March is Women’s History Month, and this month we spotlight the contributions women have made to the industry.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (pre-pandemic), those contributions to foodservice include:

  • 61% of adult women have worked in the industry at some point during their lives.
  • For 39%, their first job was in a restaurant.
  • Women hold 56% of foodservice occupations, (vs. 47% in the overall economy)
  • Nearly half of foodservice managers are women, and one-third of all US restaurant businesses are majority-owned by women.

This is especially true in the baking world. According to Bake’s 2017 Retail Bakery Operations Study, 54% of those surveyed were women, up from 49% in 2012. That has only increased four years later as we make our way further into 2021, and the future is bright for retail bakeries thanks to these women leading the way in innovation.

One of the top names in baking in the country is Joanne Chang, who has put Flour Bakery + Café on the map as a premiere bakery destination. As of 2021, there are 10 Flour bakery locations across Massachusetts employing hundreds of individuals.

Chang had a unique journey to get to where she is today. A graduate of Harvard, she initially worked as a management consultant before making the switch to cooking with limited culinary experience. She caught on quickly, however, and in 2016 was named the James Beard Foundation Award winner for Outstanding Baker. Flour Bakery + Café is nationally recognized for its pastries, include its signature Sticky Buns.