Safran “Women on the Move” at the Paris Air Show
For the 2019 edition of the Paris Air Show, some 20 female engineers and technicians from Safran, mentors of the Elles Bougent (“Women on the Move”) association, presented the company to 150 female high-school students. Read on for an account of this June 20 event that may well have inspired a few vocations!
Safran has supported “Elles Bougent” for over ten years as part of a commitment to encouraging young women to take up scientific and technical careers. The Group is keen to recruit more women, particularly in scientific and technical positions. More than 300 mentors from Safran are involved in the association.
Around 20 of these mentors were present at the Paris Air Show on June 20 to welcome the 150 female high-school students who responded to an invitation from “Elles Bougent”. The day’s events included an aerospace quiz, a presentation of Safran’s businesses, discussions with operators on the Careers Plane, a tour of the Aerospace museum, a plenary session and several roundtables attended by mentors from different aerospace companies.
This quite detailed overview was an excellent opportunity for the girls to gain an insight into a largely unknown world. “I couldn’t really see myself making a career in science,” explained one of the students leaving the Safran booth. “It never even crossed my mind. But a friend mentioned this visit, so I know now that lots of women have taken up really interesting technical careers and I’d like to find out more.”
For “Elles Bougent” and its 3,000 mentors, overcoming entrenched prejudices and inspiring vocations is what it’s all about. Anne-Cécile Idoux, Commercial & Offset Manager at Safran, pointed out that “Industry needs women. Companies need a diverse workforce in order to succeed and to boost performance. Diversity opens new possibilities for innovating and solving problems.” Hence the importance of encouraging young girls to take a closer interest in scientific and technical careers. Speaking to the girls attending on June 20, Claudine Barruet, Vice President, RAMS and Security at Safran Electronics & Defense, said: “Dare to go for science and believe in yourselves. Our companies need you!”
The same key message is repeated at the many events organized by Elles Bougent throughout the year, which contribute to boosting the percentage of women working in the aerospace sector. At Safran, women now account for 28% of the workforce and 36% of new recruits in 2018. “Recruiting more women is a key objective for the Group,” points out Alain Lorgeoux, head of CSR-Diversity at Safran. “We need to continue our efforts to inspire more vocations. Safran recently gained GEEIS (Gender Equality European and International Standard) certification and this will enable us to make further progress on this issue.”