Being a woman is hard. Being a mum in the food and beverage industry—which is known for its long hours, competitiveness, and gender bias—is even more difficult. Hence, we tip our hats to working mums who are able to juggle work and their family life with grace and dignity. And, in honour of International Women’s Day 2022, we talk to three female professionals who shared what it’s like navigating this industry.
Co-founder of SJS Group
“Back when I entered the industry at the age of 14, the competition was fierce. You competed for the best shifts, which is where you'd make the most money. There was always someone trying to take your shift, or 'eat your lunch' as I would say. You had to be fast, sell the most, and cultivate a big client base to stay on the schedule. Of course, being a woman in the industry played a big role in this, and yes, I've dealt with more than my share of misogyny and discrimination from men in power.
I'm new to the F&B industry as a mum—my daughter is six months old as we speak. I have new challenges now that I am an owner of five restaurants. On one hand, it's wonderful that I have the ability to work my schedule around her and even bring her with me to meetings. On the other hand, juggling the inner working of five businesses and two restaurant openings while focusing on a new child has proved to be a big balancing act.
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I usually divide up my day accordingly and seek support when needed. I try as much as possible to dedicate my mornings to my work and wellness routine, and the rest of my day is for being a mum. Work has never, and cannot ever take a back seat. When you run your own company, there is no backup plan and my daughter's future depends on its success. While it's a great deal of pressure, taking time for personal time and a wellness routine is important to be a good mum.
I believe that to thrive in this industry, it is important to cultivate a stellar support system around you and be prepared for sacrifices. In the F&B business, nights and weekends are no longer your own, they belong to work. That said, you can hustle as a mum by working nights and weekends and be there for your child during the day.”