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Business & Industry

A surprising way to increase profits by 10-15%

Did you know that a gender balance of 40 to 60% in managerial positions means a 10 to 15% profit increase for most companies?*

It’s not a surprise that in 2017, over 75% of CEOs stated that gender balance was a top priority in their organizations. But, the actual boots-on-ground details can be sometimes difficult to materialize.

In facilities management, a sector traditionally dominated by men, not only do women continue to be underrepresented, but they also tend to fall behind in entry-level positions where it is easier for men to have a first shot at leadership.

“Gender diversity is essential. It is beyond a moral obligation—it’s a business imperative and differentiator,” says Denis Machuel, CEO of Sodexo.

Closing the gender gap in the workplace can be challenging, but like any business imperative, organizations must establish clear targets and measure results. If you make it the heart of your success strategy, you will certainly see results.

The problem right now, in FM

The facilities management workforce is shrinking as older workers retire, leaving a significant shortage of skilled talent and a high demand for young talent. With only 10% of leadership positions held by women in the FM Industry, there’s plenty of room for improvement, and plenty of talent ready to work. 

Despite initiatives to achieve gender equality, disparities persist, and progress continues to be slow. A study by LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. revealed that for every 100 men who are hired and promoted, only 72 women enjoy the same success. Findings also show that 29% of companies with low representation of women are more likely to underperform on profitability

Additionally, facilities management may often be contracted out, and companies forget that the hiring practices of the contracted service are a reflection on their own business and can have an impact.

Building your culture of opportunity 

To truly create inclusive workplaces, companies need to make cultural and organizational changes that attract, retain AND nurture both women and men. 
Neuroscience studies specifically aimed at women in business find that women are decisive, detail-oriented, strong communicators and dynamic. They also help build a culture at work that enables productivity and innovation.

Our 2018 Gender Balance Study, launched internally at Sodexo analyzed data from over 50,000 managers in 70 different entities worldwide, examining performance based on gender data across all levels of management. Our study found these tangible benefits in one year (FY16) for teams managed by a balanced mix of men and women:

  • Employee engagement - 14% higher 
  • Employee retention - 16.8% higher
  • Client retention rate - 16.9% higher (entities with 90+% client retention) 
  • Accident rate decrease - 12% better (between FY14 and 16) 
  • Operating margins - 8% higher (Defined as entities who significantly increased operating margins between FY14 and FY16) 

From entry level positions to leadership roles, we are committed to advancing women in the workplace and ensuring equal access to growth and opportunity.  


Ensure your facilities management staff is diverse by using Sodexo services.

*Source for 10-15% profit increase

January 02, 2020

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