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…)

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.

Community Engagement
The Power of Partnerships Can Improve Quality of Life for Everyone
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

Imagine that you are the mayor of a major U.S. city.  How would you handle the very real challenges of city life, fed by a news cycle of endless stories of poverty, crime, failing schools and infrastructure issues? (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
To Thrive in Tomorrow’s Economy, Businesses Must Engage Gen Z Now
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

For a long time the primary focus of marketers has been on reaching Millennials.  But, to get ahead of current trends, companies need to turn their attention to the next generation on the horizon—Generation Z (Gen Z).  Although Gen Z is relatively young – Demographers place its beginning anywhere from the early ’90s to the mid-2000s according to a 2015 article in the New York Times, they already have nearly $44 billion in spending power and make up over a quarter of the U.S.’s population.  This new wave of tech savvy, responsible and authentic individuals calls for a different style of marketing to catch their attention. (more…)

Workforce & Workplace
Welcome to the New Sodexo Insights
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

I’m excited to announce that Sodexo Insights has relaunched as a new, innovative content hub sharing our experience in designing environments built to improve performance and enhance quality of life for the 15 million people that Sodexo serves in North America.

As we unroll the new SodexoInsights.com, I’d like to highlight several new features. (more…)

Inclusion
Millennials Who? Why You Need to Get to Know Generation Z
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

The days of appealing to Millennials is rapidly becoming a thing of the past.  With approximately 60 million, native-born Americans, Generation Z (Gen Z) is destined to be the next disruptive force in business. Companies have already started targeting Gen Z.  In 2015 Pew Research Center calculated the Millennial generation at 75.3 million, however due to the unclear lines of division of birth year between Millennial’s and Gen Zers, there is a slight overlap in population causing Millennials to appear larger than reality. So who exactly falls into the Gen Z category?  Opinions differ, but most studies agree that Gen Zer’s were born after 1995.  To better understand the impact Gen Z will have on future business, we must first learn what has shaped their values, behaviors and ideals.

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Workforce & Workplace
Spring Awakening: Refresh Your Workplace
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

After the doldrums of winter, spring is a time for change and renewal. That’s why it’s this time of year when many of us think about spring cleaning — getting rid of the old to make way for the new. In the office, spring cleaning can mean clearing off your desk so you can be more organized, or it could mean wrapping up those lingering projects so you can devote your attention to creating new ones. It’s a great time for leaders to help employees refresh their workspaces and re-engage with their work. It could make both you and your employees happier, healthier and more productive.

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Workforce & Workplace
Jobs, Education and Health Lead to Better Quality of Life
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

The mission of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being and quality of life of people around the world. The OECD works with governments, labor and business to share experiences and seek solutions to common problems.

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Inclusion
Winning Over Millennials in the Workplace
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

In our continually growing and evolving global environment, Millennials have a unique perspective as a result of being raised during an era of incredible social and technological change. According to a May 2015 TIME report, the 53.5 million millennials (aged 18-34) now constitute the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. In fact, Pew Research, estimates Millennials represent one in three American workers. While there are many opinions, positive and negative, on the Millennial generation’s dependence on technology, we cannot ignore the fact that these digitally-oriented, social networking savvy future leaders are rapidly changing what work looks like and how it gets done.

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Workforce & Workplace
The Secret Little Ways Employers Sabotage Productivity
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

Leading a team in today’s business world is a bit like conducting an orchestra. Just like a conductor, you provide clear direction, set the pace for your players and control team dynamics. As long as everyone is playing from the same sheet of music in perfect harmony, you can deliver a great performance.

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Inclusion
The Path to Leadership is Not Always a Straight Line
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

In relation to Women’s History Month, a junior manager recently asked me “what inspired you to become a leader?” I had to ponder her question because there was no silver bullet or magic moment for me. I did not start my career with specific goals or a well-laid plan or even a desire to lead others. In fact, my career progression into senior leadership was not a clearly defined step-by-step move up the proverbial corporate ladder. Instead, it looked more like the up, down and across pattern of a lattice.

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Inclusion
What do Millennials Really Want at Work?
Jennifer Williamson
Jennifer Williamson
Senior Vice President,
Corporate Communications
Sodexo North America

UnknownThey’re coming, they’re coming—and no matter how you refer to those born between 1980 and 1992, they are about to descend on the American workforce in droves. 86 million Millennials or 40% of the entire working population will pour into the workplace by 2020 according to a recent article in Forbes magazine. With the economy making a steady recovery and increasing numbers of Baby Boomers retiring, organizations need to focus their efforts on engaging the next generation of talent, and it may not be as hard as you think.

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