Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Females in Food Creates Vision for Future of Industry

The math, as they say, simply didn’t add up. With that a duo of food industry executives set out to do something about it. Angela Dodd, Founder and CEO of Females in Food and Edie Weintraub, co- founder of Women in Restaurants, found that over 60 percent of people employed in the foodservice industry are women. In addition, they make up more than 80 percent of the food buying decisions.

With a goal of working towards increasing that voice and gender parity at the top, the duo teamed up to leverage the resources and network across their organizations. Females in Food and Women in Restaurants are both female-led organization working to create an equitable playing field for women in the industry at the top tier.  Experts in the industry contend that it is frustrating that gender remains a staffing issue well into the 21st century given that only “24% women are represented in the C-Suite.”

The question uppermost on their minds is: Why would gender support not be a priority and a focal point for progressive development given the difficulty that the industry faces in recruiting and training topflight management staff? 

“If there was one solution then I think that the problem would have been solved. In addition to those obstacles, women also encounter biases of ageism or discrimination across the board. How do we combat those biases? Some of the divisions and barriers to equity for women in business is the lack of community and platform to connect and raise their own visibility. In some cases, there’s also the absence of career confidence, resources, and development to really empower their careers,” noted Dodd, the Founder and CEO of Females in Food. 

The Minneapolis and Atlanta based organizations are a collaboration born from a gap witnessed within the industry by both Dodd and Weintraub. “At Females in Food, we represent every sector of the food and beverage industry from retail, food service, ingredients, and CPG. Our collaboration efforts with Women in Restaurants allow us to further support those in our network ” Dodd said. Their ultimate desire is to be a “part of the solution” combating the inequity experienced by female corporate professionals and female restaurateurs which comes directly from feedback that indicated the broadly noticeable disparity in opportunities compounded by an already weak and under-sustained workforce.

According to Dodd, Females in Food is the first female-focused professional platform committed to closing the gender gap across every sector of the F&B industry. Females in Food deploys a 360-degree approach to talent development and gender diversity by offering professional programs, events and job search tools through their membership community. It also acts as a trusted partner to organizations to help increase gender diversity through talent connection, consulting programs and data insights.

She noted that their membership community offers women access to a private communication channel, weekly learning and development resources, industry-topic webinars, professional development webinars, in-person events, and networking events. Members also gain access to robust job search tools through an “on demand” job search accelerator course and free resume reviews. 

Atlanta based, Women in Restaurants, helps women in the business with the tiniest details aimed at ensuring their success. “There’s an area of Atlanta known as Buford Highway. It’s our international corridor and where many immigrant families are located. The real estate is relatively cheap and it’s afforded mom and pop restaurants the perfect home to open. What you find is that because they are focused on great ingredients and execution, they often don’t have the money to spend on the décor. That leads the more adventurous diners to the community, but challenges others due to the appearance. The community, the food and the people are absolutely amazing,so much so that it has been featured on Food Network by Anthony Bourdain and Alton Brown on a Layover episode of No Reservations as well as local chefs Kevin Gillespie.  Creating a community that allows women to leverage their collective experiences and support one another is what my co-founder, Kelli Ferrell and I are very passionate about,” co-founder Weintraub explained.

As fledgling organizations powered by a desire to make an impact, see new faces, inspire community, and foster a strong enduring presence, the focus is on establishing a broader footprint in 2023 for both Females in Food and Women in Restaurants. Dodd said that they are rolling out new technology that will enable even better connectivity between our members, launching new professional development programs, and working with organizations like Women in Restaurants to find new ways to serve even more women in the industry.  Our members are able to connect globally 24/7 through a secure communication channel, however, we will continue to build out our ambassador network and regional events to foster even stronger community at a local level. 

Women in Restaurants is starting the year off with a Vision Board/Manifestation event in collaboration with an emerging restaurant brand and is planning food and community building retreats in the Southeast throughout the year. 

So, as the industry heads into the new year and with it, new challenges, the future is not only food but most importantly, it is Females in Food. And this network is doing everything in its power to empower women into positions of visibility, power, and equity.

To learn more about Females in Food, visit their website.

The post Females in Food Creates Vision for Future of Industry appeared first on Total Food Service.

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