Case StudiesFoodservice & CateringUnited Kingdom

Noelle Jones – Compass Group Women in Food Lead Ambassador

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Noelle Jones was recently appointed Lead Ambassador of Compass Group UK & Ireland’s Women in Food network.

With Compass Group UK & Ireland for almost 12 years, Noelle’s appointment as managing director of Chartwells Independent in 2020 followed on from her previous role as Business Director within ESS Government Services. In her current role she supports clients within the private education sector and leads a team to provide innovation food and services.

What is your role with Women in Food?

I am the Lead Ambassador for Women in Food and it’s my job to make sure the network has the focus and the attention that it quite rightly deserves. I want people to join and support the group, so we can help our female talent thrive and develop.

Why is the role important?


It’s about making sure we celebrate successes and bring the achievements of women in the business to the forefront. We also need to create a credible succession plan, to make sure that women within our communities are given opportunities to develop in whichever direction they want their careers to take.

I believe we can act as a support to the many talented women within our business and those who may join in the future too. We already have loads of great examples of how Compass and Women in Food has helped our talent flourish, so we must keep this momentum going.

What do you hope to achieve with Women in Food?

We’ve grown the network massively over the past year and now have expanded beyond our initial culinary focus to represent all our female talent, across every sector. The network has hundreds of members including frontline to senior leadership positions and we work to together to deliver the objectives:

  • Attract diversity
  • Support development at all levels
  • Create a safe and supportive environment where everyone can thrive

Success is when great women have come up through the ranks, supported to achieve their potential in whatever they want to do. This could be anything from a cleaner who wants to move into a culinary role or someone working in finance that wants to get into a leadership position or even a working mum who feels supported. We know our people are our biggest asset and we want to help them be the best they can be.  

It’s also important to attract more women into our industry – I know from experience it’s a great place to work with loads of exciting opportunities and people.

What is coming up for Women in Food?

We just held an amazing Women in Food event for International Women’s Day, it was an opportunity to shine a light on the work we’ve been doing, and we had some fantastic speakers and people attend. I also want to continue our support of initiatives and programmes that help our women, and we need to keep shouting about the amazing things our role models are doing.

Throughout July the network will be working on the Women’s Euros, supporting matches up and down the country.

Any messages to colleagues and the industry?

For me, it’s exciting to hold this position and a privilege. I am genuinely passionate about helping others in their career and I have seen how our network can make a difference. It’s my responsibility to make sure people have the exposure to the industry they need, so they can pursue careers with nothing stopping their progress. It’s also important that people know they have someone who can support and mentor them, passing on advice and knowledge at key points along the career ladder.

Visit for information on how Compass Group UK & Ireland supports the development of its people.

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Staff Reporter covers the latest news, trends and opinion from the facilities management (FM) and corporate real estate (CRE) sectors. The FM market is currently estimated to be worth USD 1 trillion annually and is projected to grow at a compounded annualised rate of approximately 5% between now and 2026.

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