Women in Hospitality: Do we need female focused awards?
April 13, 2017
Monday 3 April saw the TMRW project hold a panel discussion in Liverpool at Love Lane Wines.
Click here to listen to a recording of the evening.
It was an interesting, positive and challenging discussion with insightful comments from the audience and great knowledge sharing from our panelists.
The main conclusions reached were that segregation in awards were a reluctant necessity, and that any way we can promote and celebrate women in this industry can only ever be positive. Hopefully awards such as 'Best Female Chef' can help attract more women into kitchens. The recipients of such awards and the awarding bodies have a duty to use their platforms to encourage and support.
The principle obstacles to women succeeding in the industry were due to issues with both attraction and retention of women within professional kitchens. The media is fascinated with their idea of the 'rock and roll chef' and far more interested in portraying kitchens as testosterone soaked battle grounds rather than the creative and equal spaces they're capable of being.
Many of the panellists unfortunately agreed that sexism was a problem in restaurants, both out front and in the kitchen, and that the profile of working front of house needs to be raised in order to make it more attractive. The majority of felt that they had received unequal treatment due to gender, but at the same time the industry also created endless opportunities for support: many of those attending the panel discussion on Monday commented on how positive it was to meet others in similar situations to themselves.
Award-winning Manchester chef, opening her own restaurant later this year.
Elizabeth Haigh (nee Allen)
Awarded a Michelin star 2016 for Pidgin restaurant. Her new restaurant will open later this year.