Deadline-driven and stressful, kitchen careers require tremendous stamina. They can even be dangerous, given constant proximity to fire-breathing stoves and ultra-sharp knives. Created by professional chefs, the DIG program recognizes the pressures unique to the industry.
Students learn best practices in and out of the kitchen, including business knowledge, all within an optimally supporting environment—which includes learning from women who’ve been there.
“As women, we fight to have our voices heard,” says Detroit area Chef Ederique Goudia, known to many as Chef E. “It’s extremely important to learn how to get paid what you’re worth as we continue to grow our presence in this industry.”
Wage equality remains a struggle. According to the Zippia study, women earn 93 cents for every dollar earned by men. “We’ve got a fantastic profession, and we just don’t get paid enough,” says Dr. Susan Hendee, ACF certified chef and educator. “We’re still fighting that battle, and it’s one of the things that makes an apprenticeship program so important: You’re getting paid to learn in a professional environment.”
Support becomes especially important in this environment. “We all have insecurities,” says Chef E. “Imposter syndrome is real and we’re all the same, we all have it including chefs, male and female. We’re all human. And when you apply your energy and empathy to your career, it benefits everyone, including you.”