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Compass Group UK & Ireland launch Women in Food Ambassador Programme


Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services provider has launched its ‘Women in Food Ambassador Programme’ to support the needs of female chefs across the business and to encourage more women to enter the culinary industry.

The network is made up of eight female chefs of different levels varying from an apprentice to a head pastry chef, who all come from various sectors across Compass. As part of the programme, the eight ambassadors will be put through a tailored training scheme to enhance their development, skills and growth within the business.

Each ambassador will mentor an apprentice female chef who they will support in their career development. They will also attend events to inspire more young women to consider a career as a chef.

The programme has been formed to support the business’ ‘Women in Food’ initiative which aims to nurture and encourage female chefs in  the industry, with an overall goal of women forming 50% of the chef workforce at Compass Group UK & Ireland by 2020.

Fiona Ryland, HR Director at Compass Group UK & Ireland, said: “Compass is a people powered business and we’re dedicated to developing our talent. Women in Food shows that we’re leading the way in supporting female chefs with the right opportunities, development and training.

“We are thrilled to be launching our Women in Food Ambassador Programme. Our eight ambassadors each have their own stories of where they are in their culinary journeys, with some juggling family life and their day-to-day jobs, to an apprentice focusing on their development. We hope the breadth of skills and experiences of our ambassadors will help encourage more women to consider becoming a chef, as well as supporting those who are already in the industry and wish to develop their careers further.”

Gemma Evans, Executive Development Chef Chartwells South added: “I am extremely excited to be taking up a role as a Women in Food ambassador, which supports our initiative to increase the number of female chefs in Compass. It is important for female chefs and those who are considering a career in the industry to be provided with the right support, encouragement, information and tools and I believe the ambassador programme will do this and really help inspire women in to the industry.”

Compass is one of the UK’s largest private employers with approximately 60,000 employees. Inflexible and long working hours in the traditional restaurant industry has made being a chef a challenging career choice for women who wish to juggle a family life with work. However, contract catering offers an alternative, with the ability to work shifts in a variety of fields, from schools to business, healthcare and defence.

Click here for chef job vacancies at Compass Group UK & Ireland.



Notes to Editors:

The eight ambassadors are:

  • Gemma Evans - Executive Development Chef Chartwells South
  • Molly Horne - Chef Apprentice, Innovation Centre, Compass Group UK & Ireland
  • Rashida Spyriades - Pastry Chef, Restaurant Associates
  • Claude Jarczyk - Senior Sous Chef, Levy Restaurants UK
  • Ana Paula Oliver - Head of Pastry, Restaurant Associates
  • Natalie Sheridan - Head Pastry Chef, Restaurant Associates
  • Catherine Smith - Executive Development Chef Chartwells North
  • Leanne Turk - Food Development Chef Chartwells Central Functions


For more information contact:

UK Communications Team

Compass Group UK & Ireland


01895 554 999

Compass launches Women in Food Ambassador Programme