A number of hospitality's big hitters have agreed to become trustees of a new charitable foundation that aims to develop an industry-wide strategy to improve diversity.
The One and All Foundation, which officially launches on 1 October, was created after research revealed that, while more than 50% of grassroots employees in hospitality are from minority ethnic backgrounds, only 2% of board level directors and 6% of middle management are.
The stated aim of the foundation is to ensure that employers and employees understand diversity and are able to create truly inclusive working cultures.
Its founders point to official statistics which reveal that, by 2011, only 20% of the workforce will be white, able bodied, male and under 45-years old.
Jen Miller, director at the One and All Foundation, told Caterersearch: "Rather than always worrying about sourcing new staff to cope with skills shortages, hospitality employers should be focused on unlocking the skills of those they already have."
The board, to be chaired by Peter Lederer, chairman of Gleneagles, will include Michael Caines, chef and director at Abode Hotels, Debrah Dhugga, former chief executive of Seaham Hall, Ian Hall, former group HR director at Gardner Merchant, Andy Kemp, sales director at 3663, Chris Sheppardson, managing director at Chess Executive and David McHattie, chief executive of the National Skills Academy.
The foundation will officially launch on October 1 at Roast restaurant in London's Borough. Tourism minister Margaret Hodge will be the keynote speaker at the event.
By Daniel Thomas
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