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National Restaurant Association - Serving up career opportunities for women

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Serving up career opportunities for women

Opportunities for women in foodservice are growing rapidly, says National Restaurant Association CEO Dawn Sweeney, who recently penned a letter signed by more than 600 industry-affiliated women that was sent to Congress and the Obama administration.

In the letter, sent Dec. 11, Sweeney told lawmakers there are more women managers and owners in the restaurant industry than in virtually any other, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. “Forty-five percent of our managers are women compared with an average of 38 percent in other industries,” she stated. ”Half of all U.S. restaurants are owned or co-owned by women.”

“Restaurant jobs, like no other sector, provide opportunities to women of all backgrounds and experience levels,” the Association’s CEO wrote. “Our industry helps women gain the experience needed to jumpstart careers or advance toward management or executive positions more quickly than most other industries.”

Sweeney further asserted that the number of women that own restaurants is booming.

In an op-ed in The Hill, she wrote that between 1997 and 2007, the total of women-owned restaurants increased 50 percent.

She also said the industry, which employs nearly 10 percent of the U.S. workforce, has helped the economic recovery. “This industry is the nation's second-largest private-sector employer, and women hold a majority of its jobs. We’re proud of our role in providing opportunities to advance their ‑ and all of our employees’‑ careers with schedules that allow them to balance family or education priorities with work.”

Pictured top right, from left: U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, with NRA chair Ken Conrad and NRA president and CEO Dawn Sweeney

The NRA is highlighting the achievements of women in the industry on its America Works Here website and will soon debut a brand-new series featuring stories, personal accounts and career advice. Stay tuned.

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