I love being a staff writer for 3BL Media/Justmeans on topics - Social Innovation, Social Enterprise and Social Entrepreneurs. When I am not writing for 3BL Media/Justmeans, I wear my other hat as owner of Serendipity PR. Over the years I have worked with high-profile, big, powerful brands and organisations within the public, not-for-profit and corporate sectors; and won awards from my industry....
Sodexo Leads the Way on Diversity Using Social Innovation and Technology
Sodexo is a model employer for diversity and inclusion. The company was recently given the '2012 Innovations in Diversity' Award by Profiles in Diversity Journal, a bi-monthly magazine that focuses on diversity in business, government, non-profit, higher education and the military. It recognised Sodexo's Virtual Diversity and Business Leadership Summit (VDBLS) as an exciting social innovation initiative that enhanced diversity and inclusion through technology. Also, this Sodexo was named one of 'Fortune's World's Most Admired Companies 2012.'
The 'Profile in Diversity Journal' is an esteemed award which honours corporations, organisations and institutions that have developed social innovation solutions that offer proven outcomes in the area of workforce diversity and inclusion. George Chavel, President and CEO of Sodexo, recently said, "We are celebrating a ten-year diversity journey that has enriched, informed, and improved our business and led to a systemic culture change. Through the inclusion of people and the integration of diversity of thought, we are better able to design, manage, and deliver quality of life services to our customers and meet the needs and expectations of the communities we serve."
VDBLS's learning events and activities focused on building skills, knowledge and awareness around different scopes of diversity. It used technology and social innovation to create live on-line chats and networking opportunities, ensuring that the diversity programme reached a larger number of Sodexo employees; Sodexo is an organisation that employs 413,000 in 80 countries. Participants could use the online Resource Centre; a library of diversity information that could be downloaded and also researched to support learning, development, and performance. The Virtual Summit was live for seven months, which meant that the content was available to a wider audience for a longer period of time than traditional in-person events.
Sodexo cleverly found a social innovation way to lead on diversity and share best practices, while still being sustainable and reducing the carbon foot print that an event like this event would normally involve. As a result, Sodexo increased diversity competency company-wide and of the 2,243 individuals who registered, 1,881 (84%) participated in the VDBLS online environment. A total of 2,151 training events were completed through VDBLS and 96% stated they would apply the learning to their job.
Promoting workplace diversity has many bottom line benefits and Sodexo has put diversity at the heart of its business. Through VDBLS, Sodexo has provided its employees with equal access to information, development and opportunity. By building an inclusive workplace environment, global businesses can operate in a multicultural world, which is key to any organisation's long-term sustainability and future.
Photo Credit: Sodexo Website