Supporting Women in Food Pregnancy Postpartum and Menopause Program

Compass Group UK & Ireland, the leading food and support services company in the UK, has unveiled a groundbreaking addition to its uniform lineup: a maternity jacket designed to provide unparalleled support, fit, and functionality for female colleagues throughout pregnancy and beyond.

Developed in collaboration with Compass Group’s Women in Food community and rigorously tested by pregnant chefs within the company, this innovative garment is the result of over a year of dedicated effort. Renowned fashion designer Lynda Yong lent her expertise to perfecting every aspect of the design, ensuring it meets the highest standards of comfort, safety, and practicality.

The maternity jacket boasts a range of features tailored to the specific needs of pregnant chefs and frontline female colleagues. These include tailored arms and shoulder detail, popper fastenings for safety, elasticated lining to accommodate pregnancy growth, and thoughtful functionality to facilitate feeding or pumping. Crafted from a unique lightweight material engineered to dissipate heat and promote airflow, the jacket maintains an optimal body temperature of 37.5°C, catering not only to pregnant colleagues but also to those returning to work postpartum and individuals navigating perimenopause and menopause.

Scheduled for release next month, the jacket will be available to all Compass Group UK&I employees who wish to utilize it. Looking ahead, the company plans to extend this pioneering solution to its global workforce, reflecting its commitment to supporting colleagues worldwide.

Gemma Evans-Hurley, Head of Culinary at Dine Contract Catering and Chair of Women in Food, emphasized Compass Group’s dedication to finding solutions that empower its employees. She noted the inadequacy of existing maternity uniforms in the industry and hailed the Compass-designed jacket as a transformative advancement.

Chef Leanne Ryan from Restaurant Associates, who tested the jacket during pregnancy and continues to wear it postpartum, praised the garment for acknowledging and addressing the unique challenges faced by pregnant women in the kitchen. Laura Brand, a Chef at Eurest, shared her experience of being involved in the project from its inception, underscoring the significance of feeling supported and valued in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

The Women in Food community, established in 2016 to champion female chefs, has evolved to support all roles within the company and advocate for gender equality in the workplace. In addition to fostering career development and creating a platform for sharing experiences, the network played a pivotal role in shaping Compass Group’s Menopause policy.

Compass Group’s introduction of the maternity jacket represents a milestone in its ongoing commitment to promoting inclusivity, support, and empowerment within the workforce

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