Women in hospitality: 7x tips to thrive in the kitchen

Seven resilient female FairKitchens ambassadors share their insights on how to deal with these issues and thrive in this fast-paced industry.

Make the industry more inclusive 

We all need to work together to create an industry that is fair to everyone. Women, stand in your power and demand to be treated as equals. We should never tolerate sexism. Men, learn about the discrimination women face. Check your own bias and speak out if you see inappropriate behavior in others. Leaders, understand that the industry needs to be better adapted  to women. Respect the time and talent of female workers, especially mothers. 

Clarisse Flon 

Pastry Chef

Change your situation to overcome imposter syndrome 

We all want to seem like we’re doing well. This is why it’s hard to open up when you struggle with confidence and imposter syndrome. Lots of things can make us feel like we are not good enough, from personal struggles to toxic kitchen environments and online criticism from strangers. If you feel yourself slipping into a dark place, make an effort to change  your situation. Reignite your passion by focusing on what you love about working in foodservice and what you are good at. 

Charlotte Vincent

2023 Finalist, National Chef of the Year

Put your health first with a positive work-life balance

Starting out in this industry, understand that the hours are long. Make friends in the industry who work similar shifts so you can spend free time together. Focus on prioritizing a good work-life balance. Find time in your schedule for yourself and put your health and wellbeing first. Being a woman in hospitality is challenging, but also fulfilling. 

Amber Heaton 

Captain, Australian Youth Culinary Team  

Work towards success from the start of your career

Keep pushing and persevere through challenges, when they arise. When things are hard, remember why you are passionate about this career. Inspire and encourage other women in hospitality. Help to make working environments inclusive and supportive. Stay humble and grounded when you achieve success and recognition in your career.

Cherish Finden

Pastry Chef & Bake Off: The Professionals Judge 

Cultivating relationships through mentorship and networking is key  

Our industry is not just about culinary skills; effective communication and building connections pave the way for growth and success. Find a mentor and spend time networking. You don’t necessarily need a mentor who is also in the kitchen. Sometimes it's leaders from your community that can guide you the best. 

Kimberly Brock Brown

Immediate Past President, American Culinary Federation

Curious for more insights? Watch A Fair Chat, where Kimberly Brock Brown and  chef Kyla Tuori are discussing leadership and mentoring women in hospitality

Believe in yourself and pursue your passion

Focus on what you can contribute as a young woman. We bring diverse perspectives and innovation. Perseverance, resilience and excellence are essential for success. Never stop growing. Develop your professional skills, seek mentors and network. Pursue your passion. Don’t let the challenges of this male-dominated industry hold you back. Believe in yourself.

Manylle Gabionza

Shift Leader, Joey Restaurants Yorkdale

Make time for yourself by saying no

Being a female leader in hospitality requires much time and attention. This can make finding balance difficult, but don’t let that hold you back. Learn to say no. Time for ourselves is non-negotiable. When we have clear boundaries, we can spend    time with friends and family. Use a simple checklist to be efficient and get everything done. That way you don’t need to work overtime. Delegate tasks to your team to lighten your workload. This gives you space to work on new projects and develop your skills.

Karen Pillay

Owner, YSIM

The world is evolving and women in hospitality are demanding equality and inclusion. Through resilience and determination, they're reshaping the industry. We all have to contribute our voices and actions to create positive change. Women are a vital part of foodservice and we cannot afford to lose them.

Lead the change
If you want to create an inclusive kitchen, sign up for our free leadership training today. Our FairKitchens ambassadors and experts will grow your skills on building diverse and inclusive teams. 

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