The Women’s Foodservice Forum (WFF) today announced Sodexo as the winner of the 3rd annual Jackie B. Trujillo SOAR Award. Sponsored by Yum! Brands, the SOAR award celebrates companies that are the Standard-setters for Opportunity, Advancement and Recognition of women leaders in their organization.

SOAR Award Winners
The SOAR Award honors companies with demonstrable corporate initiatives that result in a strong track record of attracting, developing, retaining and promoting women to the highest levels of the organization.

“WFF congratulates Sodexo for supporting the industry-wide mission of elevating women leaders in foodservice,” says Mary Bentley, WFF president. “Sodexo has successfully harnessed the potential of a diverse workforce to drive innovation and achieve sustainable business results.”

Sodexo’s key achievements in the area of gender diversity include:

• In 2008, Sodexo ranked 12th on DiversityInc’s Top 50 list

• Sixty-two percent of women in management received promotions last year, and they had over 90% retention the past two years of middle managers and above

• More than half (57 percent) of Sodexo’s U.S. based full-time employees are female, while 18 percent of its C-level positions are filled by women

• Sodexo ties 25 percent of executive and 10% to 15% of managerial bonuses to a Diversity Scorecard Index, which are paid out regardless of the company’s financial performance

• One of Sodexo’s six Employee Network Groups and its largest, the Women’s Network Group, hosts 650 members, nine regional chapters and eight local chapters, with a mission to “foster a culture where enhancing a women’s individual and professional growth contributes to the global success of our company and the communities we serve”

• Sodexo’s most formal mentoring program, Spirit of Mentoring – IMPACT, is cross-divisional and cross-functional where approximately 50% of participants are women; more than half of Sodexo’s executive team serve as mentors in the program

“Sodexo is proud to accept this prestigious award from the Women’s Foodservice Forum,” says Michael Norris, Chief Operating Officer and Market President – Corporate Services, Sodexo.

“Commitment to diversity is essential in today’s workplace, to not only stay ahead but to improve business performance. Sodexo is honored to support the WFF and its mission of Elevating Women Leaders and enhancing the industry through gender diverse leadership.”

Named after a founding member of the WFF and a true pioneer in the Foodservice industry, Jackie B. Trujillo rose from a car-hop to the Chairman of the Board of the largest KFC franchise in history. She not only spurred women leaders forward in her organization, but opened doors for more women to be elevated in the Foodservice industry. The SOAR award is the highest honor an organization can receive from the WFF.

It recognizes and measures the efforts that companies are making to elevate more women leaders in Foodservice. Doing so will ensure that the industry as a whole continues to thrive, because as research has demonstrated, gender diverse work teams produce better financial results.