A survey commissioned by Les Grandes Tables du Monde and S.Pellegrino on gender equality within its member restaurants has found that women are confined to waiting and floor positions.
There are eight women for 12 men on the floor, and only three women for 14 men in the kitchen.
The issue of pay equality remains: only 41% of establishments surveyed replied to the question, and the responses suggest a salary gap of 9.5% in favour of men.
Furthermore, women are less likely to reach high-responsibility positions such as headwaiter, chef de partie and second-in-command.
One of the biggest obstacles to women’s progression is maternity and family life, with 60% of employers pointing to this as the main constraint in terms of career growth for their female employees.
While 74% of employers have implemented flexibility measures such as time-sharing and parental leave, one interviewee commented: “We work 13 to 14 hours a day. This means no time for children, no emotional connections, only work, work, work; so, at some point, you are faced with difficult decisions.”
Les Grandes Tables du Monde managing director Nicolas Chatenier says of the report: “The question of women in gastronomy is an absolutely key subject, which carries a positive message about the evolution in our field. The goal here isn’t to oppose men and women, something our respondents are careful enough not to do, but to allow women to grow in their rightful place and strengthen their power of action.”