On the morning of November 3rd, Global Contact and WIL Europe collaborated to organize an intimate and high-level roundtable to discuss the results of the study Gender Scan, led by Global Contact. The study provides an overview of the place of women in Sciences, Technology and Innovation (STI) and suggests best practices to promote diversity and reduce inequalities between men and women. The presentation was moderated by Claudine Schmuck, WIL Board member and founder of Global Contact, an advisory group focused on result oriented developments using NTIC, online services, and benchmarking reports.
The panel of speakers included distinguished names such as:
- Pierre Gattaz, President of MEDEF
- Mari-Noëlle Jégo-Laveissière, Innovation, Marketing & Technologies Executive VP
- Stéphane Pallez, CEO of La Française des Jeux
- Laurence Rossignol, French Minister for Families, Children, and Women’s Rights
- Stéphane Treppoz, CEO of Sarenza
All the speakers reacted to the Gender Scan study’s key figures and shared best practices to promote and manage gender diversity in organisations.
Pierre Gattaz, president of MEDEF, an organization created by the main French Employers' Union, asserted that gender diversity is “the major challenge in modern management”. Diversity is a driver of creativity and innovation in the highly competitive corporate world. As Stéphane Pallez underlined, business models have been facing major challenges in the recent decades and “we will need all talents, both men and women, to address digital disruption”. Yet, less than 20% of women are seating on boards and executive committees. This figure calls for change towards gender parity in the corporate world: the GenderScan study identified three pillars companies must work on to create a
n women-friendly work environment: First, organizations should be more flexible to fit with women’s multiple responsibilities. Second, career management tools dedicated to women should be created and finally, companies should pay more attention to the life-work balance.
Sarenza, represented by Stéphane Treppoz embodied this commitment for change by offering special programs to support the career advancement of women, such as women’s mentoring, coaching, women-specific trainings, and the early development of women’s talents.
For the French Minister Laurence Rossignol, both the corporate world and the public administration should take a step further than merely recognizing the value women provide in corporate governance. It requires “more than just exemplarity and good will”. Therefore, she announced that " from January 1st, 2017, the French law will require a quota of at least 40% of women in CA listed companies”.
Closing the session, Maria Pernas, WIL Board Member and Senior Vice-President and Group Deputy General Counsel, ATOS reminded to the audience that, although progresses have been made, women remain underrepresented at every level of the corporate pipeline due to lack of sustained and continuous effort from the organisations. To address this crucial issue, she advised private and public sectors to work together to close the gender gap and realize the benefits of gender equality.