We recognized that globally, many leaders struggled to personally understand the implications of gender diversity in a way that was relevant to their business success. In addition, Sodexo’s HR and D&I teams found it challenging to talk about advancing women within senior leadership pipelines —a key strategic objective for Sodexo — without alienating men in the process.
Sodexo decided to analyze data on the gender composition of its global teams and their associated business results to make a stronger case for why managers and leaders should consider gender diversity in hiring and promoting talent. The company conducted an internal study of 100 global entities and 50,000 employees. The study explored the correlation between the gender balance in management teams at all levels and organizational performance as measured by internal key performance indicators (KPIs)—financial and non-financial, including: brand awareness, client retention, employee engagement gross profit and organic growth.
Sodexo found that gender-balanced teams—those with 40%–60% women in management—out performed teams that were not gender balanced. Specifically, these teams were more engaged (four point higher global engagement rate over non-balanced teams); had higher brand awareness (five points higher); had better client retention (12% increase); and had more positive profit and growth over three consecutive years.