Sodexo is proud to announce that three of its female colleagues have received recognition in the Women to Watch & Role Models for Inclusion in Hospitality, Travel & Leisure (HTL) Index 2022 produced by WiHTL in partnership with The MBS Group.

Raj Jones, head of DE&I, Sodexo UK & Ireland and Paula Stevenson, managing director, corporate services Sodexo UK & Ireland are recognised as women to watch in the index. They are joined by HR director for Sodexo UK & Ireland’s schools and universities business, Laura Purdey who is recognised as a role model for inclusion.

Now in its fourth year, the first half of the index features 61 incredible women from across hospitality, travel and leisure who have achieved personal and professional success through their leadership, innovation and determination. Also included in the index are 20 incredible role models for inclusion, these are individuals from all backgrounds who are playing a central role in moving the dial on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion both in their organisations and communities.

Raj Jones

WiHTL woman to watch 2022 Raj Jones has been with Sodexo since 2014, she has held the role of head of DE&I since spring 2020, initially in an interim capacity until May 2021 when she took the role on permanently. Raj is a trusted and critical advisor, continually pushing for positive change internally and for social good. Under Raj’s leadership Sodexo has received recognition for its work from a number of external bodies and has made good progress towards its gender aspirational targets and was the first business in the hospitality sector to voluntarily publish its ethnicity pay gap report in 2021. Raj has also established a strategic taskforce with leaders from Black and other ethnic minority backgrounds to better understand the lived experiences of employees and start meaningful conversations about race at Sodexo.  

Paula Stevenson

WiHTL woman to watch 2022 Paula Stevenson has 30 years’ facilities management and project experience spanning a range of sectors. Paula joined Sodexo as global account director managing a Vested Contract for a major pharma client. After four years in that role, in Sept 2021 Paula was appointed as managing director, corporate services UK leading 80 client’s accounts across 300 sites across the UK. During her career, Paula has been both internally and externally recognised for her innovative solutions, compassionate leadership and collaborative style. Paula was nominated for her outstanding dedication to the industry and her influence over both client partnerships and Sodexo’s social value agenda.

Laura Purdey

WIHTL role model for inclusion 2022, Laura Purdey joined Sodexo in 2007 and over the last 15 years has progressed her career in a number of HR roles at Sodexo. Laura has been HR director for Sodexo’s schools and universities business since 2018. Throughout her time at Sodexo Laura has always been passionate about ensuring those around her feel comfortable to be their true self, she has been an active member of Sodexo’s PRIDE employee network in the UK and Ireland and this year has extended that by volunteering to co-chair the global PRIDE network.

Sean Haley, CEO, Sodexo UK & Ireland said:

I am immensely proud to see Raj, Paula and Laura included in this Index.  

At Sodexo we are committed to building a diverse and inclusive culture where our employees feel valued and respected as individuals.

Raj, Paula and Laura are making a difference to make sure that every one of our colleagues can be their true self at work, that they can thrive in their career with us.

They are fantastic role models and I congratulate them on this achievement.

Diversity, equity and inclusion have long-been heralded by Sodexo as real differentiators and it endeavours to make these values part of its DNA, and through its Social Impact Pledge it has committed to creating social contracts that support equity, inclusion and wellbeing.


Find out more about DE&I at Sodexo

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