called SoTogether, with a mandate to get the entire Sodexo team pulling together towards gender balance. As a first step, SoTogether has identified the need for male employees at Sodexo to become more active supporters and drivers of gender balance in the workplace.
“The private sector is the fuel that accelerates sustainable development at the local level, however many businesses are unsure of where to start and are stalled by challenging obstacles such as aligning the SDGs with their respective business agendas,” says Ayman Chowdhury, head of secretariat at Global Compact Network Canada. “Therefore, we hope that through the sharing of emerging practices, this guide can inspire and provide guidance to all Canadian companies that are still learning about the SDGs and working on integrating them into the core of their business DNA.”
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Emerging Practice Guideis part of a growing number of tools that the GCNC provides to support the Canadian private sector in embracing sustainable and responsible business practices. Other tools include the Guide for General Counsel, OECD Guidelines Handbook for Canadian Companies, and SDG Surveys.
Sodexo in Canada
Sodexo has been delivering On-Site Services in Canada for over 40 years. Recognized as a strategic partner, Sodexo Canada is dedicated to providing Quality of Life Services for clients, their employees and visitors in the corporate, education, healthcare and energy and resources segments. These Quality of Life Services create healthy, safe, and efficient environments allowing individuals and organizations to grow and succeed. Delivering food and facilities management services for over 185 clients, Sodexo is a market leader in Canada in terms of revenue and consumers served and has been recognized as a top employer for the past six consecutive years. Sodexo Canada is proud to have created the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, an independent charitable organization that has raised over $3 million to fight hunger and donated more than 1 million meals to at-risk youth across Canada since 2007.
About the Global Compact Network Canada
The Global Compact Network Canada (GCNC) is spearheading the 10 Principles of the UN Global Compact and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In doing so, it unifies and builds the capacity of the Canadian private sector to embrace sustainable business practices by convening and accelerating opportunities for multi-stakeholder collaboration. www.globalcompact.ca
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