Gender Balanced Teams Boost Bottom Line

August 3, 2016 11:05 am

Video: Sodexo’s CDO talks about the company’s gender research and why they embarked on an internal study.


By Eve Tahmincioglu

If you want innovation and a stronger bottom line, you need gender balance among teams, maintained Rohini Anand, Sodexo’s senior vice president of corporate responsibility and global chief diversity officer.Gender Balance Zone pic

Gender balance, she continued, “leads to innovation and better, stronger sustainable results.”

Earlier this year, the company released a report titled “Gender-Balanced Teams Linked to Better Business Performance,” backing up her assertions. (Sodexo is No. 5 on The 2015 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity)

Sodexo defines gender balance as a male-female ratio between 40 and 60 percent and looked specifically at the correlation between gender-balance teams and performance. That 20 percentile sweet spot is what Sodexo refers to as “The Gender-Balance Zone.”

The report analyzed key business performance indicators from 100 global entities and 50,000 managers in 80 countries, from the corner offices to site management, looking initially at employee engagement, brand awareness, client retention and three financial performance indicators.

What they found was clear: “Diversity is key to enhanced performance.”

The report states:

Teams at Sodexo within the optimum gender-balanced zone have experienced on average an increase of four points in the global engagement rate versus only one point for other teams between 2010 and 2012. Similar correlations are found with other business metrics, including:

  • Brand Awareness:
 5% higher for gender-balanced teams
  • Client Retention:
 12% higher for gender-balanced teams
  • Organic Growth:
 13% higher for gender-balanced teams
  • Gross Profit:
 23% higher for gender-balanced teams

Anand talks about why the company embarked on the study and what they found: