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Women in Food celebrates award wins

Melanie Hayes, Resourcing and Development Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland

At Compass Group UK & Ireland, our people are at the heart of our business, and we’re delighted to have been recognised for our Women in Food programme by recently winning two awards.

As a people-powered business, we are dedicated to developing our talent and enhancing diversity. In April 2016, we launched Women in Food, to support our female colleagues and encourage more women to enter and stay in the industry.

Winning the “Diversity” accolade at The People Awards 2017 and “Best Initiative to Retain and Develop Women” at the Shine Awards is testament to how much we have already achieved through Women in Food.

When we first launched the programme, our focus was to attract more women to the culinary world. Long working hours in the traditional restaurant sector has made it a challenging career choice for some, but we believe contract catering offers a positive alternative for those who wish to juggle their career with family life. As part of the programme, we work hard to invest in training and development as well as reviewing working practices to ensure our female colleagues are always supported.

Since launch we have broadened the programme through a number of initiatives, to cater for women who work in various roles across the business as we wanted to do more to further enhance the support we were providing to our wider female workforce. This includes:

  • Women in Food Ambassador Programme - a network made up of eight Compass female chefs whose aim is to support and encourage the needs of their female colleagues.
  • The business has launched a range of industry leading personal protective equipment (PPE) specifically for women, further supporting its diverse female workforce, from chefs to cleaners and security officers.
  • A ‘Maternity, Adoption & Shared Parental Leave Pack’ has been rolled out across Compass to help inform and support employees who are expecting or adopting a child, as well as those returning from maternity, adoption or shared parental leave.
  • Compass has launched a new and improved range of EatFair snackbars, a percentage of each bar sold will be donated to support the launch of the Women’s Leadership School for marginalised female farmers in Africa.

We believe, through our Women in Food programme, we can make a real difference by providing our female colleagues with the support they need to help develop their careers and inspire more women to join our industry. We’re so proud with what we have already achieved and we will continue to ensure that we are consistently providing our colleagues with the right support and development opportunities across the board.

These awards are a great recognition of the work we’ve done so far and we look forward to developing the programme even more in the future.

Women in Food