Sodexo releases ethnic pay gap figures
Sodexo UK has become the first company in the hospitality and FM sector to voluntarily release its ethnic pay gap data for 2020, reporting an ethnic average pay gap of 5%.
The food service and facilities management company claims to have a long-standing commitment to justice and fairness and is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace, and in 2019 publicly committed, through the Business in the Community’s bias Race to Work Charter and through the Ethnicity pay gap within the mandate, to publish their pay gap linked to ethnic origin.
In July 2020, Sodexo joined forces with several business leaders to sign a open letter led by Audeliss & INvolve and committing to take action and report on its progress annually.
In the report, Sodexo included data on the pay gap for three different ethnic groups: Black, Asian, and mixed ethnicity, as it recognizes that the publication of combined pay data for these groups may mask disparities between the different groups.
Sodexo says the events of 2020 have encouraged the company to do more and over the past year has created a strategic task force of senior black and other ethnic leaders to lead change programs at company wide, one of which was the launch of its Be Heard Listening Group Series. Developed specifically for black colleagues to share their lived experiences of working at Sodexo, the first series gave rise to action plans developed for each of its business segments.
On gender, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on Sodexo’s business and the government’s requirement to exclude colleagues on leave earning less than their full regular data pay have resulted in a slight increase in Sodexo’s average salary gap in 2020 from 14.12 percent in 2019 to 14.36 percent in 2020.
Sodexo has established a gender parity strategy and, throughout the pandemic, has maintained its focus on gender. It was one of the first organizations to release its data on the gender pay gap in 2016, before government legislation introduced the following year requiring companies with more than 250 employees to do so.
Sodexo said it will use its latest gender and ethnicity pay data to focus its strategy on where and how these gaps need to be narrowed, and adds that the annual release of its findings on pay gaps between gender and ethnicity will become standard practice for the company.
Sodexo’s action plan for the UK and Ireland includes:
- Set goals to increase ethnic representation in leadership positions
- Achieve 43 percent (currently 37 percent) representation of women in senior management by 2025
- Reduce the average gender pay gap across all legal entities combined to 10% or less by 2025
- Continue to monitor compensation practices
- Create more sponsorship and development programs for women and unrepresented ethnic groups
- Undertake a diagnostic review of attraction and progression strategies
- Conduct an employee census to increase our data on ethnicity and improve the quality of the data we hold
Sean Haley, Regional President, Sodexo UK & Ireland said: “We believe that the first steps towards achieving our diversity and inclusion goals are transparency and public accountability.
“There is a lot of work to be done to improve gender parity and ethnicity, but it is only with this level of clarity and the momentum to have more open conversations that we can build steps to move our organization in the right direction and to do better by our colleagues and the communities in which we operate.