#IWD2022 Blog: Helen Milligan-Smith, Managing Director, Aramark UK Onshore

09 Mar 2022

As a woman, and a mother, in a leadership role, I’ve always found myself passionate about women in the workplace and the challenges and biases we face, particularly when it comes to the foodservice industry, in which men usually dominate the senior roles.

While I am proud to say that in my current role as MD for Aramark UK, my UK senior leadership team is 50% female and Aramark Northern Europe Executive team is 38% female, there is no denying that there is always more to do in this space, and I feel strongly that employee engagement on this topic needs to reach (and come from) every level.

In Aramark, this employee engagement piece comes in the form of a female-focused employee resource group (ERG) called EMPOWER, which I am a proud sponsor of. Following the lead of our offices in the US, our Northern Europe teams have developed the EMPOWER ERG, along with other awareness training and mentorship programmes that support female employees, in particular. These groups create opportunities for connection, collaboration and sharing of personal experiences with like-minded people – while also strongly encouraging allyship and advocacy for certain groups who may face greater barriers in the workplace.