Compass Group UK & Ireland, the UK’s largest food and support services firm, has hosted an event celebrating female chefs as part of its ‘Women in Food’ programme at Somerset House, London.
The networking event took place on Wednesday 6 September and was attended by around 200 people, including female chefs from across the industry.
Guests heard from key speakers including mother and daughter duo, Giselle and Emily Roux, who took part in a question and answer session hosted by Jeremy Ford, Executive Chef at Restaurant Associates, the fine-dining division of Compass Group UK & Ireland.
During the event, guests were also able to visit a number of showcase stands hosted by female owned food organisations.
In April last year, Compass Group UK & Ireland became the first company in the industry to tackle the shortage in female chefs through the launch of Women in Food. A key element of this programme is the organisation’s commitment to supporting female chefs in the industry and encouraging more women to consider a career as a chef.
Since the launch of Women in Food, Compass has introduced a number of initiatives supporting its female workforce including:
- ‘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 to further support 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.
Emily Roux, who works as a consultant chef for Restaurant Associates, said, “As a young female chef I understand the challenges women may face when wanting to develop their career in this sector. Women in Food is a great programme to support the needs of female chefs and to encourage women to consider a career in the culinary world. It is great to see Compass taking positive steps towards attracting and helping female chefs.”
Dennis Hogan, Managing Director of Compass Group UK & Ireland, added, “As a people-powered business we believe our colleagues should be provided with the right support and development opportunities. I’m proud to be part of the Women in Food programme as it aims to further encourage an inclusive workforce for our female colleagues.
“When we first launched Women in Food our focus was to tackle the shortage in female chefs by encouraging more women to enter and stay in this vibrant industry. However, we wanted to do more to further enhance the support we were providing not only to our chefs but our wider female workforce.
'So we have since broadened the programme through a range of initiatives to cater for women who work in various roles. This includes launching a range of PPE for women who work in a number of fields. We are committed to making a real difference and I really do believe we can have a real impact by providing the right support and encouragement through our Women in Food programme.”