Sodexo has found teams managed by a balanced mix of men and women are more successful across a range of measurements, including employee engagement and health and safety. The caterer’s five-year, one-of-a-kind study of 70 Sodexo entities across different functions represents 50,000 managers worldwide and tested the performance implications of gender inclusive work culture.
The study examined women across all levels of management – not just upper-level leadership positions – in order to investigate the pipeline that will ultimately affect gender balance at the top tier of businesses. The pattern of results indicated that a near-equal balance of men and women in management was critical to observing gains in financial and non-financial KPIs. Once the proportion of women in management exceeded 60%, the benefits plateaued, confirming that a mix between 40% and 60% is necessary for optimal performance.
Sean Haley, chairman of Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “As a business, we have been committed to the advancement of women for a long time. By putting our head above the parapet and actually conducting research on our own workforce, we have been able to prove that gender-balanced leadership not only makes business sense, but can enhance the quality of life of our employees too.
“Despite notable progress, we are fully aware more work needs to be done, which is why achieving gender balance is one of the three pillars of our Better Tomorrow 2025 vision.”