As with the restaurant industry as a whole, pizza making is a largely male-dominated field.

By Adam Campbell-Schmitt
March 06, 2019
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Friday, March 8 is International Women’s Day, a time to acknowledge and reflect on the important and vital roles women take on in our communities, as well as to advocate for women’s civil and human rights around the globe. As part of this year’s observance, restaurant apps are making their own contributions to recognizing women-led businesses in a traditionally male-dominated industry. Last week, Yelp announced its site and app would make it easy to identify restaurants with female leadership, and today Slice, the pizza-focused ordering platform, is joining the movement by featuring stories from women in the pizza business.

According to NPR and Bloomberg, as if 2014 93 percent of chefs were male and restaurant ownership is overwhelmingly dominated by men as well. In spite of those staggeringly off-balance statistics, women are making strides in owning and operating their own businesses. Such is the case with the four female pizzamakers Slice highlighted on its blog this week. Those women include Nicole Russell of the home-based Last Dragon Pizza in Rockaways, NY, Brooklyn-born Gloria Rodriguez who operates at two Pizza Scene locations from Miami Lakes, FL with her husband, Christina Vogel, the only female franchisee of Donatos Pizza with her shop located in Erie, PA, and Kim DeMarzio who runs Staten Island's Paesano's Pizza with her husband.

When asked about whether she agrees pizza is a male-dominated category, DeMarzio said, "1,000 [percent]. In my immediate area, there are no husband and wife [teams]. They’re all two men owners." Despite the feeling of isolation and issues that arise from being, often, the singular woman in their area's pizza scene, all four owners profiled share a dedication to succeeding as business owners. Read more about these women making their way in the pizza business on the Slice's The Sauce blog. Additionally, Slice currently operates a Women in Leadership program for its employees, offering talks, networking events, and other educational resources for women to develop their careers.

While the Slice app itself won’t have a specific women-led restaurants section or search filter, a representative told me Slice users will receive an email highlighting local female-led pizza shops nearby. And, to that end, you can check out the Yelp app which is allowing restaurants to self-identify as such making it all the easier to support women on International Women’s Day, during Women’s History Month, and beyond.

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