Celebrating “Women in Food”

Compass Group UK & Ireland has committed to further supporting the development of female chefs, through their Women in Food programme. Marking International Women’s Day (8th March), Compass hosted a networking event for Women in Food, bringing together chefs, female leaders and representatives from its Executive team.

The event took place on 4th March and was held alongside the Hotel, Restaurant & Catering show at ExCeL London – attendees gathered to share ideas and learn from speakers, who shared their insights on Women in Food. Highlights included, the founder of leading hospitality and retail consultancy, Ella De Beer, speaking about how women can support one another in the industry and the steps that can be taken to support the next generation of women entering into hospitality. Robin Mills, Managing Director, Compass Group UK & Ireland addressed the need to challenge behaviours that discourage women from joining the industry and his personal commitment to support female talent in Compass. Plus, Gemma Evans, Executive Chef in a London client site for Eurest, part of Compass, inspired the room with her personal story of joining Compass as Sous Chef and forging her career to where she is now including her recent gold medal from the Culinary Olympics.   

The Compass Women in Food Ambassadors were out in force, flying the flag for the company’s outstanding female chefs. Since its launch, back in 2017, the Women in Food programme has done a sterling job, with 40% of apprenticeships now being taken up by budding female chefs. Its aim of creating a more inclusive culture in the kitchen, attracting diversity, ensuring development opportunities and encouraging career progression, is having the desired impact.

Amanda Scott, Compass’ Director of Talent, Learning and Diversity & Inclusion commented: “Recognising, and then breaking down the barriers that are preventing women progressing in the hospitality industry is essential. We have many talented women in our business and so often what is holding them back is a hurdle we can help them overcome – whether that be confidence, training, lack of attainable opportunities, or simply needing flexibility.

We’ve got some great initiatives in place to support our female talent and it’s clear that the more work we do in this area, the more we are able to unlock the potential of our people.”