Can you tell us about your background?
I carried out a university course in engineering, during which I was very involved in student associations. After my studies, I joined Amaris as a railway engineer. I was then working at Alstom T&C in Toronto. I was in very technical positions both in my internships and in this role, and I could not find the environment and role that would help me accomplish my work. I wanted to be involved in projects with different stakeholders, a more operational and business view, and a broader impact.
I also wanted to work in Europe at that time. So, I applied for an offer in the Amaris HEMA team in England to become Manager. It was a giant leap into the unknown!
After two and a half years in this role, I missed the technological fiber. That’s what initially attracted me to engineering. So, I accepted a position in Mantu’s lab, specializing in data science and artificial intelligence. At first, I was in charge of developing the external activities. Then I took over the management of the teams as Head of the Innovation Lab.
Two and a half years later, I seized a new opportunity: a position within the Operational Committee of LittleBig Connection to lead transversal projects at the Product -IT team level, particularly the technical support teams (L2) and LB compliance. Since May 2022, I have worked for the IT product team with Eric Tinoco.
In my personal time, I sit on the Réseau Technoscience‘s Board of Directors, an organization that aims to promote awareness and accessibility of science for young people.
Are there any difficulties you feel you have encountered because of your gender?
The list is long! Mansplaining, gaslighting, paternalism, ordinary sexism… When men don’t respond to questions asked by a woman but rather to those addressed by other men in the room. In this context, I sometimes had to choose to exclude myself from an initiative so that it could happen. In retrospect, I regret not solving the fundamental problem: the misogyny in the play.
I have also witnessed the unprofessional behavior of other colleagues who were jealous of the performances of other women. Or the attitude of men thinking they know better than women how to manage their lives, future, and professional development. And more, but I will stop here. These are the ones that have affected me the most during my career. Overall, we create an environment with like-minded people around us, with whom we do not experience sexism or misogyny. But as soon as we leave this safe zone, we can quickly face sexist behavior.
What do you think hinders women’s access to tech positions?
There are two main issues that I would like to highlight. The first is the need for more representation.
We still need an encouraging representation, especially in management positions or the tech industry. The SISTA study, for example, highlights that women represent only 22% of management roles in the French Tech 120. So, we still have a long way to go, whether through inclusion programs or more visibility for women.
We should also build more channels to share our experiences because it already progresses to have a more significant percentage of women in these positions. However, we still need to be able to talk about it. Some so many women have an inspiring career paths and could act as role models for women and girls who want to go into professions that are still considered “non-traditional.” In this regard, I urge you to end the term “non-traditional” to describe a job!
My second point is about gendered parenting in the early years. There are lots of stereotypes that influence us from early childhood on and have a significant impact on our career trajectory. A fascinating study underlines that children are affected by remarks such as “math is for boys,” etc. Because of this phenomenon, from age 6, young girls show less interest in areas and games that are said to be intellectual. And yet, this should be different. Children becoming familiar with tools, Legos, or computers opens the door to a broader range of future paths, regardless of gender.
What help would you have liked to receive during your journey?
More intervention from witnesses to unacceptable behavior would have made a difference. When there is no limit to ordinary sexism, including tasteless jokes, it is a problem. There is a need to protest against unacceptable attitudes, especially when the victim has not witnessed them. For example, when one witnesses inappropriate remarks made behind the backs of those concerned, one must have the courage to protest. Silence is already complacency and reinforces the confidence of the person commenting.
Would you have a word to say to all women considering a tech career?
Read, speak, and intervene!
First, on the reading part, I encourage all women and men to read about feminism, systemic and ordinary sexism, deconstruction of the manosphere, and feminist critiques of influencers in this milieu. . Learning about these phenomena allows us to acquire the correct vocabulary. Using the right words and understanding the concepts is one of the first steps to positively influencing and helping the victims of these abusive behaviors.
The second topic I would like to address is communication. We need to be able to say how we feel in uncomfortable situations, challenge the conceptions of those around us, raise awareness, and use our knowledge and empathy to invite those who engage in sexist behavior to understand that it is not normal. Indeed, some people don’t always realize they may have inappropriate behavior.
My third point is about intervention. Sexism, misogyny, and discrimination are unacceptable. But sometimes, it’s hard to intervene when you witness an inappropriate situation. I asked myself: why is it difficult to intervene? As a comparison, if you see people fighting, you immediately know it is violence, so you will intervene. But committing microaggressions or slowing down someone in his personal progression or society is a form of violence. If we recognize it as such, we also acknowledge that it is not normal and must show courage and intervene.
The question then arises: where do we start? Let’s start by raising awareness among those around us. An informed network ready to intervene is the first step to equality, inclusiveness, and empathy. And, of course, intervening yourself when you witness sexism.