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Hattie Hill, president and CEO, Women’s Foodservice Forum
As is the case in most of corporate America, the foodservice industry has a long way to go when it comes to gender equity. Thanks to Hattie Hill and the Women’s Foodservice Forum, restaurant operators and their supplier partners now have a measuring stick they can use to gauge the industry’s progress on the issue.
New data obtained from a partnership with McKinsey & Co. and women’s advocacy group Lean In has given WFF valuable insights around the state of the industry when it comes to the employment of women, highlighting the opportunities for improvement.
“We’ve never really had a lot of data to say where we were and what kind of movement and progress the industry has made,” said Hill, president and CEO of the Dallas-based WFF.
The McKinsey report showed that while women comprise much of the entry-level workforce in the industry, and often get promoted to management, their ranks thin rapidly at the director and executive levels. Women hold just 32 percent of C-suite roles at restaurant companies, the report found.
Hill and the WFF continue to implement programs that seek to rectify the gender imbalance, such as unconscious bias training and other resources for operators, distributors and suppliers.
The organization has set a goal to achieve gender equity in the food industry by 2025.