Stories / Impact

Celebrating Women’s History Month and Future Full of Potential

V Spehar

February 24, 2020


Selassie Atadika and Einat Admony photo by Eric Vitale
Selassie Atadika and Einat Admony at last year's International Women's Day Beard House dinner (photo: Eric Vitale)

Women’s History Month is about to kick off, and here at the Beard Foundation, we’re looking to the future with energy and excitement. We’re known for our insatiable hunger for celebrating rising stars, opening doors to help more women “Own It”, and building a more equitable, sustainable, and accessible food system for all. We also know that the privilege of looking forward with enthusiasm is due to the women who made the first cracks in the gastro-ceiling, and those who continue to lead and innovate. 

For example, in 1987, Ann Amendolara Nurse, an esteemed culinary instructor who founded the original student stage programs at the James Beard House, stepped in to prepare a luncheon when James Beard Award–winning chef Larry Forgione went on vacation. With this last-minute swap, Nurse became the first woman to lead an event at the Beard House. 

Today we regularly showcase women at the James Beard House and have created a whole suite of programs designed to advance women’s leadership in the industry, because when women lead, we all win.

We see a better future in the hundreds of women who’ve attended Owning It and applied to our Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership (WEL) program, as well as the ever-growing presence of women chefs and restaurateurs in the media and their increased recognition by industry leaders—including the James Beard Awards. With success stories rolling in each day, and women owned businesses being invested in by the dozens through our programs, we know we are on the right track to continue to open doors and improve the industry as we collectively strive for greater gender parity.

Join us during the month of March as we celebrate incredible women pushing the boundaries of flavor and leadership at the James Beard House:

Learn more about all of these dinners.

For those dreaming of growing their business and their network, our WEL Application opens March 1!  WEL is an annual fellowship for a class of up to 20 women-identifying entrepreneurs to attend a five-day leadership training program developed with Babson College. Apply here.

Your support of the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Programs, presented by Audi, is something worth celebrating all year long. Please consider donating to helping us expand our reach.


V Spehar is the director of impact at the James Beard Foundation. Find them on Instagram @mxvs13 #jbfwomenlead

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