Wenger resigns from Nestlé

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Food industry Management

The food industry has lost another member of a rare species - a
woman in management - after Nelly Wenger left her job as managing
director for Nestlé Switzerland due to ill health.

There was seasonal good will on both sides as Wenger announced she would take a leave of absence in order to "secure the best possible conditions for her full recovery"​. The nature of the condition was not announced, but it goes without saying that everyone in the industry would wish her well. What her resignation does mean, even though temporary, is that the food industry has lost another influential woman, already an outnumbered group it seems. Wenger will be replaced at Nestlé Switzerland by Mr. Hervé Cathelin. The move comes coincidentally only a week after authorities in a fellow European country, the UK, unveiled a £500,000 grant that will be used to subsidise 500 women in management training. The grant will be administered by Improve, the body responsible for skills in the UK food sector, and comes alongside a recent study that found that less than a quarter of senior food industry managers in the UK were women.

"This project will equip women with the skills and knowledge to take on more senior roles, helping to increase their earning potential and further their careerdevelopment,"​ said Jack Matthews, Improve's chief executive.

"Boosting the number of women managers in food and drink will also help to change outdated perceptions that have in the past deterred many women from joining the sector."

Involving more women in food industry decision-making makes good business sense too, it seems.

A recent study of 200 British men and women in their early 30s found that three quarters of women still do most of the cooking and food shopping in their household.

Those wishing to see greater representation of women in the food industry were boosted earlier this year by the appointment of Indra Nooyi to president and chief executive of PepsiCo.

Nooyi, who was of course primarily appointed for her achievements and ability, is nevertheless Pepsi's first ever female chief executive. And she is Indian-born. Perhaps the times 'they-are-a-changing' afterall.

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