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Why is it so positive that women are taking the industry by storm?

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Women make up about half of the workforce. However, this share drops to 30% when dealing with the industry. A difference in distribution is easy to understand, but the quest to correct it should not be underestimated, for the sake of fairness on the one hand and operational performance on the other. This question now transcends ethical considerations, as it has been clearly recognized that diversity in work is a guarantee of efficiency.

Stop conditioning

The scientific literature has amply demonstrated that the underrepresentation of women in the management of industrial sectors is largely due to the conditioning to which they have long been subjected. Thus, women are systematically pushed to lean towards him specific sectors. In fact, tasks such as personal care, cleaning, teaching, office work, and food preparation are largely dominated by women (at least 60%), although they are not. Only 30% in the industry. and this is “more feminine connotation” They are also found in the industry itself; Where women dominate in two sectors: Textiles and clothing (61%) and pharmaceutical (54%), and where a third is of particular interest to them: agricultural food (43%). Hence, disparities in access to industrial sectors are exacerbated by systemic inequalities within the industrial sector itself.

Many studies have confirmed that social conditioning, which has serious consequences in practical life, has been a reality felt since childhood. motivation by playing Especially, is a fact. There is a direct connection between the will of young women to incorporate the world of fashion for example, and the dolls they played with as children. As there is a connection between industry and the weapons, cars and planes that the children used to enjoy. For Anne Vetter, Business Manager (Velum Group) that implements interventions to raise awareness of diversity, the main target is parents. ” I want (they) to be able to imagine their daughter in the industry, to be able to project themselves into jobs in the sector “The principal explains. And after the parents, of course in the school the awareness must continue.” Children must confront their parents as well as the teaching staff Marthe Brunner, Managing Director of the Seif Group, points out.

Particularly active in raising awareness and association They move It aims to encourage women’s careers in engineering professions in aviation, space, rail transport, and nuclear energy. To do this, the Association organizes major events, such as forums, competitions and award ceremonies, as well as interventions in schools; Colleges and high schools, but not kindergarten or elementary. Thus, despite the good intentions and the significance of its actions, it is likely that the Society was already late in action. But who blames him? Raising women’s awareness of industrial occupations should be the prerogative of all; Of course parents, teachers, the state and associations. But above all the companies themselves, which will be the first to benefit from this diversification, particularly in terms of operational performance.

The inclusion of women in managerial positions and the diversity of teams are drivers of operational performance

According to a study by Cadremploi, mixed teams get better results than others. In addition, 97% of employees working in these teams say they are satisfied, supported, and helpful, compared to 83% for non-mixers. So the companies have every interest in promotion diversity In their ranks, and since it is primarily up to them to benefit, it is up to them to promote it. To do this, the major industrial groups have several cards to play; They can contribute to outreach work, in partnership with associations such as They move For example, but above all the development of internal programs to promote women’s employment, as well as their mobility and advancement. With the desire, in the long term, to not only enhance the status of women in technical or engineering positions, but also to break the glass ceiling for senior executive positions, which are still largely monopolized by men.

To encourage companies, the state has also framed its intervention with the adoption of the law in 2018 “For the freedom to choose one’s professional future.” This requires companies with more than 50 employees to create an index Equal pay for women and men», Based on five indicators: pay, increase, promotion, increase after maternity leave or adoption, and the number of underrepresented gender workers among the 10 highest paid. And contrary to what one might think, the industrial sectors “more masculine connotation” Like cars (Renault, PSA), aerospace (Aryan Group), and even nuclear, with Urano it works very well. Moreover, the French flagship of maize has just signed on Tuesday 9 May 2023 an acceleration agreement on occupational equality between women and men for the period 2023-2027.

This plan—the fourth agreement signed since 2012—is ambitious to say the least, setting quantitative goals on gender diversity in employment, equal pay, access to managerial positions, and combating certain obstacles, such as parenting in a career. It can be seen as a model of its kind, replicable and adaptable in other large industrial organizations in an approach co-created with social partners and an increasingly strong associative fabric in favor of women’s inclusion in industrial sectors. On one of the most sensitive issues – equal pay – Orano claims to have accomplished her mission, in the words of the group’s human rights advocate, Helen Deren: ” Our goal is to achieve equal pay for women and men, with a similar level of responsibility, and to reduce the remaining pay gaps between men and women. We commissioned a new external study across the APEC which shows that in 2023 there are no longer any significant differences at the group level.“.

Showcasing female talent

Finally, since women are the first to be involved, it is up to those who can set an example. And France in particular is full of female talents. Even if they are in the minority in the industry, they often appear as“Officers transformation the section “.It is possible to cite for example Aude Vinzerich, who presented artificial intelligence at EDF, Florence Colombo-Fouquet, carrier of Engie’s Green Electricity presentation, or Sophie Cahen,Ganymede robotswhich developed an enhanced surgical system. Women have now reached the highest levels, since 2022 and for the first time, Three of them Part of a very limited circle 40 CAC leaders Isabelle Kocher, CEO, Engie, Christel Heidemann, CEO, Orange, and Estelle Brachlianov, CEO, Veolia.

Pushing this logic to the limit, we can also bet that the emergence of female talent in the French economy and society as a whole will go hand in hand with symbiosis It increased between generations of women in positions of responsibility and between the different social backgrounds to which they belong.

In general, apart from ethical considerations, which can only appear in a very secondary position in the strategies of organizations, gender diversity and the inclusion of women in senior management positions respond above all to the necessity of operational efficiency. As such, it is a very rational case to make, not only by corporations, but also at the highest level in the country.

Column written by: Michelle Katharev, Head of Scale-Up Booster

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