Company: three women leaders about their professional advancement

Gap unjustified wage, part-time, maternity leave, glass ceiling or sector reserved for men: professional inequities are still very present in the world of work.

Company: three women leaders about their professional advancement

Gap unjustified wage, part-time, maternity leave, glass ceiling or sector reserved for men: professional inequities are still very present in the world of work. The wage income of women was 24% below that of men in 2014, according to INSEE. Part of this difference can be explained by the frequent use of women in low-skilled jobs and lower paying and part time. The website of the ministry of women's rights stipulates, in fact, in a 2014 study, 80% of part-time jobs are occupied by women. Moreover, when one compares the remuneration to working conditions equivalent to (position, age, seniority): the wage gap is still nearly 10%.

These discriminations are derived in part from the fact that women can potentially go on maternity leave during their careers: "When we expect of children, there are people who are skeptics around us about our ability to continue to work. I remember the Court of Accounts, you wanted me to sanction in my progress and me to delay a year because I gave birth the day I had to attend an important meeting." says Clara Gaymard, the former CEO of General Electric France, the former President of the Women's Forum and co-founder of RAISE. But, this is not what has stopped our interlocutor in his ascension. Elsewhere, Sophie Bellon, Chair of the Board of Directors of Sodexo, said: "We do not have to choose between a family, children and a job. It is normal to want to do everything, it is necessary to arrive to organize."

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Clara Gaymard feels invested with a mission: "I am an ultra privileged, and if I don't fight for other women, I don't play my role. In RAISE, there is parity in total at all levels, and it is non-negotiable. We are very careful when we recruited him. It is very rare especially in finance which is a sector composed almost exclusively of men.", she said before adding, "This is not a fight between men and women, it is a struggle to change a male organization of the society that penalizes besides, to them also. A more balanced society is a society that is more pleasant that works better."

companies where there is parity is better than the other

It's the same in business. It is this that is reminiscent of Sophie Bellon, was the first woman at the head of a company in the CAC40, when she explains that studies show that a company is better than the other when its management is mixed. Thus, Sodexo's objective to have 40% women among the 1200 leaders of the group by 2025. But, she said, "all women have a role to play in any be the company, and degrees of responsibilities. At all levels, we need women."

It evokes, moreover, the problem that may arise at the time of recruitment, and that significantly restricts the number of women in leadership positions: the confidence of men in their skills seems superior to that of women who inhibit more. A study shows, in effect, that if a woman doesn't have 9 qualities required on 10 it does a candidate no to the proposed offer, as if the man has only 3 skills out of 10, he does not understand why he is not recruited. That is why, Sophie Bellon insists on the fact that"it is necessary to allow women to have their chances. It is difficult to appoint women to strategic positions if few of them are recruited. When I took responsibility for our activities Services a few years ago, I was the only woman in a team of 20 people, it is surprising. When we are in a group in the minority, we may have more trouble shifting our point of view."

"The comparison to "equal pay for equal work" is only part of the problem"

Sabine Hagège, director, product at now workday France.

Sabine Hagège, director, product at now workday France, which account for 42% of employed women globally and was ranked 3rd in the ranking of Best Workplaces For Women in 2018, noted it, that, once recruited, it is often the promotion of women which poses a problem. "Now, you don't need to simply to compare "equal pay for equal work" because this is the only part of the problem. It is also necessary that there are half of the employees the best-paid are women, and that they have the same opportunities for promotion as men. Generally, few women occupy strategic positions and better paid, they face the glass ceiling." In this respect, it has been "a school of engineers. There was a minority of girls, but I never asked if it was my place. I thought to have the skills for the role. But, there is still work to be done at this level: some young women do not dare to follow this path and are they the same of the brakes."

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So, how do these women's career paths, exceptional made to reach the summits? "I have always privileged the encounters and the humility. It must speak, speak of his dream and its frustrations. People will believe in you and help you," says Clara Gaymard before adding, "It is not necessary to concentrate on what we do not control, but on what we control. When we are facing a wall, it is necessary to look elsewhere. There are trains that go by and one day there was a for us." His dream to her? "Participate in adventures bigger than me". Bet won. About Sophie Bellon, who also is a strong sense of responsibility with regard to the women, advises: "we must dare to say to ourselves that we can do it, look into the next step, to trust and not to limit themselves." But for this, "it is important to be in an environment where there is diversity, kindness, diversity, inclusion and a strong commitment on these topics, in particular on the part of the leaders." she concluded.

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Updated Date: 08 March 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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