Safran is committed to increase the number of women in the aeronautics industry
It was announced this year that Safran achieved a score of 89/100 on the French Equal Pay Index in 2019, up two points compared with 2018. Significant measures and tangible commitments have been taken to improve all aspects of professional equality within the Group – in particular with regard to breaking the “glass ceiling.” This policy has already begun to bear fruit, as Stéphane Dubois, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, explains.
What is the situation in terms of professional equality between men and women within the Group?
The Safran Gender Equality Index* (which is calculated for each Group company based in France) has gone from 87/100 in 2018 to 89/100 in 2019. The overwhelming majority of our companies in France did at least as well or improved, with scores ranging from 77 to 94/100. This reflects the efforts that have been made, in particular in terms of reducing the wage gap. While this index is only calculated for French companies, our commitment regarding gender equality in the workplace is the same for all our companies around the world. At the Group level, in 2019, women accounted for 37.4% of new hires, bringing the proportion of women in the Group to 29.1%. They make up 25.2% of managers and 13% of senior executives.
What are the priority areas that require action in order to increase the number of women in our industry?
Internally, one of our objectives is to break the glass ceiling, in particular by supporting women to work their way up the ranks and into managerial positions. Our goal is to provide these women with positions that offer high development potential. Throughout their careers, we need to support, train, and motivate them so that they can reach decision-making positions. We need to enable the Group’s female employees to achieve their ambitions. Itzel Lopez, who works as Special Processes engineer at Safran Landing Systems in Querétaro, Zahira Bouaouda, who was appointed President of MATIS Aerospace last year, or Ghislaine Doukhan, Executive Vice President of Safran Analytics, who received the “Women in Innovation” award in 2019 are fine examples of successful career paths, and they serve as an inspiration for others.
Another of our priorities is to encourage young women to think of a career with us from an early age. We are facing a challenge in this area: women are still under-represented in the technical disciplines. Safran hires mainly from engineering schools, where women account for an average of 29% of the student body (in France, Centrale Supelec: 21% women, Polytechnique: 12% women). This environment means there is a “war for female talent.” Thanks to initiatives undertaken by Safran sponsors and contacts involved in the Elles Bougent association, as well as to networks of ambassadors participating in forums at engineering schools, our staff members are helping to promote careers in science and engineering, and to expand the scope of opportunities for young women.
Why is this commitment to gender diversity within the Group, and more broadly to diversity and inclusion, so important?
We are convinced that a balanced workforce and diversity are drivers of creativity, team performance and innovation. Our identity has been forged thanks to the work of thousands of employees from dozens of countries. Safran has always derived its strength from the talents of its employees, talents that need to be able to flourish within a company that embraces all aspects of diversity (gender, age, social background, health, sexual orientation, disability, multiculturalism, etc.). Safran is working to promote inclusion by recognizing, valuing, and capitalizing on these differences.
* French Gender Equality Index: this 100-point index is applied to companies with more than 50 employees and takes into account the following indicators:
- Gender pay gap;
- Gender pay gap in terms of individual pay increases;
- Gender gap in terms of promotions;
- Number of female employees who received an increase upon their return from maternity or adoption leave;
- Gender equality among the 10 highest-paid employees.
- © Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran