Stella Artois Gender Equity with Stella Artois
The culinary industry has historically been male-dominated, with women facing numerous obstacles in pursuing careers as professional chefs. This is particularly evident in Brazil, where women lead cooking in almost all households, yet make up a mere 7% of head chefs at the most prestigious restaurants in the country.
Purpose partnered with Stella Artois to examine the experiences of female chefs in Brazil and the challenges they face in breaking through the gender barriers of the culinary world.
Despite women leading cooking in 96% of Brazilian households (PNAD), they hold only 7% of leadership positions in professional kitchens at the country’s most renowned restaurants, according to Chefs Pencil.
The foodservice industry needs changes. It is time for professionals in this industry to acknowledge and value the talent of women, who tell us so many stories through great food.
Stella Artois partnered with Purpose to develop an action strategy for the female audience, centered around culinary arts.
Through fieldwork, data collection, and consultations with Brazilian cuisine experts, the team identified a key question: why is home cooking associated with women and haute cuisine with men? This current system perpetuates gender and race stereotypes and goes against principles of equity.
The team then sought to identify ways to address these systemic issues and create opportunities that benefit women.
After learning about Brigade de Cuisine, a system of hierarchy in professional cooking that was developed by former military officer August Escoffier and perpetuates gender stereotypes that justify abuses and lack of opportunities, we identified a need to create a new Brazilian Cuisine based on feminine values.
Purpose developed a strategy to create a platform aimed at promoting social change, through appreciating women in the culinary arts and increasing their protagonism in this area. We aimed to:
- Recreate the meaning of sophistication: Giving a new meaning that is connected to Brazilian reality and imbued with the responsibility of affecting the system. Using sophistication as an expansion of who we are and what we do to build the future we want.
- Recreate the landscape of culinary arts: By becoming a part of Brazilian Cuisine, Stella can practice the responsibility of positively affecting it and creating spaces to increase the access of women to professional cooking, especially black women, improving their employability and income, reducing violence and prejudice, and changing the industry and its practices regarding equity.
Theory of Change
If the culinary arts industry in Brazil is inherently sexist, and if Stella Artois as a brand is committed to promoting gender equality, then it is necessary to challenge and combat the violence and oppression faced by women in this field. This will help to bring about structural changes that allow women to have autonomy and inspire others, leading to a new cooking culture based on gender equity.
The goal was to create a diverse, powerful, and meaningful kitchen that reflects contemporary values and a future that we want to see. This will be achieved through the hands of Brazilian women who represent the diversity of knowledge, styles, and flavors. The ultimate vision is a kitchen made by women, for everyone.
Main indicators to measure the impact of this effort are:
- The end of oppression, sexual violence, and sexism in the culinary arts industry in Brazil
- The emergence of a movement of culinary arts led by women
- Increased autonomy for women in society
Stella Artois aims to contribute to this new landscape by playing a role in changing the culinary arts industry in Brazil and acknowledging the impact of this effort.
- Culinary arts are sexist – women, especially black women, are not allowed to occupy positions in haute cuisine.
- Haute cuisine is based on the logic of scarcity and privilege to build up its status.
- Kitchens are a place for creating and protecting ancient knowledge and flavors.
- The path to a more just society requires rethinking our relation with meals, food and the process of preparing it.
- Stella Artois will create spaces for women to develop the new Brazilian Cuisine.
- Stella Artois launches a platform which systematically fights violence against women.
- Stella Artois believes in a new foodservice industry with the diversity of Brazilian women.
- Culinary arts show that it is possible to fix that sexist logic, and for women to take the lead.
- Stella Artois shows that rethinking sophistication requires questioning our privileges.
Purpose’s Assessment and Strategic Plan builds upon the ongoing efforts of agencies MESA and SOKO in bringing to life the communication campaigns and platform – Juntas na Mesa (“Together at the table”) invites all of society to take part in this journey of transformation, so that one day we can finally make a toast to a more diverse, inclusive and respectful food service industry.
The Together at the Table platform features chefs from different regions and states in Brazil to showcase the diversity of our culture. This commitment by Stella Artois aims to promote gender equity in the culinary arts through various initiatives.
One of its initiatives, Uncomfortable Food, addresses the main barriers faced by women in the foodservice industry by featuring a menu entirely created by women chefs who translate their discomfort into creative, original, and delicious dishes.
The following video was made by SOKO agency.*
for Equity & Evidence