The questionnaire answered by the Women of Tech is a variant of the Proust questionnaire, named not because Marcel Proust got lost in the Paris metro, but in memory of Emilie du Chatelet, a woman of letters, mathematician and physicist, renowned for her translation of Newton's Principia Mathematica and the dissemination of Leibniz's physics work. She was a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Bologna Institute. Emilie du Chatelet led a free and fulfilled life during the era of the Enlightenment and published a speech on happiness.
Why a career in tech?
I think out of general curiosity of the things that surrounds us. I'm not sure it's really a conscious and voluntary choice. I have always found myself drawn to what could explain our world – science and then what could improve our daily lives – tech.
Your professional experience?
I did the scientific preparatory classes and I then became an engineer. At the very beginning of my studies, I was not sure of my professional project. Being an engineer was a way for me to open as many doors as possible and ensure my ability to do a multitude of jobs. During my training, I took a gap year as President of the National Confederation of Junior-Enterprises. Subsequently, I started in internal consulting at ENGIE. I realized that I still had a thirst for learning but also the desire to acquire new skills in operational missions. So I joined a Graduate Program where I was able to take 3 different positions in 3 years (responses to major project tenders, merger acquisition, robotics agency). I then became head of the intervention agency at GRDF.
Your first experience with technology?
It would be my job in a robotics agency. I rediscovered the pleasure of touching technical objects by adding a real dimension of usefulness for humans. I also understood that tech only exists through the women and men who bring it to life.
What do you do today, and why?
I am head of intervention agency at GRDF. The mission of my agency is to ensure the safety of the gas distribution network, to respond to customer requests and to carry out extension work. My personal mission is to bring together the conditions for the team to work as calmly and efficiently as possible while ensuring their safety. In itself, my mission is to take care of the women and men who do tech.
Your strengths in this role?
I think a great adaptability because in an agency you never know what will happen during the day. This is what I find exciting but sometimes challenging too. I think that despite this perpetual movement, you have to be able to have a vision of where the collective wants to lead the agency and help it get there. To do so, you have to know how to listen and hear, project yourself and share.
Past challenges, failures and disappointments?
I had several, like everyone else I suppose. As for failures, from the beginning of my career, I did not join the school of my dreams. At the time, my future seemed to me to be compromised, but I was then able to find other means of fulfilling myself in associations in particular. On another note, the first months of my position in the Graduate Program were extremely difficult. I had a very bad relationship with my manager who isolated me. I started feeling anxious about coming to work. For the first few months, I locked myself in solitude, thinking I was solely responsible for the situation. It was when I finally shared my distress with the rest of the team that we collectively understood what we were all going through individually. Loneliness turned into solidarity and we managed to change the situation. I quickly regained a lot of pleasure in my work. In all the challenges I have gone through, my professional and personal entourage has allowed me to transform failures into opportunities. I think it is important to cultivate such an environment.
Best moments, successes you’re proud of?
The success of which I am most proud is that of my agency which, in addition to having met its quantitative objectives, has achieved unparalleled results in terms of employee engagement and well-being at work. It is a personal success because, more than performance, the happiness of employees at work is an issue to which I am very attached. It is always the result of immense collective and daily work.
People who helped, influenced -or made your life difficult?
My path has been lit by many mentors. I think I made the choice to turn away from people who did not make me grow. I also had the chance to meet people who were keen to support me and who allowed me to overcome the first difficulties I encountered.
Your hopes and future challenges?
Mainly helping to develop the energies of tomorrow, biosourced and local.
What do you do when you don’t work?
So many things ! Horseback riding every day, special moments with my family and friends. All these aspects of my life are essential and I never cut corners on any of them. I think they complement each other. It is this balance that allows me to be at my best. Of course, it's challenging on a daily basis and you never find the perfect organization, but I think that in this case, rigor is our best ally.
Your heroes -from History or fiction?
Simone Veil, a woman with an extraordinary life who knew how to fight for what was important to her and for others.
A saying or proverb you like in particular?
You don't pull on a flower to make it grow. We water it and watch it grow... patiently (even if I admit I'm not a big fan of motto).
A book to take with you on a desert island?
Cyrano de Bergerac
A message to young female professionals?
Go ahead, dare! Do what you want and what makes you happy. Do not ask yourself if you are capable of it, you are or you will become it.