Code Hospitality has announced its annual Hospitality’s Women of the Year List. Now in its fifth year, the list – previously known as 100 Most Influential Women in Hospitality – returns to champion the sector’s unsung heroes, the women who are pushing the boundaries for change.
Last year’s winners included Kate Nicholls OBE, Chief Executive of UKHospitality, Adriana Cavita, Chef-owner of Cavita, and Florence Knight, Executive Chef of Session Arts Club.
This year’s list, sponsored by Bibendum Wine, had more than 500 nominations and has been judged by a panel of industry experts including: Kate Nichols OBE, Romy Gill MBE, Ikoyi co-founder Iré Hassan-Odukale, The Good Food Guide editor Elizabeth Carter, and award-winning food writer Ajesh Patalay.
Women from the categories Connectors, Disruptors, Campaigners and Leaders have been selected. A winner from each category along with an overall winner, Woman of the Year, alongside a Lifetime Achievement award will be announced at the ceremony in London on Wednesday 29 March.
Included on the list:
Karen Jones DBE
, Chair, Prezzo, Hawksmoor, Mowgli, Deliveroo & co-chair of The Hospitality Sector Council
Karen was awarded a damehood in 2022 for her services to the hospitality industry, a fitting reward for a long spell at the top of the food and drink sector. After launching Theme Restaurants in her 20s, Karen founded Café Rouge in 1989 and has since become part of leadership groups at some of Britain’s most popular restaurants and hospitality businesses.
, Founder & CEO, Be Inclusive Hospitality (pictured)
Named Code Hospitality’s Most Influential Entrepreneur in 2022, Lorraine founded Be Inclusive Hospitality in 2020 with the aim of accelerating race equity within the sector.
Drawing on two decades of experience (including working on the executive leadership teams at Gordon Ramsay Restaurants, Wolseley Hospitality Group and Shake Shack), over the past year Be Inclusive Hospitality has provided mentorship for 45 people of colour in hospitality, 33 scholarships to support education and professional development, and partnered with UberEats and Enterprise Nation to deliver the Black Business fund.
, Founder, Speakeasy Entertainment
Roisin has created some of London’s best-loved bars, including Nightjar, Oriole and Swift, mainstays at the World’s 50 Best Bars awards. She runs a leadership group that is over 70% female and is seen as an “exemplary leader and mentor” by her team, having guided dozens of employees into successful hospitality careers in her 12 years at Speakeasy Entertainment.
, Director, Philip Warren Butchers
Philip Warren has become one of the UK’s leading butchers, with chefs across the country, including Paul Ainsworth and Tomos Parry, sourcing from the Cornish supplier. Karenza helped launch the Good Beef Index, changing the way British meat is graded, with an emphasis on quality not quantity.
, Founder, Rasa Sayang & Chew-on-This Portfolio
When she arrived in London in 2007 she quickly noticed a gap in the market, with few restaurants representing Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine.
Since founding Rasa Sayang in London’s Chinatown in 2008, Ellen has gone from strength to strength, forming the ever-expanding Chew-On-This restaurant group, which now operates multiple sites across the country, including Shan Shui at Heathrow Airport, several branches of Mrs Chew’s Chinese Kitchen and Arôme bakery in London.
Romy Gill MBE commented, “People know me. For this list I want women who are unsung heroes; who do more than me but aren't heard of. It is a chance to celebrate women everywhere.’
Adam Hyman, founder of Code Hospitality, said, “CODE Hospitality’s Women of the Year list for 2023 is all about championing the unsung female heroes of our industry. All of the women in this year’s list often do not get the recognition for what they do.
'The list is a reminder of the amazing things that they are doing every day, and the meaningful change and impact they have on the hospitality industry.”