Athrú 2016 inaugural conference to take place in Galway next week

Leading female chefs and restaurateurs from across Ireland are coming together in Galway next week for a culinary think-in and conference on gender roles within professional kitchens and throughout the hospitality sector. Athrú 2016, empowering women in the culinary arts in Ireland, is a two day conference and workshop with the goal of establishing a working Irish female chef database that would be available or suitable for judging, media, or to provide a female voice and point of view.

Athrú 2016 is attracting international female culinary heads such as Maria Canabal, president of Parabere Forum - Improving Gastronomy with women's vision. Speaking ahead of the Athrú 2016 Ms Canabal said: “Currently, it's obvious that women are under-represented in the food and hospitality industry. At the same time — and this might not be a coincidence — society has become increasingly distrustful of the food industry. Women's voices need to be heard and their talents deployed, so that we can boost confidence in the food sector, and construct a vision of the future based on values of sustainability and equal opportunity. If society, and the food and wine industry, is to evolve towards greater sustainability, greater equality, stronger growth, and increased social progress, women must be able to take their rightful place.”

The two day conference will take place on Monday July 18 and Tuesday July 19 with workshops being facilitated at 56 Central, and keynote addresses and think-in collaborative sessions with all attendees.

Speaking ahead of Athrú 2016, Trish Deseine commented: “There is now overwhelming evidence that gender parity in the workplace is good for everyone's health and happiness but most of all, it's good for business. Yet women are still not fully sharing the power and limelight with men in the culinary arts when very obviously, they enjoy equal talent and capabilities. We're sweeping aside damaging stereotypes and sexism in the arts, the police force, the army, medical, and legal careers. It is now time to consider how to make that happen in our restaurant and hospitality industries too. Athrú will provide a much-needed innovative space for Irish women and men to come together and discuss how to leave inequality behind at last."

“This is a very necessary conference to happen," added Jess Murphy of Kai Cafe and Restaurant. "We need to build a stronger voice across the culinary arts. There is, like across every section of society and within business, a lot of gender inequality and we just want to ensure that we are doing everything possible to get an equal playing field for both men and women working inside kitchens and within the hospitality sector.”

The conference and think-ins will run from 9am to 2pm daily on Monday and Tuesday in 56 Central, Shop Street, Galway.

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