Skip to main content
Case Studies Leadership Programme

SoTogether network by Sodexo

By 17 November 2020September 16th, 2021No Comments

SoTogether network by Sodexo is an initiative to empower both women and men in the company.

The SoTogether advisory board is made of 34 people selected to join and participate (~15% men, as per quota). These persons are role models and act as advocates of the programmes
It is a worldwide board where all functions and countries represented. This board develops specific -based on country’s needs) training programmes for women leaders

Brief outline of the initiative

Sodexo considers the gender balance within the company as a real performance lever.
The D&I strategy focuses actions on the followings :

  • Integration of people with disabilities,
  • Gender Mix,
  • intergenerational integration,
  • Cultural and social diversity,
  • Sexual orientation and gender identity.

SoTogether network by Sodexo is an initiative to empower both women and men in the company. It builds on:

  • A training on personal development
  • A Women Leadership Programme (for high potential women / Middle manager), via e-learnings and webinars across countries (for collective exchanges).

The new name and identity remind people that success can only be sustainable when women and men partner together on a level playing field.

SoTogether aims to:

  • Provide strategic input and recommendations to the Group executive committee.
  • Identify impactful actions and a roadmap to address gaps and meet new targets.
  • Engage and influence leadership teams on the business benefits of gender balance.
  • Make talent visible to the organisation by exposing co-workers to the global team.

The specificity of the training programme is adapted to each country. In France, the SoTogether network by Sodexo enables to promote diversity & inclusion and to foster a diverse & inclusive workplace. Throughout this initiative, women can benefit from a specific leadership programme which lasts 9 months and embed a Mentoring circle (several people). Mentors can be from both gender. There are 100 women per cohort (one cohort per year) and the programme is in its 4th year (as of June 2019).


9 months


Once a year


Internal Budget



Key elements


Women and men

Country of origin

France as headquarters of the worldwide organisation

Country/Region of implementation

Luxemburg, France, UK, Ireland, Turkey, China, India, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore

Number of participants

In France, 100 women per cohort

Core objective of the Programme

☒ Women empowerment (identifying barriers and working on strengths, creating a community)
☒ Supporting organizational change (strategy for developing diversity, implementation of specific policies, support to change makers)
☒ Allies buy-in and support (mentors, men championing)
☐ External Scrutiny (Pledge board, Indicators, celebration of success…)
☐ Other => Please specify:

Actions implemented

☒ Internal Diversity & Inclusion Strategy for a safe workplace with equal rights
☒ Commitment of men
☒ Personal development training
☒ Role model highlighted
☒ Networking (women network, men network or mixed)
☒ Mentoring (experienced & wise guide)
☐ Coaching (ability to inspire and grow people/Foster emulation/ Being influential)
☒ Events (sharing with other companies)
☐ Other - please specify:


☒ Online e-learning Module
☒ Online seminar
☐ Workshops
☐ Conference
☐ Self-Assessment tool
☐ Consolidated educational/training programme
☐ Other

Identified Key Success Factors

- The duration - it takes time to evolve
- Cross country / Diverse ideas and sharings

Organisation’s strategy to adress Women Empowerment

Sodexo has a Diversity and Inclusion Department that reports directly to Executive Management. This shows the desire to place D&I at the heart of the company’s strategy (Diversity chart signed, label GEEIS, label Equileap 42e/200, and Woman Chair Prize)

A specific leaders Programme is designed to support careers of identified Top Executives Talents:

  • Sodexo’s Emerging Leaders Programme – A Competitive Edge for the Future

This programme offers employees the opportunity to develop their strategic leadership and critical thinking skills so that they can take on greater personal responsibility for the success of the company.

The nine-month signature leadership development programme is a testament to Sodexo’s commitment to career development. It represents an amazing journey of personal and professional growth. The program includes live workshops, e-learning modules, formal and informal mentors, webinars, an intense group project and the opportunity to work first-hand with a Sodexo market president and executive leaders.

The culmination of the programme is a final project that require to work with a real client within the company – delving into their strategy and key challenges. Then, a strategic solution is developed to help clients to overcome their challenges while fulfilling their objectives. The final part of the program requires to present a solution live to other colleagues, executive sponsor, advisors and invited guests.

Gain for the participant to the programme: gain an in-depth understanding of the business and how to apply it to client challenges. Also, this enables to work closely with a group of five other co-workers for the duration of the nine months. Hearing their perspective and thoughts brought diversity of thought and ideas. Moreover, this program encourages to take time to reflect and internalize what have been observed and learned.

This journey through the program challenged me as a person and as a leader to grow and think differently. It helped me to be better prepared to advance and grow in my career. And, as a graduate of Emerging Leaders, I’m eligible to participate in Sodexo’s Enlightenment Program. This program pairs each Emerging Leaders graduate with an internal Sodexo Executive Recruiter who provides 1:1 guidance on how to achieve the employee’s career aspirations within Sodexo.

Scott Sherman, Recruitment Manager, Facilities Services & IT

Source of information: Interview + Online documentation

Check Out More

An initiative selected as a case study of the SWinG library of leadership development initiatives.  

Leave a Reply