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Diversity & Inclusion

Jane Farrell, pioneering the future of security

Sodexo has for the 7th year been recognised for its work towards gender equality and is listed in the 2020 Times Top 50 employers for women. In recognition we are celebrating the women who’ve led the way in gender equality as we’ve navigated a strong position in the world’s new normal, for both Sodexo and all of our clients.

TT50 logoLiving and working through a global pandemic over the last five months have rocked every industry, impacted all businesses and changed everyone’s roles in some way or another. In times like this, which have put so many of us in difficult situations to navigate, we think it’s important to focus on the positives.

For Sodexo, one of those positives is being recognised for our leadership in gender equality by being named in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2020 for the 7th year in a row. And this year, we’re proudly celebrating the women who’ve led the way as we’ve navigated a strong position in the world’s new normal, for both Sodexo and all of our clients.

Jane FarrellAn advocate for gender equality, Jane Farrell, Sodexo’s head of security for UK and Ireland, is one of those very women who’s not let 2020 stand in their way. Jane is the founder of the Sodexo Women in Security group to promote greater gender diversity in the industry.

Women are under-represented in security profession, and the actions of Jane and the Women in Security group have increased female representation in Sodexo's security team increase from 10% in 2012 to 20% in 2019, the industry average is just 9%.

In previous years, Jane has been recognised for her work in this area receiving the prestigious Women in Security Industry Award 2013 and the transformational leader category at the Northern Power Women Awards 2017 for her work in promoting gender balance in the industry.

This year, she was admitted to the Register of Chartered Security Professionals - only the 7th woman to be admitted to the Register since in launched in 2011. Becoming a Chartered Security Professional means she’s recognised for continuing to work to the gold standard of competence in security.

Jane’s also been integral to leading the way, and setting the standard, with Sodexo’s Rise initiative as we embrace the new world and help our clients adapt to new ways to live and work. 

Jane helps businesses stay secure and RISE with Sodexo
Driving forward Rise with Sodexo, Jane has led her team to set positive courses for our clients’ next normal by using their experience, expertise and resources to deliver a complete range of services to ensure business operations run smoothly. From defining governance and identifying opportunities, to conducting risk assessments and defining critical activities, they’ve been busy preparing clients.  

Risks to all businesses are changing, which means risk assessing has never been so needed.  We’re currently using a risk awareness matrix to ensure we’ve covered every possible angle, from building access points to car parks” says Jane. “We’re also issuing standard operating procedures for Covid-19 so that our clients have clear recommendations and guidelines to follow.

Our security services in particular, led by Jane, have been on the frontline during the pandemic. In fact, we aided NHS England in creating a secure quarantine facility to care for the first repatriation of UK citizens from Wuhan China. This included carrying out risk assessments; coordinating activity; implementing risk assessment output; delivering HSE induction briefings and training; 24/7 site management and support and more. 

Due to Covid-19, many businesses have been forced to readdress their costs and find more efficient ways of operating, too. We are helping our clients do this by reviewing operating models and providing alternative ways they can make significant cost savings without having a detrimental effect on the business. For example, at sites where security is critical and requires numerous security officers, Jane and her team are able to implement the latest innovations in security technology to design solutions that blend technology with manned guarding. The solution can include swipe card access, alarms, motion sensors and CCTV that all link back to a central control room for 24/7 coverage and response. 

Jane explains:

In many cases we recommend a blended approach - manned security in the day when people will have more interaction, and technology at night. It’s important to find the right balance of what works for our clients, what’s cost effective, and what helps reduce risk.

As our clients return back to work, temperature testing is an important part of their daily operations. And clients have relied on us to quickly respond and react, recommending the right equipment such as heat monitoring technology, installing it and supporting them through the transition period through best practice operational guidance. All of which, Jane and her team have achieved in record time and to the highest standard for our clients. 

Navigating Covid-19 has been made easier due to how Sodexo and our clients work so well together. The situation is new for all of us so of course retraining is needed. But with everyone’s priority being safety, we’re all working towards the same goal

While these are just a few examples of how Jane and the team have adapted Sodexo’s suite of security services, every aspect of their roles and the services they provide - whether it be risk assessments or fire evacuation planning, control room support or total security solutions - have been reimagined to find new opportunities to work more safely, efficiently and effectively going forward.  

Looking to the future, Jane says:

The strong relationships we have with our service partners have really supported us in providing an effective service throughout the pandemic. Our next challenge will be ensuring that we can continue to deliver the volume of manned support once the world gets back to business and security services ramp up again.

With women like Jane taking control of the future of their industry, being recognised again in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women 2020 feels more poignant than ever. Creating an inclusive workplace and championing the progresses of women at all levels is an important part of the Sodexo business strategy. And we’re really proud to promote visible role models in senior positions and non-traditional roles such as Jane’s - because it just might inspire the next generation of leaders. The kind of leaders who can guide us successfully through a global pandemic. 

Want to know more about our security services and how we can support you? Take a look here.

July 30, 2020

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