While our female chef workforce (36%) is much higher than the industry average, we are aware that often our female colleagues are in the minority in our kitchens. Of course all our chefs play a hugely important role in our business, but we believe there are significant benefits to all in achieving greater gender diversity among our brigades.
Our Women in Food programme is focused on supporting and expanding the female talent we have within our chef community. We have a strong foundation to build from - currently, 44% of participants in our chef apprenticeship programme are women - and we are looking to further support females starting out in the culinary sector through an early careers programme.
We also need to make sure we have the right career development pathways in place to nurture the talent we have and support our female chefs with their skills development and training.
We recently brought together our Women in Food Ambassadors to set the direction of focus for 2019. Our Ambassadors are made up of female chefs from different parts of our business and are at different stages of their careers, working in many different environments. They provide us with a great insight into how we can provide additional support both with their development and more broadly, the development of female chefs across our industry. One area raised was the opportunity to provide support for female colleagues who would like to get involved with competitions and awards, and ensuring great visibility on job promotions so a big part of our work this year will be around creating a culture which supports all our chefs, including our female chefs, in their development and to enable them to thrive.
We’re always looking to share your great stories from around our businesses. Why not share your stories with our Communications team? They would love to hear from you and can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org