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Following a tough 2016, scarred by celebrity casualties and political developments that weren’t to everyone’s tastes, 2017 wasn’t exactly a laugh-a-minute tonic for everyone, with an economic outlook that was, well, sadly lacking in confidence at best. One of the more positive aspects of the past year, however, has been the rise of the #MeToo campaign. It may have arisen from allegations of the type that are too unpleasant (and downright depressingly predictable) to dwell on here, but there remains an optimism, as we move into 2018, that this may become a turning point in the fight against sexism, not only in Hollywood but across society in general.

With this spirit of positivity in mind, I would like to congratulate Catherine Roe, CEO of Elior UK, who has just become chair of Women of the Year. For those not in the know, the organisation has championed women’s achievements for more than 60 years, via a national charity and a lunch that celebrates success with 400 exceptional female attendees.

On her appointment, Catherine said: “Celebrating the achievements of women from all walks of life is something that is hugely important to me – particularly in providing role models for young women, who should accept no limits and see that everything and anything is possible.”

The contract catering sector already does a great deal to promote this cause – the ACE Robyns and a great number of inspirational MDs and CEOs spring to mind – but it is great to see Catherine taking the time to promote it to the wider world and continuing to be a role model in her own right. Watch this space – we will endeavor to interview her about her long-standing association with, and her future plans for, Women of the Year in a future issue.

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