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Sodexo Live! Launches Milestone ‘People Ambition’ Initiative Focused on Mental Health, Career Advancement and Boosting Diversity

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Hospitality leader invests in additional resources, training and mentorship as part of new Employer Value Proposition for 40,000+ employees

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Nov. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Sodexo Live!, the global hospitality leader that manages prestigious, cultural, sporting venues and major events around the world, today announced the launch of its new People Ambition initiative – to attract, retain and grow its ranks of best-in-class hospitality providers. Based on quantitative yearlong findings from 50+ surveys of current employees across all roles, from culinary to front-of-house to management, the new initiative represents Sodexo Live!’s increased focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion in recruitment, development, and management, and the prioritization of career development with deeper training and mentorship opportunities for every employee. The company will also provide more mental health resources as part of its increased focus on wellbeing.

“At Sodexo Live!, we are experience makers. We are committed to lead the charge in creating tangible programs that encourage active learning and development, while increasing our focus and support on employee wellbeing,” said Tracey Jenkins, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Sodexo Live! North America. “Our investment in this significant Employer Value Proposition initiative comes at a time when the hospitality industry is at a crossroads. The People Ambition proactively addresses our resolve to be employee-first while engaging team members to build fulfilling lifelong careers here. And yes, we are hiring.”

Sodexo Live! leaders have identified four pillars for EVP and what it represents:

  • Long: Ensuring a sense of belonging and purpose, rooted in family and teamwork.
    • The organization maintains an 80% employee engagement rate and offers nine Employee Business Resource Groups (EBRGs) which foster a culture of inclusion and provide networking, learning and development opportunities.
  • Act: Values ​​diversity, equity and inclusion as a key performance driver for all.
    • Sodexo received a perfect score on the 2022 Disability Equality Index (DEI), was named by Forbes as a 2022 Best Employer for Diversity and was acknowledged as a Best Company for Multicultural Women by Seramount.
  • Thrive: Promotes personal and career growth opportunities and establishes opportunities for employees to succeed and be promoted internally.
    • Over the past year, Sodexo Live! promoted 142 employees across the company – 46% of promoted employees were women.
  • Be Live: Creating exceptional events and memories that last a lifetime – for 21 World Series, 15 Super Bowls, 14 College Football Championship Games, 12 Final Fours, 6 of the top 10 Meeting Destinations in North America, 15 LEED-Certified Convention Centers and more – starting with employees who are the fabric of these moments.

As part of this new initiative, Sodexo Live! will be creating and implementing new programs that encourage diversity, equity and inclusion such as “She Leads,” which is a global mentorship program for women. Launched this past October with an inaugural class, participants are taking part in a nine-month program which will introduce them to other female leaders globally within the organization, and help them learn more about their individual leadership styles. Sodexo is committed to having women represent at least 40 percent of its global leadership by 2025. Currently, women represent 60 percent of Sodexo’s board members and 45 percent of the executive committee.

Sodexo Live! by the Numbers:

  • The average tenure for Sodexo Live! full-time employees is seven years. In contrast, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers overall in leisure and hospitality have an average of 2.3 years per job. Sodexo Live! also achieves an 80% satisfaction and engagement rate among employees.
  • Over the past year, Sodexo Live! expanded its number of employees in management positions by 68%, proving that employees stay with and grow their careers with the organization.
  • In this time, Sodexo Live! also increased its African American representation in senior leadership roles by 28%.

Additional examples of programs that support the company’s new EVP initiative include:

  • The Diversity Learning Laba mandatory program for upper-level management.
  • Tomorrow’s Leaders Program is designed to accelerate employees’ development and enhance their current and future leadership capabilities. In partnership with San Diego State University’s esteemed School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, employees develop the curriculum and participate in five virtual sessions over the next calendar year.
  • A dedicated Mentorship Program gives staffers an opportunity to learn from upper-level management.
  • Has retooled Internship Academy currently has over 50 active students across different disciplines, from operations, finance, human resources, data analytics and more. It includes lunch-and-learns with subject matter experts and client partners.

“A motivated and energized workforce is one of the greatest assets we can provide our venue partners and the top-tier events we host on a regular basis. Working here is more than a job; it’s a chance to be part of something greater and build a long-term career,” said Steve Pangburn, CEO of Sodexo Live! North America. “Our experiences are unique, and so are our people. We encourage everyone to bring their personality, their background and a desire for delighting others. In return, we’ll give you all you need to thrive. After giving it all, you’ll return home knowing you’ve played your part in creating truly unforgettable moments.”

For more information on the company’s efforts, and to hear directly from Sodexo Live! team members on what it’s like working as an Experience Maker, please click here.

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