"Be who you are. Go out there and do your thing; no one will bite you. Don't be scared."
Those were the words of Emily Roux, who works as a consultant chef for Restaurant Associates, at Compass Group UK & Ireland's networking event for female chefs yesterday (6 September) at Somerset House in London. Roux also revealed plans to open her own restaurant with her husband, and is currently looking at properties in London.
The event was attended by around 200 people, including female chefs from across the industry, as part of the foodservice firm's ‘Women in Food' programme and commitment to tackling the shortage in female chefs by supporting female chefs and encouraging more women to consider a career as a chef.
Guests heard from key speakers including Giselle and Emily Roux in a question and answer session hosted by Jeremy Ford, executive chef of Restaurant Associates, Compass's fine-dining division.
Guests were also able to visit a number of showcase stands hosted by female-owned food organisations.
Since the launch of Women in Food, Compass has introduced a number of initiatives to support its female workforce, including:
• A Women in Food ambassador programme of female chefs to support and encourage their female colleagues
• A range of personal protective equipment specifically for women
• A maternity, adoption and shared parental leave pack 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
• A new range of EatFair snackbars, a percentage of each bar sold to be donated to the Women's Leadership School for marginalised female farmers in Africa
Emily Roux 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."
Dennis Hogan, managing director of Compass Group UK & Ireland, added: "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."
Videos from The Caterer archives