Meet the 50 Most Influential Women in Foodservice

This article was written by Kristi Turner, CMO of Compeat.

Nation’s Restaurant News just released their list of the 50 Most Influential Women in Foodservice. This all-female Power List includes women in leadership from all segments, both chains and independents. I am so pleased to see this list of prestigious women, many whom I can call friends, colleagues, and customers, be acknowledged for their accomplishments in our industry.

Climbing to the top isn’t easy, especially when some of these women were the first women in their position. I think back to 30 years ago when I started in this industry as a waitress at the second Outback Steakhouse and now I have the privilege of being CMO of a technology company serving the restaurant industry.

This industry has changed tremendously over the last 30 years and I am proud to see more diversity at the top. But, as NRN points out in the article, it’s not quite enough. The number of female CEOs in the restaurant industry remains a tiny fraction among large chains, despite the fact that women represent a significant portion of the restaurant workforce. According to the Women’s Foodservice Forum, only one in five food industry executives are women.

It wasn’t too long ago that I was asked by a dear friend and rock star restaurant industry entrepreneur, Amanda Hite to answer the classic question, “how do you handle the glass ceiling?”  I responded that in my 25-year career, I can honestly say I have never witnessed the proverbial “glass ceiling.”

That is because I believe the only glass ceiling for women that exists is the one we decide is there. It can be challenging, frustrating and discouraging at times but we can get there. Men and women are wired differently but equal in value. There are endless opportunities for both women and men. We each have a unique soul signature meant to be our contribution to this world. If each of us shows up in every moment with the powerful blend of authenticity, humility and self-confidence, we create a tsunami of power that ignites good in not only our own life but for all those we interact with every day. (Read the full interview here My Manifesto)

The women named in this article are a testament to my beliefs. Congratulations to our customers Black Bear Diner, Ruth’s Hospitality Group, ThinkFoodGroup, Blaze Pizza, Momofuku, Upward Projects, Tender Greens, Buffalo Wild Wings, Mendocino Farms and all of the other influential women leaders being acknowledge for your contributions to the restaurant industry! We are so proud of all of you.

View the slideshow here.


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