Michelin-starred chef Michael Caines has called on employers to encourage more females to develop their chef careers, in a speech at the launch of Women 1st Female Chefs’ Development programme.
The acclaimed chef said that the “discriminatory practices that hinder the progress of female chefs don’t belong in the 21st century workplace and should not be tolerated.”
Caines, who has teamed up with sector skills council People 1st to launch a pilot scheme designed to further the careers of female chefs within the industry, was speaking at the programme’s inauguration held at the Dorchester, London last week.
“Chefs are one of the hardest positions to fill and the industry needs to secure the best talent rather than shun part of the workforce,” he added. “Furthermore, today’s chefs need to have more than just good cooking skills, they need to be able to manage and motivate kitchen staff, supervise the gross profit levels and crucially, be business savvy.
“It is therefore crucial for employers to provide the right training for their female chefs to help take their careers to the next level.”
Research from People 1st found that more than 60% of chefs are male, a percentage that significantly increased within fine dining restaurants. Unconventional working hours, coupled with a lack of training and suitable role models, were also found to have hampered the progress of female chefs.
Dan Power, strategic manager of diversity at People 1st, said: “Working closely with Michael, we developed a comprehensive programme which aligns with both the needs of a business and its customers’ requirements.”
Modules include motivating staff, business planning, menu engineering and communication skills.
By Janie Stamford
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