Safran takes the lead of the association “Elles bougent”
Could you tell us a little more about Elles bougent and Safran's role in this association?
The association Elles bougent sees that very few women today want to take scientific or technical classes and work as engineers or technicians. The aim of our association is to convince an increasing number of young women to take an interest in these professions that are often wrongly considered strictly "boys clubs". Safran is fully involved in this effort, and we have been working with Elles bougent since 2006. Out of the 850 mentors in the association (where they are known as "godmothers"), 103 are Group employees and make regular and concrete contributions (conferences, company visits, etc.) to encourage these young women to choose scientific and technical careers.
Whether in terms of innovation, management or operational excellence, experience has shown us that expanding the role of women guarantees higher performance for a major industrial enterprise like ours. Today, 25% of Safran's workforce is women, and we do wish to increase this score : that's why we're working with Elles bougent, so we can raise the awareness of female students earlier in the process.
What is your agenda for your first year as president?
In the coming months we will of course continue our previous efforts. First of all, we want to enhance the national coverage of Elles bougent. We would like to see the creation of a delegation in every region of France, while also achieving a significant increase in the number of high schools and partners involved in this initiative. In addition, we will continue to develop our network of godmothers. Our main aim is to set up a leadership unit, capable of initiating new projects and energizing the actions undertaken by the association.
We also plan to launch three operations that will involve all partners in Elles bougent: offering internships to students starting with first-year high school students, so they are aware of our job possibilities as soon as possible (with the objective of offering 1,000 internships in the 2013-14 school year); invite about 100 science teachers and educational advisors, who are our best way of reaching these students, to visit our plants, Elles bougent will be also on hand at the upcoming Paris Air Show, from June 17 to 23.
More generally, what are Safran's hiring objectives in 2013?
Safran is enjoying strong, sustainable growth in all of our markets, especially aerospace and security. To support this development, we have to recruit increasingly skilled employees. That's why we are investing heavily to attract the top talents and make sure they have real opportunities for career development, within an environment that encourages technological and other breakthroughs. In 2012, for instance, we hired over 7,000 new employees (equal to more than 10% of the Group's workforce), and we intend to do the same in 2013. We are planning to hire 3,500 people in France this year, including nearly 3,000 engineers and management staff.