#LoveMySafranJob - "I've shown I can take risks but retain my core values"
The role of Aurélie Girou, Director for External Partnerships at Safran Corporate Ventures, is to develop partnerships between Safran and deep-tech start-ups. At the age of 40, she is not confronting her first professional challenge - and probably not her last! A closer look at a career typical of the rewarding paths for progress within the Group.
Purchasing, marketing, programs, innovation: for the last 18 years, Aurélie has moved between the different Group entities looking for new challenges. "I've never planned my career, but I've not been afraid to take risks. There are lots of opportunities in a Group like Safran. You need to know how to grasp them! From my perspective, I've also been lucky enough to be supported by managers who trusted in me very early on when I was very young", she acknowledges openly.
A multi-faceted professional life
It all began at Engineering School. Although keen on technical subjects, Aurélie was more attracted to commerce. She joined the Purchasing Department of Safran Landing Systems, where she was recruited as an industrial buyer, an unusual choice for someone leaving Engineering School. It was a rewarding experience, prompting her to return to Purchasing several years later.
For Aurélie thought now of moving to program management, and to do so, she started by acquiring customer experience. She thus became marketing manager in the Systems and Equipment division, and was introduced to a new product family and a new Group company. Some years later, when she was 30 and had given birth to her first daughter, she was offered the job of Program Manager for Dassault Aviation in the Landing-Gear Division. A mark of confidence that she justified wholeheartedly. "I especially enjoyed this job. I was really passionate about it!" Three years later, just after having her second daughter, Aurélie was appointed a Program Director for commercial and military aircraft and helicopters.
"Being a woman has never held me back in my career", she remarks, "even if often I've been the only woman at the table! Although some days are more difficult to organize than others, I've been able to manage my professional life without sacrificing my personal life. This balance is one of the values that have guided my career."
"I'm always seeking to challenge myself, to achieve more"
After following the Safran development program for the Group's future senior executives, Aurélie took over the Purchasing Department in Safran's Wheels & Brakes Division at the age of 35. A return to her roots that also presented a real challenge: significant responsibility and a strong operational focus. But here again, she passed with flying colors.
After three years in the job, she returned to the Landing-Gear Division as the Program Director for Airbus single-aisle aircraft, with the particular goal of developing landing gear for the Airbus A321 XLR. "I function in project mode", she explains. "I'm always seeking to challenge myself, to achieve more."
In the summer of 2021, Aurélie took up a new challenge - both for her and for Safran - that of collaborative innovation. The objective was to create conditions promoting the development of collaborative projects between Safran and start-ups or innovative SMEs, and within a few months, she and her team launched Safran Explore, Safran's transformation project for open innovation.
"We are also working to help the Group work more flexibly with small businesses. I really enjoy this transformational aspect of the job!"
Although it's still too early to fix future plans, Aurélie knows that there will certainly be other skills to discover and new chapters to write within the Group.
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