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Compass celebrates International Women’s Day with Nicola Adams OBE to help #breakthebias


Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s leading foodservice provider, held a celebratory International Women’s Day event in London, earlier this week (Tuesday 8th March).

The event brought together around 200 people including clients, suppliers, industry leaders and frontline colleagues including chefs, cleaners and baristas – with the aim of showcasing initiatives to support female talent and demonstrating how everyone can do something to #breakthebias.

The event featured a question-and-answer session with British former Olympic boxer, Nicola Adams OBE. Nicola became the first female boxer to become an Olympic champion, after winning gold at London 2012 – she then went onto win a second gold medal during the Rio Olympic games in 2016. During the event, Nicola discussed how she overcame adversity in her own life to pursue her ambitions.

Nicola Adams said: “Supporting people to realise their ambitions and dreams is so important. We need to create role models that break the bias and challenge people to reach their full potential. It was great to be able to tell my story at Compass’ International Women’s Day event and I hope it’s supported someone out there to stretch themselves that little bit more and achieve something that’s important to them.”

Donna Catley, Chief People Officer at Compass Group UK & Ireland; Allegra McEvedy MBE, Chef, Women in Food Board member, LEON co-founder and Patron of the Fairtrade Foundation; Taks Ndewere, who co-chairs Compass’ diversity network, Within; and Rosie Ginday MBE, CEO and Founder of Miss Macaroon; also took part in a panel discussion with a focus on how breaking the bias is still relevant in today’s world. Jodi Goldman, Personal Impact Coach, also gave a talk on “Imposter Syndrome” and the event was supported by an all-female supplier showcase including English wine makers.       

Compass is dedicated to providing opportunities for all and creating an environment where people can succeed. Over the past year Compass has expanded its Women in Food network significantly – going beyond its initial culinary focus to now represent all Compass’ female talent. The network of ambassadors has over 200 members from all genders, including those that work on the frontline to senior leadership positions. It is led by Noelle Jones, Managing Director, Chartwells Independent - who Sponsors the network; alongside Chair of the group Gemma Evans-Hurley, Culinary Lead, Projects for Compass’ Levy Sports and Leisure sector, B&I and Restaurant Associates; and Co -Chair, Leanne Turk, Lead Development Chef for Compass Group UK & Ireland. The group have a clear strategy, which continues to work towards attracting diversity, supporting development at all levels and creating a safe and supportive environment where everyone can thrive.

Amanda Scott, Director of Talent, Learning & D&I at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “International Women’s Day is a great day to celebrate our brilliant female role models – from frontline to leadership. Our work to encourage diversity takes place all year round and that’s why we’re so delighted to see our Women in Food Network expand and help women develop and achieve their ambitions.”

The event was supported by female chefs from across Compass, who served food that was predominantly plant forward in line with Compass’ Net Zero commitments. Dishes included Chef Consultant for Compass, Dipna Anand’s, chicken makhani with pilau rice, coriander and red onion, alongside samosa chaat, served with spiced yoghurt, as well as Levy’s 50/50 burger. You can watch a video of the event here.

Compass Cymru marked International Women’s Day with a breakfast event at Principality Stadium, hosted in partnership with the WRU. Compass Ireland hosted an event in Dublin and Compass Scotland celebrated its female talent as part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week.

International Women's Day Event Panel