Sodexo reports a 14.9% mean gender pay gap


Facilities management service organisation Sodexo has reported a mean gender pay gap of 14.9% for hourly fixed pay as at April 2017 across its five legal entitles with more than 250 staff in the UK.

The organisation has reported its gender pay gap data in line with the government’s gender pay gap reporting regulations and ahead of the private sector submission deadline of 4 April 2018.

The gender pay gap reporting regulations require organisations with 250 or more employees to publish the difference between both the mean and median hourly rate of pay for male and female full-time employees; the difference between both the mean bonus pay and median bonus pay for male and female employees; the proportions of male and female employees who were awarded bonus pay; and the proportions of male and female full-time employees in the lower, lower middle, upper middle and upper quartile pay bands.

The median gender pay gap for fixed hourly pay is 12.6% as at 5 April 2017 across its five entities where it employs more than 250 UK staff.

The mean gender pay gap for bonuses paid in the year to 5 April 2017 is 38.5%, and the median gender pay gap for bonus pay is 40.9%. Over this period, 28% of men received a bonus payments, compared to 26% of women.

More than a third (39%) of employees in the highest pay quartile at Sodexo are women, compared to 46% in the second quartile, 57% in the third quartile, and 67% in the lowest pay quartile.

Sodexo has attributed its gender pay gap to an imbalance of men and women throughout its organisational hierarchy, with typically male employees in the more senior positions receiving the highest pay.

Sodexo plans to combat gender imbalance within the organisation by continuing with initiatives such as its Sodexo Women’s International Forum for Talent (Swift) programme, which was created in 2009 to provide visible role models committed to gender balance. Around 30 of the organisation’s male and female senior leaders work as role models for the initiative. Furthermore, Sodexo has labelled gender as one of its three pillars in its corporate sustainability strategy, Better Tomorrow 2025. The other pillars include reducing waste and tackling malnutrition.

Sodexo will also maintain its gender balance employee network group, Women Work, which was set up in 2011 for staff in the UK and Ireland. The group organises development and networking opportunities, produces live and recorded interviews with senior leaders and those in non-traditional roles, shares podcasts and blogs on relevant topics, and offers peer support to those with childcare responsibilities. Women Work has held five annual conferences across the UK since 2012, and joined other employee networks within Sodexo this May to host the organisation’s first Sodexo Inclusion Conference. Women Work also liaises with Swift on certain projects, for example to produce webinars for employees on topics such as flexible working, communications skills, influencing remotely, unconscious bias, and building a personal brand.

The organisation is piloting an anonymous CV initiative and an on-site supervisor academy, which is used to identify and develop team leaders, to help address the gender balance within its talent management procedures.

Sodexo plans on using its total reward strategy to help reduce its gender pay gap in the future. This includes reviewing each employee’s package from a total reward perspective rather than just a compensation perspective, using market data to align salary midpoints, using a more robust performance management system to track pay for performance and results, having transparency around communications and line manager involvement, and maintaining a focus on not discriminating for any reason.

Sodexo first published its gender pay gap in November 2016, after committing to undertake a gender pay audit as part of its Public Service Pledge in 2015.

Andy Rogers, HR director at Sodexo UK and Ireland, said: “At Sodexo, we believe achieving gender balance is not only the right thing to do, it also enables people and our business to perform better. This belief is supported by global internal research which found our own gender-balanced management teams outperform those that are not across a number of key performance indicators.

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“Visibility is crucial. We are proud to be included in The Times Top 50 employers for women for the last four years. We have signed up to the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles. But there is still so much more to do.

“Sodexo’s mission is to improve quality of life for people. Publishing our gender pay gap is one step on the journey to creating an inclusive culture where everyone can flourish.”