A recent New York Times article, A Change in the Kitchen, digs deep into the changing roles of women in professional kitchens. For decades, thanks to low-pay, long hours and general high turnover, the food industry has largely been one for transient workers—oftentimes with more qualified workers leaving both jobs and the larger industry after a relatively short period of time. In the last few decades, in part due to the acknowledgement of basic worker rights, there’s been a move towards supporting employee satisfaction, with kitchens offering benefits, sick time and the possibility for promotion. Add to this to growing prestige of the culinary world, due partially to evolving food fads, the opening of specialized restaurants, and the glitz and glam of the industry via reality cooking shows.
While these factors have changed the industry as a whole, one of the more pronounced developments has been the role of women in the kitchen.
Similar to other industries, women aren’t buying the “too physically/psychologically demanding” excuses for keeping them out of the kitchen. They’re also gaining a foothold in education—culinary programs have been showing a steady increase of female graduates. What used to be enrollment in pastry-focused programs, many schools have been reporting numbers of female graduates at, or very close to, men. Once they’re in the industry, female workers, especially in higher positions, are making their culinary careers work as their personal lives evolve through personal life changes—marriage, divorce, the birth of children, etc.
What used to be an uncertain career path, the culinary world has been developing into a more successful and rewarding future for so many workers.
Have we caught your attention? If so, maybe training through CUNY CareerPATH is right for you. Kingsborough’s CCP Culinary Arts or Food & Beverage programs might be just what you’re looking for. First, check your eligibility. If you’d like to learn more, join us at an upcoming information session to make sure our training is right for you. Sign up today!