Dallas' Restaurant Beatrice designs tuition-free program to boost women
A Dallas restaurant is stepping up to help women in the industry: Restaurant Beatrice has partnered with Dallas College to launch the Women in Restaurants Leadership Program (WRLP), an eight-week, tuition-free program, that's open to anyone wishing to advance in the restaurant industry and supportive of the WRLP mission.
The program will provide seminars, training, and stagiaire opportunities.
According to a release, the program was conceived by Restaurant Beatrice owner and chef Michelle Carpenter with assistance from co-executive chef Terance Jenkins, with a goal of helping retain and advance more women in the industry and creating a more positive restaurant culture.
Restaurant Beatrice is the Oak Cliff restaurant that celebrates Louisiana-style hospitality and culture which opened in 2022.
A 2022 study by the National Restaurant Association found that women enter the restaurant workforce at a higher rate than men but do not hold leadership positions.
- 63 percent of entry-level posts and 69 percent of mid-level roles are held by women
- but only 34 percent of industry executives are women
Women’s labor dominates the industry, but their influence, voice, and perspectives are absent from the highest levels of the culinary and hospitality industries.
Carpenter is an anomaly who was able to do it herself but she and Jenkins are taking this step to make it easier for others.
Their theory is that to achieve equality in the industry, everyone must take part in dismantling exclusionary beliefs and normalize full participation in the workplace.
“Not only is this program impactful for students trying to improve their lives but it can also advance the industry in Dallas by producing better qualified professionals,“ Carpenter says in a statement. “Connecting these students with good mentors and role models will support them as they build their careers. I didn’t have anyone to guide me; no one looked like me. As big as the industry is, I had to navigate my career alone. This program is designed to help students overcome workplace roadblocks and make better decisions.”
“If employers want to make a better industry, this kind of work is necessary,” said Jenkins.
Dallas College Culinary, Pastry and Hospitality Center will host the classes on alternate Mondays, from 5-8 p.m. During these classroom sessions, industry leaders will help students master leadership skills and strategies to grow their careers as well as learn basics like résumé writing and financial literacy.
On non-classroom weeks, students will attend stages at Restaurant Beatrice and other critically-acclaimed restaurant partners—Duro Hospitality Group, Rye, Zen Sushi, James Beard Foundation finalists Lucia and Roots Southern Table and others—for shadowing experiences in different areas of restaurant management.
Interested students and community members can attend a free orientation and information session to meet the instructors, gain additional details about the program and learn how to apply for the tuition waiver on November 13 from 3-4 pm at Restaurant Beatrice.
Steve DeShazo, senior director in the Office of Workforce Initiatives at Dallas College, says in a statement that the college has a role in improving the local restaurant industry by convening programs like WRLP.
The eight-week course begins during the Spring 2024 term. Students and community members with questions about the Women in Restaurants Leadership Program should contact DeShazo directly by email: email@example.com.
Dallas College was previously the Dallas County Community College District, and consists of seven campuses: Brookhaven, Cedar Valley, Eastfield, El Centro, Mountain View, North Lake, and Richland.