Sodexo's diversity and inclusion programme has earned the caterer the best overall private sector organisation prize at the Employers Forum for Belief and Employers Forum for Age (EFB and EFA) awards, where it was the only hospitality firm to feature.
Held in partnership with the National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA), the awards showcase the organisations that have found new ways to tackle discrimination in the UK workplace.
Sodexo secured the award by demonstrating commitment to good practice beyond legal compliance, with particular praise given to the company's efforts to raise awareness of different religions and cultures.
Sharon Kyle, Sodexo's head of diversity and inclusion, said: "The discussion of religion and belief within the workplace can sometimes be viewed as a ‘no-go' area by organisations.
"However we have demonstrated that by raising awareness and opening up dialogue, we are able to make a real difference to the working lives of individual employees and in turn provide a better service to our clients and customers."
Denise Keating, EFB and EFA chief executive, added: "Sodexo is a role model for all organisations working on accommodating religion and belief in the workplace and we will be working with them to spread this best practice to other UK employers."
The winners of the other nine categories are:
EFA Award for Best Public Sector (Overall) - Department for Business, Innovation & Skills (BIS)
EFA Award for Best Public Sector (Innovation) - Kent County Council
EFA Award for Best Private Sector (Overall) - Centrica
EFA Award for Best Private Sector (Innovation) - London Organising Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games Ltd
EFB Award for Best Public Sector (Overall) - London Borough of Lambeth (Highly commended: Hertfordshire Constabulary)
EFB Award for Best Public Sector (Innovation) - West Midlands Police
EFB Award for Best Private Sector (Overall) - Sodexo UK & Ireland
EFB Award for Best Private Sector (Innovation) - National Grid
By Janie Stamford
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