Its analysis of 5 five years’ employment data, the ONS found that the total number of chefs in the UK has risen by 11.3% in the last year, of which male chefs rose by 5.9% and women by 34% – making it the biggest single rise in the past five years.
Three out of five kitchen and catering assistants have been women over the past five years. Seven out of ten waiting staff are also female.
If the rate of growth remains consistent, female chefs could potentially outnumber male chefs by 2022.
Craig Allen, founder and director of hospitality recruiter The Change Group, who provided ONS employment data from the past 12 months, said: “It is great to see that there are more female chefs and that this figure has leapt up in the past year. This is certainly a trend that we are seeing in the people that we are placing at London’s top establishments. The hospitality sector wants more female chefs and we are delighted to see so many of London’s top establishments taking steps to recruit more women into their kitchens. Many women are working part time … more flexibility … could encourage more women to work in hospitality. The surge in the number of female chefs joining the industry over the past 12 months could indicate that they are an important source of talent at a time which is vital as the hospitality sector continues to face a dire talent shortage. We may see more women rise to the fore, so the future in terms of employment could be brighter than anticipated for the industry.”