GAITHERSBURG, Md. — Sodexo, Inc., was ranked first on the 2010 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list. The company also ranked as best for executive women, minority recruitment and retention, and was among top ten companies for latinos, blacks, global diversity, and people with disabilities.

This marks the fifth consecutive year that Sodexo has been recognized on DiversityInc’s Top 50 list. According to DiversityInc, Sodexo leads all companies in its ability to implement, measure and assess strong internal diversity initiatives. The publication cited Sodexo’s Spirit of Mentoring program as an example for all organizations of a “focused, practical and extremely comprehensive mentoring effort” that includes advanced training, and benchmarks at regular intervals, to examine how mentoring pairs are relating to each other and accomplishing the goals of the mentoring partnership.

In other awards announced by DiversityInc, Sodexo ranked first in the employment of executive women, and first for recruitment and retention of minority employees. The company ranked second in the employment of Latinos; third for employment of blacks; and tenth for employment of people with disabilities. In addition, the company ranked fifth for its global diversity efforts, which include an initiative — Sodexo Women’s International Forum for talent (SWIFt) — to increase the number of women in leadership and operational positions throughout the world.

“This award from DiversityInc reflects an intense, ongoing effort to ensure that diversity and inclusion are part of Sodexo’s corporate culture,” said George Chavel, president and chief executive officer of Sodexo North America. “Our diversity expertise helps us be more agile and responsive to customers and differentiates us from our competitors, and therefore directly contributes to our long-term business success.”

“Our diversity strategy seeks to create an environment where all employees feel engaged, and each individual feels they are valued and can contribute to the success of the company,” said Rohini Anand, Sodexo senior vice president and global chief diversity officer. “We’re pleased that DiversityInc recognizes the success of our diversity efforts.”

Sodexo has 120,000 employees at more than 6,000 client accounts in the U.S. It is the benchmark company for diversity and inclusion in its industry, and is consistently recognized among all companies in North America as a best place to work for minorities, multicultural women, veterans, and people with disabilities. Over the past five years, the minority management population has increased by 15 percent, and the female population increased by 8 percent compared to its fiscal 2004 baseline. Sodexo’s progress with diversity and inclusion has been strong and consistent and is an integral part of the company’s culture.