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?
For the promise of a rich, stimulating and fulfilling professional life, to satisfy my curiosity, but also to participate in concrete and useful projects for society. I made the choice of life sciences, disciplines in constant evolution to better understand the complexity of living beings systems.
Your professional experience?
After a baccalaureate in sciences, I studied two years in preparatory classes BCPST (biology, chemistry, physics and life and Earth sciences) then joined the National School of Agronomics of Toulouse. I completed this scientific training with a Specialized Master in management of biotechnology companies at Grenoble Ecole de Management. My first professional experiences were in innovation strategy and management consulting. I then joined the Corporate Innovation Department of Avril, the French industrial and financial leader in vegetable oils and proteins sector which operates in diversified sectors such as human food, animal nutrition and expertise, renewable energy and chemicals.
Your first experience with technology?
In the second year of engineering school, I did a 3-month research internship at the John Ines Center, a center of excellence in plant sciences and genetics located in the United Kingdom. I identified, sequenced and studied the expression profile of rapeseed genes involved in the dehiscence of pods, with the aim of better regulating pods opening and thus avoiding yield losses. I was impressed by the level of expertise in this center and the passion of the employees with whom I was able to work. At that time, I did know that few years after, I would join Avril…
What do you do today, and why?
Today, I lead Avril’s plant-based protein ingredients for human food innovation program. Indeed, at the interface between the agricultural world and consumers, Avril is at the heart of food transition issues. Avril's ambition: take concrete actions for more sustainable food systems for people and the planet. In this context, Avril aims to develop, produce and market plant-based protein ingredients for human consumption. My mission is to support the opening of a new market, to develop an innovative offer and to make sure Avril can succeed in the field. I am involved in all the enablers likely to accelerate Avril's development in this area: innovation projects, strategic partnerships, M&A operations.
Your strengths in this role?
Determination, good interpersonal skills, a strong results orientation and a touch of political sense!
Past challenges, failures and disappointments
So many opportunities to surpass myself, to question myself and to progress! These experiences are structuring. Thanks to them, I understood that if in life, if something does not occur, it is because it should not happen...
Best moments, successes you’re proud of?
All the meetings that my job allows me with colleagues, partners, prospects, competitors,… in France and abroad. So many opportunities to learn on the ground and challenge points of view! I pay a lot of attention to the first meeting; it is crucial for building the solid foundations of a partnership and establishing a relationship of trust.
People who helped, influenced -or made your life difficult?
Teachers who encouraged me to strive for excellence. Alumni who encouraged me to broaden the field of professionals possibilities. Colleagues, managers, friends who invited me to step back, think and change.
Your hopes and future challenges?
Ensure a sustainable balance between professional, personal and family life.
What do you do when you don’t work?
Outside of work, I practice yoga and I cook.
Your heroes -from History or fiction?
Simone Veil, emblematic figure of feminism and French and European politics. She marked history with her exceptional convictions, personality and destiny.
A saying or proverb you like in particular?
I never lose, either I win or I learn.
A book to take with you on a desert island?
"The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair" by Joël Dicker.
A message to young female professionals?
Dare! Remarkable careers are at hands!