March 2017
Inclusion
Addressing Barriers for Women Leaders: Mentoring
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson

Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

In 1972 Katharine Graham became America’s first female Fortune 500 CEO, leading The Washington Post Company, the fifth largest publishing company at the time, and under her leadership profits grew 20 percent annually from 1975 to 1985.   She also became a role model and mentor for many women leaders in male-dominated fields and spoke openly about the issues they faced.

Last year the US hit a milestone with a record 27 female CEOs at the helm of S&P 500 companies. And while there has been progress since 1972, it has not been enough, especially when women are projected to account for 51 percent of the increase in total labor force growth between 2008 and 2018. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Merging Business and Basketball to Coach a Championship-Winning Team
Charlotte Jensen
Charlotte Jensen

CEO Sports & Leisure,
Sodexo North America

Every year during March Madness, fans unite to cheer on their favorite teams as they play in college basketball’s biggest tournament. Madness aside, fans look to one person to lead their team to the championship title — the coach. While March Madness takes place only once a year, coaching a winning team in the business world is a year-round job. Leading a team to victory means coaching employees through mistakes and applauding their successes, among other key strategies. (more…)

Corporate Services
Millennials have already changed the workplace. Here’s how.
Mark Bickford
Mark Bickford

President,

Corporate Services

Sodexo North America

For many years now, we’ve been making conjectures about the impact millennials could have on the workforce as more of them begin their careers. The majority of millennials—those born between about 1980 and the mid-1990s—are now of working age. Their impact on the workplace isn’t just conjecture anymore: It’s here.

Sodexo’s 2017 Workplace Trends Report shows that, as expected, this generation is having a major impact on the way we work today. Our key findings about millennials in the workplace show: (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Managing Your Caffeine Intake
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Do you feel you can’t get through the morning without caffeine? In the United States, 80 percent of adults consume caffeine every day. While most Americans enjoy their coffee in moderation, overconsumption can lead to unpleasant consequences. If you find yourself refilling your coffee cup throughout the day you may be familiar with the side effects of caffeine, such as insomnia, stomach issues and increased heart rate. (more…)

Schools Inclusion
Driving Gender Equality by Advocating for Women Leaders
Steve Dunmore
Steve Dunmore

CEO, K-12 Schools

Sodexo North America

Gender equality in the workplace isn’t just a women’s issue. Male leaders can drive gender equality in executive leadership roles by proactively advocating for female leaders in their organizations.  As recently noted in Sodexo’s 2016 Diversity report , women comprise 45 percent of the S&P 500 labor force, yet still only represent about 25 percent of executive or senior-level managers, and only 4 percent of CEOs.  Here’s another important statistic: McKinsey & Company compared the financial performance of companies with a significant number of women in top management to those without women in top roles. The companies with the highest number of women leaders had the best performance, averaging 41 percent higher return on equity. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
How Generation Z will Change the Workplace
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Members of Generation Z, the youngest generational cohort, are beginning to enter the workforce. Raised in the era of constant communication and instant gratification, these individuals pave the way for a restructuring of our current workforce. As thought leaders, our job not only calls upon us to monitor workplace trends, but to recognize who influences these changes and the challenges and opportunities they present in the workplace. (more…)

Community Engagement
Proud to Serve
Deborah Roberts
Deborah Roberts

CEO Government Services, Sodexo

There have always been female warriors, and Women’s History Month is an appropriate time to remember them. While many civilians are aware that the number of women on active duty in all branches of service has risen dramatically, few know the extent of women’s service to our country, particularly in combat roles.

 

A small number of women have been in combat throughout American history—though  they had to disguise themselves as men and enlist under aliases. Deborah Samson Gannett from Plymouth, Mass., was one of the first. In 1782, she enlisted under the name of her deceased brother, Robert Shurtleff Samson, and served in the Continental Army during the American Revolution. She was wounded twice and cut a musket ball out of her own thigh, so a doctor wouldn’t examine her and find out she was a woman. (more…)

Inclusion
The Importance of Global LGBT Inclusive Initiatives
Catalyst
Catalyst

Audrey L. Gallien, Director, Marketing

Michael J. Chamberlain, VP, Global Marketing

Alixandra Pollack, Director, Research,

and Regional Director, Mexico & Latin America

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees constitute a sizeable global workforce population, and more than ever, leading companies are acknowledging their contributions. With many global organizations now focused on building inclusive cultures in which all employees feel engaged and valued, LGBT issues are becoming a critical priority in workplaces around the world.

 

Global progress on LGBT inclusion has been most noticeable in countries like the U.S., Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.  Japan and Taiwan have also recently introduced antidiscrimination legislation regarding sexual orientation in the workplace.  Yet, in some countries, there are no legal protections for LGBT employees, and it’s common to hear that corporate LGBT inclusion policies “don’t apply.”  This results in more discrimination, employee fear, high turnover, and heightened rates of harassment and mistreatment of LGBT workers. (more…)

Quality of Lifehacks
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Supporting Single Parents at the Office
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Have you ever thought about how many single parents work at your company? There may be more than you think. According to the Census Bureau, there were approximately 12 million single-parent families in the U.S. in 2016. National Single Parents’ Day, which takes place on March 21, is the perfect opportunity to celebrate single parents and determine how HR policies can better suit their needs. Working parents face unique challenges, but organizations can help alleviate the pressure on single parents with policies that help. Consider these three Quality of Lifehacks for supporting single parents in your workplace. (more…)

Community Engagement
The Many Benefits of Volunteerism
Shondra Jenkins
Shondra Jenkins

Executive Director,
Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation

I recently had the opportunity to participate in a leadership education program with a group called Leadership Montgomery (LM). The group’s goal is to build bonds among leaders in the public, private and nonprofit sector to improve the local community.

LM has always been focused on the value of giving and giving back to the community. Recently, they even expanded to include the Corporate Volunteer Council of Montgomery County. The expansion will help them educate businesses on how to partner with and support non-profit organizations. (more…)

Universities
Easing the Transition to Campus Life: Recruiting and Retaining First-Generation College Students
Jim Jenkins
Jim Jenkins

CEO, Universities East,
Sodexo North America

Change is all around us, so when we think about college enrollment declining and federal funding decreasing, we know we have to think differently about how we can impact student recruitment and retention. An inspiring place to explore is how to impact recruitment and retention rates among first-generation students; it’s a group that, by nature, can help the academic sector expand its reach and further its mission – to teach and support the next generation of informed, educated and civically-responsible citizens.  (more…)

Corporate Services
Insights on Improving the Quality of Life for Women Travelers
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson

Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

On a recent business trip, I overheard a young woman who was traveling for business say into her phone, “Mommy just landed. I’ll be home soon to tuck you in and kiss you goodnight.” It made me smile. I can’t count the number of times I’ve said that to my own children—and then prayed the traffic would cooperate so I could fulfill my promise.

I wondered how many other female travelers were making the same promise at that moment. Let’s face it: Today’s working moms are reaching new heights of multitasking. We’re expected to play the roles of mother, homemaker and business professional—often all at once! Adding business travel to the mix creates mores stress and, quite frankly, “mommy guilt” for many women who travel.

It also creates an opportunity to address a critical need among one of the largest growing target markets for airlines: women professionals.

In 2013, Amadeus, a global ticket distribution system for various airlines, outlined several rising trends in the travel industry. One key trend is the rise of women professionals that travel. In fact, international business travel among women is predicted to increase four-fold by 2030. So we can expect airlines to place greater emphasize on travel experiences for women. But when they do, they need to expand beyond cliché gender-specific amenities such as pink bathrobes and travel kits.

Airlines should focus on genderless amenities including quality customer service, healthy dining options, and cleanliness. Additionally, secondary research conducted by Sodexo found that women prefer their travel experience to be quiet with natural lighting and privacy. By emulating at-home conditions, airlines can make business travel that is much more comforting for thoses constantly on the road.

Sodexo, as the leader of Quality of Life Services, knows the epitome of exceptional service hinges on all customers’ needs, regardless of gender. Share in the comments section below how you think airlines can great a better travel experience for women.

Jennifer Williamson is Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for Sodexo North America. Sodexo’s 133,000 employees in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico provide more than 100 unique services that improve performance for 12,000 client partners and improve Quality of Life for 15 million consumers every day.

Health & Wellbeing
There’s No Sugar-Coating the Truth (The Truth about Added Sugars)
Sodexo Health & Wellness
Sodexo Health & Wellness

It’s no surprise that nutrition and health experts recommend cutting back on sugar as a key to healthy eating.  Sugars added to foods and beverages are “empty” calories, and diets higher in added sugars are associated with negative health effects, including an increased risk of heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.

And there’s a good chance that you’re eating more sugar than you should.  Take this quick quiz to test your sugar smarts in observance of National Nutrition Month!

The main source of added sugars in our diets is table sugar.

False.  The two main sources of added sugars in our diets are sugar-sweetened beverages (soft drinks; sports, energy and fruit drinks) and snacks and sweets (cakes, cookies, ice cream, candy and other desserts).  These sources account for about 70 percent of the added sugars in U.S. diets.

All sugars are added sugars.

False.  Naturally occurring sugars, such as those in fruit or milk, are not added sugars. There are many foods that we eat every day that are naturally sweet, which means they contain carbohydrates (sugars) as part of their chemical design. You can find a variety of added sugar ingredients listed on food labels including cane sugar, brown sugar, corn sweetener, corn syrup, evaporated cane juice, dextrose, fructose, glucose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, invert sugar, malt syrup, maple syrup, molasses, raw sugar, sucrose, agave syrup, trehalose, and turbinado sugar (“sugar in the raw”), to name a few.

Most of us eat too much added sugar.

True.  In fact, most Americans exceed the recommendations for added sugars, consuming about 270 calories—nearly 17 teaspoons—of added sugars daily.

There is room to include limited amounts of added sugars in your diet.

True.  Healthy eating patterns limit added sugars, not eliminate them.  The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020 recommend consuming less than 10 percent of total calories per day from added sugars—a limit of no more than about 12 teaspoons (50 grams) of sugar for a 2,000 calorie diet. And the American Heart Association recommends women limit added sugars to no more than 100 calories per day (about 6 teaspoons of sugar) and men, no more than 150 calories per day (about 9 teaspoons of sugar). While you may be thinking, “I never eat that much sugar”, keep in mind that the average 12 ounce soda contains about 10 teaspoons of added sugar.

Ready to turn your awareness into action?  Here are a few tips.

  1. Take inventory.  Do you know how much sugar you’re eating?  As a first step, identify any obvious sources of added sugars in your diet—like soda, candy, cookies, flavored coffee drinks, “sports drinks and bars” and dessert—and swap them for healthier, sugar-free or lower-sugar options.  Choose diet beverages, water/zero-calorie flavored water, and fruit as a naturally sweet treat.
  2. Cut back.  Read labels to compare the amounts of added sugars in foods, and choose less sweetened, lower-sugar versions. Try to find labels on foods that say “no added sugars”. For instance you will see this health notice on canned fruits, juice and many breakfast cereals. Limit sweet treats and reduce portion sizes; try cutting the amount of sugar in recipes by half.
  3. Create a sugar budget. Decide how you want to “spend” your daily added sugar allowance.  Making smart food and beverage choices that help you manage your sugar intake today is a good long-term investment for a healthier future!

Share in the comments section below how you plan to reduce sugar in your daily diet.

Quality of Lifehacks
Three QOLhacks for Saving Time at Work
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

Are you feeling a little sluggish this morning? You’re not the only one. Daylight saving time officially began this weekend. This shift costs Americans an hour of sleep.

When it comes to work, losing any amount of productivity due to poor sleep can make or break your efficiency for the day. With this in mind, here are three Quality of Lifehacks for saving time and boosting productivity at work. You may even save enough time to get back the hour you lost this morning. (more…)

Universities
How to Enhance the College Experience for International Students
Barry Telford
Barry Telford

CEO, Universities West,
Sodexo North America
President, Sodexo Canada

International students bring to American college campuses a sense of inclusiveness and diversity. In return, U.S. students expose their international counterparts to American customs including the ability to practice freedom of speech. In both cases, this mutually beneficial alliance formed among American students and those from abroad fortifies the campus community by and large. (more…)

Government
Military Dining and Quality of Life
Elena Victoria
Elena Victoria

Vice President, Marketing
Sodexo Government

Napoleon has been credited with the saying, “An army marches on its stomach.” An infantryman himself, Napoleon understood first-hand the importance of supplying an army on the move in which it was common practice for each soldier to procure his own food from villages along the campaign trail. (Apparently “locally sourced” and “farm to table” had an entirely different connotation in the early 19th century!)  So dire was the need to feed the troops, food-related innovations, such as boiling and canning, were inspired during Napoleon’s infamous campaign to Moscow (Diary of a Napoleonic Foot Soldier, Jakob Walter, 1991). (more…)

Inclusion
#BeBoldForChange : Empowering women in the workplace, marketplace and community
Karen Cox
Karen Cox

Senior Finance Director
Sodexo North America

During March we observe Women’s History Month, an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions of women to events in history and contemporary society.  Today, March 8th, marks a focal point during this commemorative month — International Women’s Day (IWD).  IWD is a global day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Both occasions mark a moment-in-time to reflect on how far women have come in the workforce. (more…)

Universities
How the University Environment Affects a Changing Demographic
Rohini Anand, PhD
Rohini Anand, PhD

SVP, Corporate Responsibility &
Global Chief Diversity Officer
Sodexo

College students’ social encounters on campus shape their college experience. Therefore, it is imperative that campuses foster inclusive environments where all students feel valued, respected and celebrated. This in mind, the need for a sense of belonging is more pressing than ever. Our society’s tendency to display racial intolerance, cultural disengagement and lack of understanding across differences calls for more culturally aware campuses. (more…)

Corporate Services Inclusion
Three Quality of Lifehacks for Supporting Women in the Workplace
Quality of Lifehacks
Quality of Lifehacks

For over 100 years, International Women’s Day has been a reminder to recognize women’s contributions to the American workforce and economy. Women in the workplace have come a long way, but there is still a long way to go before women are treated equally to men when it comes to financial compensation and social acknowledgment at work. For example, men still receive more recognition at work for their successes than women according to a recent survey by Bamboo HR.

With this mind, consider these three Quality of Lifehacks for supporting women’s success in your organization in celebration of International Women’s Day and every other day of the year. (more…)

Health & Wellbeing
Put Your Best Fork Forward!
Sodexo Health & Wellness
Sodexo Health & Wellness

March is National Nutrition Month®, a nutrition education campaign hosted every year by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics—the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. This year’s theme, “Put Your Best Fork Forward,” is a reminder that each of us has the power to make better food and beverage choices that add up to a healthier diet—one forkful at a time.

While you’ve probably heard a lot about what you should eat, the message of “eating one forkful at time” also highlights the importance of the amount of food we eat.  In fact, how much we eat is one of the most important parts of building a healthy diet, and can affect your weight and risk for chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

Here are some simple portion control strategies you can put into practice at your next meal to make every bite count, whether you’re eating out or at home.

Let your plate be your guide:  Visualize your plate in portions to help manage serving sizes as well as nutritional balance. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, one quarter with a protein food (meat, poultry, seafood, beans and peas, eggs, soy products, nuts and seeds) and the remaining one quarter with a grain-based food (bread, pasta, rice, oatmeal), preferably whole grains, and add a serving size of dairy (one cup of milk or yogurt, or 1.5 ounces of natural cheese) to complete your meal.  Tip:  for more information about food groups, visit ChooseMyPlate.gov.

Give yourself a hand:  Instead of weighing food on a kitchen scale, use your hand as a simple measurement of food portions.  A serving of chicken, fish or beef is about the size and width of your palm.  A serving of starchy carbohydrates like pasta, potatoes, cereal and rice is about the size of a clenched fist (about 1 cup). A serving of butter is half a thumb; for salad dressing or oil, a whole thumb (about 1 tablespoon); and peanut butter, 2 thumbs’ worth (about 2 tablespoons).  A serving (one cup) of fruit or vegetables is about the size of a clenched fist.  Tip:  for personalized nutrition advice and meal planning, consult a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN).

Downsize at the diner:  If you’re dining out, eating the right portion size can be tricky, as most entrées can serve 2-3 people.  Plan to split an entrée with a friend, or cut your meal in half when it arrives and put one half in a to-go box before you start eating.  If menu items are available in a variety of sizes, order the small size instead of a medium or large.  Tip: choose a healthy appetizer or salad rather than an entrée.

Read the label:  Many packaged foods actually contain multiple servings. For example, a 20-ounce bottle of soda contains 2.5 servings, and a 3-ounce bag of chips, 3 servings.  To manage the amount of calories and nutrients from foods and beverages you eat each day, check the Nutrition Facts label for the number of servings in the container.  Tip:  purchase single-serving sizes of snack foods or pre-portion healthy snacks like nuts, fruits and veggies into single-serving bags for a sensible grab-and-go option.

To learn more about healthy eating every day of the year, visit Sodexo’s Mindful site.