Women's Insights on Quality of Life
In 2013, 11 women from seven different countries share their views on Quality of Life in their environment. Combining professional engagement and personal beliefs, these accounts focus on an issue that is essential to societal progress.
In 2011, only 4.4 of the women employed in OECD countries were in a senior management position (7.7 to the men).
Source: OECD Gender Data Portal, 2011
of European graduates today are women.
Source: OECD, 2012
Women represent 40 of the world’s workforce
Source: World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development, 2011
of South American women rate Education as either very important or extremely important to their Quality of Life. It is the highest rated item of the OECD Better Life Index by South American women.
Source: Better Life Index, OECD
Ilene Lang - President of Catalyst, USA
"There is a strong link between how people interact with each other and the quality of their lives."
Vijaya Sharma - General Manager for Operations at Osho Meditation Resort, India
"Quality of Life improves when people learn to respect the balance between physical, professional and emotional values."
Brigitte Grésy - Inspector General for Social Affairs, France
"A key dimension in Quality of Life is how people manage the boundaries between professional and personal lives."
Angela Vera - Operations Supervisor for foodservices in the healthcare sector, Sodexo Chile
"At the end of the day, what makes a difference in people’s Quality of Life is to be recognized for doing a good job! "
Angela is a Sodexo Operations Supervisor for foodservices in the healthcare sector, in Chile. She says it’s a great job with a wide range of responsibilities, including logistics, consumers services and people management.
Angela believes that a good Quality of Life starts with a feeling of inner well-being. She reckons it is not an easy thing to achieve! Quality of Life also depends on your work environment. What helps Angela find a healthy balance is on-going communication with her colleagues but also with her partner in life: her husband.
For Angela, the number one rule to ensure a better Quality of Life is very simple: get out of the office! Staying all day behind a desk as if it were an airfield control tower is not a good thing for the well-being of her team. So Angela makes sure to go on sites, meet people face-to-face and take time to listen to everyone.
Angela stresses that it is critical that everyone feel appreciated. At the end of the day, what makes a difference in people’s Quality of Life is to be recognized for doing a good job!
Isabelle Coltier - Communications Director of Cheval Français, France
"Quality of Life comes from the collective strength of the team."
Isabelle is the Communications Director of Cheval Français, an organization that promotes trotting races in France and also protects the uniqueness of the French Trotter breed. It’s a job she enjoys thoroughly.
In her work environment, Isabelle believes that Quality of Life comes from the collective strength of the team. If success is limited to the manager’s own happiness, it is pointless. Quality of Life means working as a team for greater satisfaction. Big events of Cheval Français are successful because they are true team efforts!
Isabelle enjoys working with high expectations and she strives for excellence, but she always stays cool. Her experience has taught her to manage stressful situations: “when you have spent weeks working hard on a great event but that on D-Day it is pouring rain, it is vital to keep your sense of humor!
Isabelle knows that a positive attitude is critical in ensuring a good Quality of Life with her team. She even has a little tip to foster this state of mind: a piggy bank right in the middle of the office! Anyone who forgets to stay positive has to drop a coin in the piggy bank!
Yvonne Johnson - General Manager at Cambridge Health Alliance Hospitals, USA
"Quality of life means being able to balance work and personal needs."
Yvonne works at Sodexo as a General Manager at Cambridge Health Alliance hospitals in the United States. She is in charge for the day-to-day food and nutrition services for the staff, patients and family members.
For Yvonne, quality of life means being able to balance work and personal needs. It all starts by having a regular work schedule to get oneself organized. Yvonne adds she often talks to her staff about internal state balance as well; people need to enjoy what they’re doing. When people achieve a satisfying and well-balanced life, they work better; they are more focus as a result.
Yvonne believes it’s important to have a positive impact on the Quality of Life of others. She works hard at providing excellent food services, by bringing quality and variety to the menus. Many people from different cultures work within the hospital. She occasionally asks them what their traditional food is. Then she asks for the recipe and the ingredients to showcase the recipe in the cafeteria. As Yvonne says, cooking food is a great way to make people feel comfortable and welcome!
Serena Romano - Consultant on gender issues and President of Corrente Rosa, Italy
"We must join forces to promote a better Quality of Life and make make a difference for everyone!"
Serena lives in Rome where she works as a consultant on gender issues for private companies, public institutions and civil society.
Serena is also the president of Corrente Rosa, an organization aimed at ensuring equal opportunities between women and men in the workplace.
She believes her activism is a way of promoting a better Quality of Life for everyone: a fairer and more effective society where women and men have equal rights. And today she feels optimistic: more and more people are joining forces to make a difference in their Quality of Life!
Serena is thrilled to see the question of equality once more on the agenda in Italy. So when politicians or employers take positive actions for women’s rights, Corrente Rosa congratulates them for going in the right direction but of course keeps an eye on their progress. In Serena’s opinion, that’s what an active citizen needs to do in a healthy democracy.
Interview of Martine Durand
Martine Durand, Chief Statistician and Director of Statistics Directorate, OECD, explains to which extent there are differences between female and male when it comes to life satisfaction.
Expanding women representation
At the 2012 Women's Forum, Michel Landel, Sodexo CEO, presented Sodexo’s strategic priority and challenges to foster the representation, engagement and development of women in leadership and operational positions.
Sodexo has received the prestigious 2012 Catalyst Award, honoring exceptional business initiatives that advance women in the workplace.
See our initiatives in the US (video)
Read the press release
The Better Life Initiative is a major effort to provide policy and decision-makers with a broad range of statistics relevant to understand today’s societies and economies. The Better Life Index is an important innovative tool that the OECD launched to respond to the need of developing measures that are directly relevant to people’s well-being.
Working towards equality
Women represent 54 of Sodexo’s workforce. Convinced of the need to promote their advancement, nurture talent and, more generally, foster diversity, Sodexo has long given high priority to gender equality.