Maneet Chauhan's Advice For Women Working In The Restaurant Industry

It's no secret that working in the restaurant industry is tough. Whether you're a chef or a server, the work is demanding, the hours are long, and the customers aren't always the easiest to please. But as a male-dominated industry, it's even tougher working as a woman in the restaurant business, battling the aforementioned obstacles along with sexism, lack of recognition, and unfair pay, says chef Amanda Cohen in an essay published by the James Beard Foundation.

Over the last several years, things have improved, but that's not to say that work is suddenly easy or fair for women in the food industry. Those same obstacles are still being battled each and every day though — at the very least — they are being talked about much more frequently, as in Cohen's essay. And it should be that way, as women comprise large percentages of those who cook, serve, and own food-related businesses, making up 52% of restaurant workers and 71% of servers, according to Forbes.

"Chopped" judge and recent "Tournament Of Champions" Season 2 winner Maneet Chauhan is no stranger to these adversities. She acknowledges that sometimes it's the industry and its players that are the issue, and other times, it's women who don't give themselves far enough credit. "Being a woman in this industry is absolutely tough. And I think it's because of the self-imposed guilt we put on ourselves ... I just embrace it. You cannot live in the moment of guilt. You have to live in the moment you are in right now," she once told Parade.

This is Maneet Chauhan's advice for women in the restaurant industry

It's easy enough to say "Give yourself more credit," "Speak up," or "Don't take any BS," but putting those concepts into action is another feat altogether — and, for a lot of women struggling in the restaurant industry, advice like this is not always the most helpful. Though having support and knowing you are not alone is — which is also the crux of a new acclaimed documentary out now called "Her Name Is Chef" that follows six noted women in the culinary world.

Maneet Chauhan's advice for women working in the restaurant industry also offers inspiration. She says, when it comes to boosting yourself, it's more about the small moments and baby steps you can take to improve your confidence in yourself and in your work. "Just take a moment and pat yourself on the back and say you have done a good job. We don't do that, we don't go around tooting our own horn," she further tells Parade. "One of the biggest things women live with is 'Can we? Can we do this? Can we own a restaurant?' My advice is to keep those two words in your vocabulary, but just switch them. Instead of 'Can we?,' it's 'We can.'"