The future role of women in hospitality now on the H&C EXPO conference agenda

The role women play in the hospitality industry now and in the future will be one of the hot topics discussed at this year’s H&C EXPO.

The EXPO, which takes place at Celtic Manor in Wales on 17th and 18th July, will include a number of panel debates and round-table discussions with Women in Hospitality one of the first to be revealed.

A panel made up of senior female leaders from across the hospitality and catering sectors will give their views in the debate.

The panel team will comprise:

Wendy Bartlett, executive chairman of contract catering firm Bartlett Mitchell

Tredwells’ chef-patron and group operations director at Marcus Wareing Restaurants Chantelle Nicholson

Cafe Spice Namaste restaurateur Pervin Todiwala

Julie Barker, director of accommodation and hospitality services at Brighton University

Sara Jayne Stanes, CEO of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts

The discussion will be chaired by Hospitality & Catering News interviews editor Emma Eversham.

Despite women making up 60% of the hospitality and tourism workforce, only 15% make it to senior positions according to the British Hospitality Association (BHA).

And research published in the review Women in Hospitality, Travel and Leisure 2020, released yesterday, found that women make up 26% of senior management positions in the hospitality, travel and leisure sector with the figure dropping to only 20% when human resources roles are excluded.  

Female hospitality salaries also lag behind men’s according to data from The Change Group. The average male chef salary of those registered with the recruitment agency last year was 14% higher than the average annual pay for a female chef while the average salary for male front-of-house staff was 9% higher than their female equivalent.

Passionate debate

Panellists at the Women in Hospitality discussion on Tuesday 17th July, will give their thoughts on a range of areas around the subject, such as whether the industry has a balanced approach to welcoming women into our industry, how we can improve equality in senior roles and whether women should lead the campaign for a Minister of Hospitality.

Todiwala, who runs her restaurant business with husband Cyrus, said:

Bartlett, one of the Women 1st Top 100 Women in Hospitality and whose own company has a 50/50 female male split, said it is important to make women aware of the ‘brilliant’ careers they can forge in the sector. Bartlett further added:

Hospitality skills shortage

The need to attract talent – male or female – to address the industry’s skills shortage is also a reason to encourage women to enter the industry and stay in it, say panellists.

Tredwells’ chef-patron and group operations director at Marcus Wareing Restaurants Chantelle Nicholson was clear saying:

CEO of the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts, Sara Jayne Stanes welcomed the discussions telling us:

Brighton University director Julie Barker believes discussing the topic has ‘never been more relevant and timely’ as the industry faces a huge skills shortage compounded by Brexit and uncertain economic conditions. Barker explained:

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The women who took part in the conference

  • Wendy Bartlett, Executive Chairman of Bartlett Mitchell

  • Chantelle Nicholson Tredwells’ Chef Patron & Group Operations Director at Marcus Wareing Restaurants