by Michael Hone
O Globo Reports Food and Beverage Helps Cariocas Earn Good Incomes
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil – Bars and restaurants in this world-famous city now offer some of the most lucrative opportunities for women seeking employment. Business owners and human resource consultants in the industry say that, many times, they prefer women over men because they perceive them to be more passionate and familiar with the customers.
A recent study by economist Mauro Osorio for the Bar, Hotel and Restaurant Union of Rio (SindRio) shows that women accounted for 79% of new employees in the sector between 2000 and 2010 – well above the 31% increase in men. The total of both sexes in the sector grew from 22,000 to 40,000 during that time. According to Osorio, the results of the study are in accordance with the advancement of women in the overall labor force.
“As the Bar and Restaurant sector is growing faster than other industries in the major capitals of the country, it is natural to see a rise in the number of women working in this industry,” Osorio explains. “The expansion of the sector is due to the improvement of income distribution and increasing the minimum wage.”
In Rio since 2001, the Une & Duo Bakery chain of cafeterias and snack bars now has 75% female employees in each outlet. According to the group’s leader in the state, Eguilberto Rissi, the company gives preference to women during the selection process.
“For every three men who leave the team, a woman joins. We feel secure hiring women as they provide stability to the team and they interact better with the public. You can bet on them to it increase our sales.” says Rissi.
To help the women avoid problems, the company provided them training so that they will be better prepared to prevent and potential sexual harassment at work. Among the guidelines, say Rissi, they prohibit employees from adding customers to their social networks. Another of the guidelines mandates that all calls to employees, received during working hours, must go through management. They only transfer calls to an employee in cases involving family emergency. Also, business cards that workers might receive during their shift, must be turned into management.
“We explain to them that they must present a wholesome, respectful but not harsh, demeanor. We have seen customers ask for the store phone numbers because they want to call and talk to the girls,” says the director. “So, we use these techniques to preserve the safety of employees.”
Lapa 40° hired more women in recent years than they did previously. According to the bar’s social director, Michel Salgado, the staff now has four women–two bartenders and two waitresses–instead of one when it opened four years ago.
“We noticed that women tend to perform well, so we began to hire more. They are also more sympathetic to the customer’s needs, and they have better attendance than men,” says Salgado.
Though the job is the same, Salgado says that he knows that women are more prone to harassment: “we educate all employees, including the women, to accept flirtations as a joke and avoid this situation. It is normal to a bar or pub environment, but what matters most is the person’s attitude.”
Bartender Luciula Martins exemplifies this positive attitude at the Chinese restaurant Mr. Lam. Five years ago, the business had eight bartenders. Last year, the prestigious Barbara Danusia Guide, voted her Bartender of the Year. Luciula says that she took courses and received training to hone her bartender skills.
“I love what I do. Study and make drinks. Customers come and they find an interesting and curious woman making drinks. I’ve never had any problem with harassment. None,” she emphasized.
For Carla Riquet, coordinator of quality and training for SindRio, the food and beverage industry is becoming more sought after by women because people dropped the myth that men are naturally more suited to this sector.
“Employers see now that a preference for men in this industry is an ancient myth with no basis. In fact, on the contrary: women, for cultural reasons, are more accustomed to handling themselves in this sector,” said Riquet.
Brazilian online news source for this article: O Globo