Female chefs still under-represented in top kitchens


Female chefs still under-represented in top kitchens

Female chefs still under-represented in top kitchens

Female chefs remain under-represented in the top restaurant kitchens around the country, according to a recent article on thecaterer.com. Not only that, but female chefs were found to earn, on average, £4,000 less annually compared to their male counterparts.

The article cited information supplied by London recruitment firm The Change Group, who recorded 1,525 chefs registered for work last year. Of this figure, only 217 were women. The agency also commissioned a survey which discovered that a third of female chefs agreed that being a woman had a 'negative impact' on their career, and that nearly half (44%) were the sole woman in their kitchen. Respondents also claimed that they were offered more menial tasks than their male equivalents, and believed they were not as likely to be promoted.

The Change Group highlighted the two key issues putting off women from joining the profession as the long, inflexible working hours, and a 'macho' culture in the kitchen. Figures from the Office for National Statistics further underline this issue, demonstrating that just 18.5% of chefs in the UK are female and that the numbers declined from 2014 to 2015.

Some successful restaurateurs are undergoing measures to close the gender gap issue and actively encourage more women into the profession. Angela Hartnett, who has three female head chefs employed at her restaurants, told the Evening Standard that she has many female chefs working for her and that "there is no difference in salary between the sexes at the same level" in her restaurants. Other operators who have taken steps to address this concerning issue include Corbin & King, who last year, set up an initiative to encourage more females to embrace the profession. Their Gourmet Mum's Forum was designed to help draw out some of the obstacles putting women off careers as chefs, particularly those with families.

In light of International Women's Day this week, let us end with the hope that this imbalance in the industry can be addressed and we can get more females back in the top kitchens of the UK - on an equal rate of pay.

Back to Blog