Two Sodexo employees have been named among top ethnic minority leaders by The Financial Times today.
Sodexo's service operations finance director Amolak Dhariwal (pictured right) is listed in the EMpower 100 ethnic minority leaders, while head of digital communications Stephen Marshall (left) has been named number one of 30 EMpower future leaders.
The EMpower lists are a reflection and celebration of the achievements of the black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) business community in the UK, Ireland, US and Canada. The two lists are published annually in partnership with The Financial Times.
British-born Sikh Dhariwal has been responsible for finance for Sodexo's service operations for the past two years, which includes supply management, Information Systems & Technology (IS&T), health and safety, food, and soft and hard platforms. He also recently became a governor at a local academy to encourage the understanding and development of the BAME agenda.
A Londoner of Caribbean heritage, Marshall is responsible for Sodexo UK & Ireland's corporate website, intranet, social media, global digital projects and digital marketing strategy. He joined a team coaching programme last year and through this is looking to obtain a professional coaching and mentoring qualification to become a mentor in Sodexo and outside the company.
Both Dhariwal and Marshall are co-chairs of the Sodexo UK & Ireland Origins employee network, which has a membership of more than 300 colleagues and aims to encourage inclusivity and cohesion by celebrating diversity and promoting equal opportunities.
Through Origins they launched a company-wide campaign called ‘My culture and me', aimed at raising cultural awareness of people from different BAME backgrounds within the organisation.
Suki Sandhu, chief executive and founder of EMpower, said: "The EMpower lists exist to encourage more business leaders and companies to drive forward the diversity agenda and inspire the next generation to succeed. Despite the fact that 14% of the population are BAME, only 4% of the CEOs in the FTSE 100 are from BAME backgrounds. This lack of representation and diversity at the highest levels is why the EMpower ethnic minority leaders and future leaders lists exist. They're here to showcase visible, inspiring BAME role models at all levels, who are demonstrating that background or ethnicity should not and will not be a barrier to professional success."
Dhariwal said: "The experience of BAME people in the workplace could clearly be different and we exist to help them develop, be promoted and be included. It is my personal privilege to have been given the opportunity to lead this within Sodexo UK & Ireland and then to be recognised externally for work key to Sodexo's diversity and inclusion programme."
Marshall said: "I'm honoured to be recognised among my BAME peers for my achievements and delighted and surprised to not only be included on this list but receive the number one nomination. I'm ambitious to drive real change in the workplace where people from BAME backgrounds are accepted and have equal opportunities to develop and be selected for senior positions."
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