#LoveMySafran Job – “I am lucky to have been able to bring together my personal commitments and my day-to-day work on environmental protection.”
Perrine Quesnoit is low-carbon and eco-design project manager at Safran Electronics & Defense. She is 42 years old and has held a number of highly diverse positions in the Group. Her persistence drove her to set her sights on, and obtain, a job that is perfectly in tune with her values and heartfelt aspirations. We meet an environment enthusiast who puts her convictions at the heart of her day-to-day work.
Can you sum up your career path for us?
I have a fairly traditional background as I graduated from an optical engineering school, the Ecole Supérieure d’Optique. I joined Safran Electronics & Defense as an intern in 2004… and I stayed! I saw that at Safran Electronics & Defense, interns and apprentices are closely monitored and, as I experienced myself, given interesting assignments that are not in the least inconsequential. I continued my career in the same department, working as a Systems Engineer on equipment for the Defense market. After five years in this role, I began managing video architecture for optronics systems before being appointed project manager in airborne optronics. It all went pretty quickly really and I had almost put my heartfelt interest in environmental issues to one side. From a very young age, it has been a subject that matters a lot to me, but when I was a student there were not many opportunities to study in this field, nor were there many job prospects! In spite of all that, it's a subject that continued to tick over in my mind throughout my career at Safran… so in 2016, when an eco-design engineer job came up in the mechanical engineering design office, I applied and got the job. At the same time, I studied for a Masters in Environmental engineering at Mines Paristech: 2017 was a busy but enriching year for me! I got my degree at the same time as Safran launched its Low-carbon Plan in 2018, and that's when I became Low Carbon Strategy Manager at Safran Electronics & Defense. And in 2019, I took on responsibility for the new ecodesign department, adding to my already full agenda.
”Being part of a large Group is also a real advantage when it comes to building a rich career path: there are always interesting topics and a lot of different opportunities, including being able to take a different direction from your initial qualification!”
Looking back, what stands out in your career?
It's probably a bit of a cliché, but it's true, at least for me: be bold, believe in yourself, and in your abilities. Try your luck a bit too. Being part of a large Group is also a real advantage when it comes to building a rich career path: there are always interesting topics and a lot of different opportunities, including being able to take a different direction from your initial qualification! In my case, I switched from defense optronics to managing Environmental issues at Group level! If you do what it takes, you will always find a way to be fulfilled!
What does your job involve?
My job enables me to take a comprehensive, global approach covering both low-carbon and eco-design issues. They are complementary components that contribute to Safran Electronics & Defense's Environment strategy.
Practically speaking, I have a number of responsibilities:
Firstly, I am in charge of rolling out Safran's Low-carbon Plan within our company, Safran Electronics & Defense. I must communicate our commitments as widely as possible and I am in close contact with our different sites, both in France and abroad, to coordinate the plan, communicate its goals, and design its rollout together. This work in cooperation with our sites mainly concerns issues surrounding our facilities and our energy consumption. I also work with people in the purchasing and industrial departments to help them roll out other parts of the Low-carbon Plan. A bit like a conductor whose orchestra is playing the Environment policy!
- When it comes to eco-design, my role is to coordinate our approach and set a relevant roadmap for Safran Electronics & Defense, bearing in mind customer expectations, regulatory requirements and internal needs.
- I must also make sure all Safran Electronics & Defense employees are aware of how the project is progressing. It's not the easiest job! Sometimes I am confronted by colleagues who tell me we aren't moving quickly enough: it's true that some work, on facilities for example, have little visible impact in the short term. Getting as many people as possible on board is a real challenge, which we are trying to address by increasing our communication on the project's tangible achievements.
For all these assignments, I am lucky to be constantly in contact with my colleagues in other Safran Group companies: sharing our experiences is extremely productive as it enables us to build on each other's success stories! It is essential to our effectiveness, and again, this is the benefit of a large-scale company.
What I like the most? Without a doubt, working on subjects that matter to me personally. I never question the meaning of what I do: it is obvious and, most importantly... it drives me!
What do you like most in your day-to-day work?
Without a doubt, working on subjects that matter to me personally. I never question the meaning of what I do: it is obvious and, most importantly... it drives me!
The satisfaction of seeing that things are moving, knowing that I have an impact on the company's environmental commitment, even though we would like things to move more quickly... it is very fulfilling.
The introduction of energy saving measures at our plants and our work on supplier commitment to the low-carbon plan are just two examples of the concrete results we have recently achieved.
Being in a cross-disciplinary role is always a very enriching experience: every day I work with people from very different professions and am building up increasingly detailed knowledge of all Safran Electronics & Defense and Safran Group business.
Last weekend we celebrated World Environment Day. What does it mean for you?
I am lucky to have been able to bring together my personal commitments and my day-to-day work on environmental protection. That's invaluable! World Environment Day is an opportunity to bring to light the environmental issues that the world is facing, and to talk about available solutions. But also to put the emphasis on our achievements, through more advanced communication campaigns. And also, on a more personal level, to use everything I have learned in my job to make wiser choices and take more responsible actions in my personal life. And to get my children on board! Ideally, of course, World Environment Day should be every day!
“I am proud that I managed to win the company's trust, particularly as a woman, when I applied for a position that had only recently been created and announced.”
Could you tell us a bit about your working environment?
I want to stress again the advantage, for me, of working in a large Group: it gives you the opportunity to build a career in tune with your wishes. As far as I am concerned, I am proud that I managed to win the company's trust, particularly as a woman, when I applied for a position that had only recently been created and announced. Everything is possible thanks to the diversity of professions and career bridge possibilities at Safran Electronics & Defense and within the Group!
I also appreciate the absolute autonomy I have been given: I can choose whether to work on site or from home, or to visit other plants, and I can organize my time as I wish. I am free to do this because I am trusted and because Safran Electronics & Defense provides for it in its company rules and agreements. And as a mother, I must say that I really love having that flexibility!