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Sodexo's Employee Engagement = Gender Equity & Fighting World Hunger

Sodexo Global CEO Michel Landel's unwavering leadership commitment to equality is what led Sodexo to the top of the DiversityInc Top 50 list. Listen as he shares how gender-equity initiatives and fighting world hunger play big roles in Sodexo's approach to employee engagement.

Sodexo Global CEO Michel Landel's unwavering leadership commitment to equality is what led Sodexo to a top spot on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list—and what has helped to attract other great leaders to the company. Read more about this remarkable man. Outtakes from DiversityInc's candid conversation with Landel follow.


Maintaining Vigilance

[Diversity management] is not an exact science; we still have a lot of work to do. But the most important thing is probably [not] to give up or just let it go. Frankly, the day you give up, it's over. It's the JELL-O effect: You push and then you stop pushing and it goes back. If it's not entrenched in people's minds, it's so comfortable to get back to where you were before. I think we're still not at the critical mass in the world, so we have to push and be determined because, otherwise, I don't think it will last. Human beings are human beings. And if you don't push and continuously combat for human rights, then I think the risk of moving back to stupid things could happen—even if we say we're in the 21st century and people are more evolved than they were. I think we have to be very vigilant.

Motivating Employees

I was in Colombia two months ago and met this employee of Sodexo. We were celebrating 10 years of Sodexo Colombia, and she was there in the beginning. She is a single mother, has four children and started as an employee and now is a manager. The four kids have very good jobs—one is a doctor, one is a lawyer. She called her last daughter Sodexene, and she tells me that Sodexo has made her life, allowed her and her family to become the family that she has. That's why we're at Sodexo. The rest is just not important.

Striving for Gender Equity

Set a goal: Today women are 18 percent of our top 300 managers, and we want it to be 25 percent in several years.

Now, you could ask me why not 50 percent because 50 percent of the population [is comprised of] women. But we have to build this and it takes time; we cannot change a company of our size in five minutes. So it's setting the goal and doing women's initiatives. We have mentoring, women's groups, associations, outside groups, our SWIFt program and pushing to make sure we're not changing the direction. I think this is something that we'll move because more than 50 percent of college graduates are women and they are taking many more leading roles in society. We work very much on flexible time and making sure we organize solutions for daycare for the kids.

 

We also make it attractive for young men, because now the young generation of men wants to take care of their children. It's not a career barrier if you have men staying at home and taking care of children. We make sure there's equality for everybody.

Making this company attractive, changing the way we work and changing the status quo is very critical at Sodexo.

Fighting World Hunger

I started STOP Hunger Sodexo Foundation in the U.S. [because] I have always been shocked by the quantity of food that you get in a restaurant and the amount of waste. It is amazing and, frankly, it shocked me when I came to the U.S. back in the late '80s [from France]. After Sodexo merged with Marriott [Management Services], we started … talking about these issues a lot. One day, we said maybe we should do more and make sure at least at Sodexo that we try to avoid this waste. From that came the idea: Get all the food we don't use, give it back to communities and start this initiative. I think it fits with our culture, our objective and our mission and values.

After that, we extended it to other countries. Today, it is [active in 29 countries] and very powerful because it engages people. This is a business where if we want to be successful, we need to have all these people come in the morning and be happy to be here. It's not easy if you have a difficult life and home. One way to motivate people is [to let them see] how important they are in life and what they can contribute. By doing this, it's a good way for people to say, "I am important, what I do is important in life and I can really contribute." So engaging the Sodexo people is why this initiative is working, and I am very grateful.

Click here to read Part I of this interview with video.

Sodexo: University Dining Teams Partner to Give Back and Address Hunger on College Campuses

Sodexo's work to fight hunger follows the entire student journey from primary to higher education.

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Originally Published by Sodexo.

Every holiday season, Sodexo dining teams across more than 650 university locations extend their service spirit to students in need. Here are six great examples of partnerships with students, faculty and University leadership that are making an impact beyond the classroom.

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Sodexo's Centerplate and Miami Beach Convention Center Announce Contract Extension

"This is a world-class facility and we look forward to having a best-in-class culinary program for years to come, led by General Manager Danny Medina and Executive Chef Ismael Lasalle."

Originally Published by Sodexo.

Centerplate, North America's leading convention center hospitality provider, and The Miami Beach Convention Center (MBCC) have announced an agreement to extend the food and beverage contract at the Center. The newly signed extension comes as the MBCC reopens after an all-encompassing $620 million renovation.

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Sodexo Encourages College Students to Support Vermont's Local Food Economy

First-ever Taking Root Student Symposium celebrates the best of farm-to-institution.

Originally Published by Sodexo.

Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to Quality of Life, organized and hosted the first-ever Taking Root Student Symposium to demonstrate the organization's commitment to buying locally-sourced products in Vermont and to teach college students in the state what it means to chart a career in food.

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Students Leading Sustained and Innovative Hunger-Fighting Solutions Can Apply for $10,000 from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

Applications for the 2019 Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships now being accepted.

Originally Published by Sodexo.

The Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation today announced the opening of the application period for the 2019 Stephen J. Brady Stop Hunger Scholarships which will run from October 5 through December 5, 2018. The scholarship program urges students to apply to #Get5KGive5K to help end hunger in their communities. Students from kindergarten through graduate school are eligible to apply for a $5,000 scholarship with matching $5,000 grant for the hunger-related charity of their choice. Visit https://aim.applyISTS.net/StopHungerScholars to apply.

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Sodexo Launches New Plant-Based Menus Across Hundreds of University, Healthcare and Corporate Services Accounts Nationwide

200 Plant-Based Recipes Created in Partnership with the Humane Society of the United States and the World Resource Institute-Better Buying Lab.

Originally Published by Sodexo.

Sodexo Launches New Plant-Based Menus Across Hundreds of University, Healthcare and Corporate Services Accounts NationwideAccording to a Nielsen global survey, 39% of American consumers are working to incorporate more plant-based foods in their diets. Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company committed to improving Quality of Life, launched its new plant-based menus in hundreds of accounts across its Universities, Healthcare, and Corporate Services segments. The new menus featuring 200 plant-based recipes were created in partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and the World Resource Institute-Better Buying Lab (WRI), to meet consumer demand for plant-based options and reduce the environmental impact of food offerings.

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Sodexo: From Tikka Masala to Congee, Campus Dining Trends Go Beyond Chicken Tenders & Pizza

Sodexo, Which Runs Dining Services at More Than 600 U.S. Colleges and Universities, Names Top Dining Trends.

From Tikka Masala to Congee, Campus Dining Trends Go Beyond Chicken Tenders & PizzaOriginally Published by Sodexo.

College dining halls these days look more like the popular food halls in cities throughout the US and Canada than like the cafeterias that many alumni remember. Today's students have sophisticated palates and dining services reflect this.

"Our student customers have grown up eating a wide-variety of cuisine from around the world. They know what they like, but they are also adventurous and want to try new foods," said Lisa Feldman, Sodexo's director of recipe management. Sodexo provides food services for more than 600 colleges and universities across North America.

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Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation Extends Partnership With Armed Services YMCA To Help End Childhood Hunger

$100,000 grant from the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation will support child development and food insecurity programs at two ASYMCA locations.

Originally Published by Sodexo.

Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation announced that it is extending its partnership with the Armed Services YMCA (ASYMCA) and providing a $100,000 grant to improve access to nutritious food to help end childhood hunger. The organizations will continue to work together to support the military community by helping to reduce food insecurity among military families. With the generosity of organizations like Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation, ASYMCA can help stop military family hunger through programs and services supporting young, low-income military families.

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Sodexo Revolutionizes High School Cafeteria Experience with Launch of Innovative Taste4 Dining Concept

The next generation in high school dining, Taste4 rolls out in 97 sites this Summer and next Fall for implementation in the 2018-2019 school year.

Originally Published by Sodexo.

Sodexo, a food services and facilities management company that provides student nutrition to nearly 400 school districts throughout the U.S., has launched Taste4, a new meal concept that revamps the classics - salads and wraps, deli sandwiches, pasta, grilled favorites, pizza – and elevates school lunch for today's sophisticated palates.

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