Breakfast and networking …

More than 20 HEC MBA students gathered together for a breakfast with Catherine Wable, the Co-Vice President Professional Development of European Professional Women’s Network Paris. EPWN is Europe’s fast-growing online and offline networking and leadership development platform for professional women of all sectors and industries. With 3500 members and more than 90 nationalities, EPWN organizes around 600 events in 20 cities. HEC students registered for the membership, to which they will be able to access exciting events in Paris with great speakers, inspiring trainers and networking cocktails during the one year of membership (*this membership will be renewable upon graduation with normal membership fee). Joining this platform will become a great asset for HEC MBA students who are eager to share their experiences with and to receive coaching from fellow professionals!

The WiL Club want to thank Pierrette Doz-Perdrix, Elli Suzuki and Jing Evangeline Xu for organising this event!

See the article on the EPWN website !

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“What are employers looking for in the next generation of executives?” Discussion panel with Jill Bausch

Jill Bausch is a person who charms you with her big smile and natural warmth as you as soon as see her. And then you become aware of her impressive experience and enormous insight into the corporate world and all the dynamics and complexities of it.

WiL club was honoured to have her as a guest on our campus, speaking to 30 of our club members. Also present in the audience were prospective students, for whom this was an opportunity to learn more about HEC MBA program and activities that we organize.
The evening was opened by Pierrette Doz-Perdrix, oficially development manager for HEC MBA and unofficially WiL club’s guardian angel. She gave us an overview of activities that HEC is involved in to improve the gender equality within HEC. Following from there Nela Banovic, WiL’s club president, took the opportunity to share upcoming events with everyone present, notably the negotiating workshop and “women in consulting” forum.

Once introduced, Jill shared her amazing career journey. She started off by telling us about her fashion design undergraduate degree. From there she talked about being immerged in marketing for major luxury hotel chains…and then about her career switch to social marketing though the British public service. In 1996, she joined Futures Group Europe, a major health consultancy firm, as CEO, where she stayed for 9 years. Finally, she has found her life calling and is now an executive coach, with a special interest in coaching women. Jill also works in executive searching, thus is very familiar with the recruitment processes, a very popular topic among the MBAs.
After the initial outline of Jill’s career, the discussion took the form of a question and answer panel, mediated by Nela.
Jill was very generous in sharing more of her experiences, often on a more personal level. Her examples were underpinned with the human side of things – about falling in love and moving countries, about having kids and balancing it with high responsibility jobs, about having to go back to school to prove her worth through credentials, about moving countries with family and the challenges that poses, about harassment at work.

The initial questions aimed to clarify what employers are looking for in the next generation of leaders, and how one can position herself to fit the bill. The discussion moved from the recruitment focus to managing one’s own career, career switching and managing perception within the company. At the end, we focused on the differences that males and females experience within the corporate environment and how these could be managed.

Jill is a coach at heart as she managed to get so many of us involved in the discussion and really create an atmosphere of an exchange and open dialogue. Her immense experience, both in terms of responsibility as well as the multicultural aspects of working in more than 30 countries, was a goldmine of relevant examples. The one that will stay with me is when she told us about working as a CEO, having 5 kids at home and realizing that she needed to go back to school in order to earn respect in a very academic environment. All that with the huge smile on her her face and not a hint of defeatism. Can someone say a “superwoman”?!

After we finished our panel discussion, we had a cocktail organized in the MBA building where we continued to discuss and share in a more informal fashion…where I heard a number of fascinating stories (you had to be there!).
We want to use this medium to thank Jill for flying in from Nice to see us and share a wonderful evening with us. You are a real role model.
Nela Banovic and Gloria Bradbury

Comments from the attendees:

“It was a truly memorable experience to met with someone who balanced her life so well. Jill is not only a woman of substance that is well-grounded and pragmatic, but professionally has also switched a lot of fields in her career and could also give us her point of view on this matter. Her advice to us came from personal experiences and she was bold enough to share them with us, thereby giving us better perspective in dealing with real-life day to day situations.”
Kanupriya Joshi

“I thought that the discussion was encouraging and insightful; nuances about the realities we face as professional women. It was a good forum where everyone openly spoke about their discomforts and insecurities… in a course like MBA where we are at all times competing as equals it makes sense. “ Rahat Qazi

“I really liked the way questions were prepared and how Nela has passed them over to Jill, I think that was a good way to keep the audience engaged. I think it was a very useful workshop for getting points on how to apply, not necessarily to CEO jobs, but to higher qualified jobs within all corporations. Applying for a director or higher level product manager job in a multinational has many of the same requirements and require the same type of approach as when applying for CEO jobs in Small-Medium size enterprises.” Mattias Wildeman

“A very enriching session with Jill as a part of the HEC Women in Leadership Club initiative. It was amazing to meet a much accomplished but unbelievably modest woman leader. Jill shared her own life experiences and personal anecdotes while addressing real bold workplace issues with tremendous honesty. I came back inspired and ready to take on the world!”
Shagun Singh

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Saint-Gobain Visit on 18th November 2011

More than twenty HEC MBA students had the opportunity to interact with Saint-Gobain professionals during a very rich company HQ visit in La Défense.

Post-merger and acquisition integration challenges by David Molho, Corporate Planning Director

David Molho, Corporate Planning Director, started the visit by presenting the group Saint-Gobain, its rich history, its main markets, sectors, products/services, and last but not least the group engagements for majors projects around the world. Pyramid of Louvre is one of these awesome projects among several others like the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

During the presentation we learned that the business model of Saint-Gobain is based on three complementary pillars:

  • The Building Distribution sector provides the Group with strong relationship with the customers. As developed in France by the dynamic distribution network of Point P Company, it is a differentiating factor. This relation helps the group to develop an intimate knowledge of the customer.
  • The Innovative Materials sector concentrates most of the R&D of the Group.
  • The Construction Products sector is made of world leaders, with strong brands for construction materials.

About the M&A strategy Mr Molho said that Saint-Gobain has a very extensive track-record, with “external growth in our DNA”. The activity is focused on developing business in countries with a high growth rate and for high added value products.

Integration challenges questions were at the glance during the cocktail exchange with Mr. Molho. For small acquisitions, i.e. in building distribution the integration is quite fast thanks to several procedures, and standards developed over time, said Mr. Molho. Usually, professionals from Saint-Gobain departments (Marketing, Human Resources, Finance, Operations, etc) will work together with teams from the acquired company. So, the need to have a dedicated team to the Integration is defined on a case by case basis.

HEC students with David Molho, Corporate Planning Director and A. Deltenre, HR Development Director France

Innovation and Marketing by Mr. Olivier Duval, VP Strategy Innovative Materials

Mr. Olivier Duval presented the Nova external venturing model, a specific team created in 2003 within Saint-Gobain in order to foster External Innovation. Nova develops contacts across three continents: Europe, US and Asia. The main objectives are to assess potential partnerships opportunities with Start-Up’s, and help contacts with existing Saint-Gobain businesses.

Understanding the culture of the new partner company is a factor of success. The main challenge for Nova team is to help the two cultures (the one of the Start Up company and Saint-Gobain) to understand each other.

A Techno Marketing department has been created to analyze new markets / applications for our businesses and help R&D, Corporate Strategy and Habitat Marketing to asses exploratory subjects.

The people side of Saint-Gobain by Mrs. Claire Pedini, Senior Vice President in charge of Human Resources

With 190 000 employees working across 64 countries Saint-Gobain is a multi national group in its territories. Mrs. Claire Pedini said that the local recruitments and development of local management are key. For this reason one of the missions of the HR department is to develop a mindset that fit very well with the local business and local culture.

The HR strategy is to open more the group towards outside by developing a powerful employer brand, told Mrs. Claire Pedini

The HR strategy, developed in light of Saint-Gobain strategy and values is articulated around 4 main action priorities: mobility, diversity, commitment, and talent development.

The diversity is one of the strength of the group. Several programs aimed to increase the diversity and the awareness are deployed each year.

A big thank you to all the invitees that join us during the cocktail: Mr. A. Ajdari, R&D VP Innovative Materials Sector; Mrs. H. Harmand, Deputy Director Marketing; Mr. M. Magot, VP Executive Career Management; Mr. Ph. Poupée, VP HR Construction Products Sector ; Mr. P. Etienvre, Deputy Director Executive Career Management.

Thank you to the Saint-Gobain team, Mrs. A. Deltenre, HR Development Director France and Mrs. Geneviève Sabben, HR Assistant, for this opportunity to interact and learn from the unique experiences of Saint-Gobain speakers and invitees.

Bianca Roatis, Part-Time MBA 2012

Audience Feedback

“It was a great experience. Saint-Gobain speakers attracted our interest from beginning: warm welcome, great presentations and very interesting cocktail during which we had the opportunity to share more time with the speakers.

Is definitely an attractive company with a lot of opportunities for professional development in a very international and diverse environment.” Blanca Edigo-De-Miguel

Special thanks to the organizers for putting the events together:

Samuel Huber, Part-Time MBA 2012

Bianca Roatis, Part-Time MBA 2012

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Gender Balance and Diversity issues in India – Interview with Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan

During the HEC Paris – IIMB Exchange Program (HIEP), from September 5th to 11th, 2011, we had the opportunity to discuss with Professor Vasanthi Srinivasan about Gender Balance and Diversity issues in India. Vasanthi Srinivasan is an Organisational Behavior & Human Resources Management Associate Professor at Indian Institute of Management Bangalore and Centre for Corporate Governance and Citizenship Chairperson.

1. One of your research areas is “Women in Information Technology: career transitions, work life integration, organizational practices and their impact on participation of women in the workforce”.

Please tell us how did you become interested in this subject and what are the main findings of the research?

I joined the IT industry in 1985 when India was just emerging as a “software power house”. As the industry began to grow, I expected that there would be more women in the software services sector. There was a report that the International Labour Organization brought out which mentioned that the software sector was a women friendly sector unlike manufacturing. Since 2001, there were more women entering the workforce in India, but we have not seen enough women in the senior and middle levels in organizations. Being a woman who works with the industry and seeing so few women, got me interested in this area. I had a Masters student who was visiting from Netherlands and her interest was women. My first research on women in the IT industry looked at work life balance of Women professionals in the software services industry.

Six broad themes emerged from the study which are relevant to the understanding of work family balance of women IT professionals in India: familial influences on life choices; multi-role responsibilities and attempts to negotiate them; self-identity; work life challenges and coping strategies; organizational policies and practices; and social support. The role of male members of the family in shaping the career identity of the women was an interesting finding.

2. What are the main challenges for Indian women in general and for Indian women in business?

Some challenges are quite similar – entrenched gender roles on women being the dominant nurturer, glass ceiling at workplace, inability to network effectively, absence of strong mentors etc.

In the Indian context, there are some added pressures. India is a highly diverse country and a complex society. The society views a girl child as a burden, though this is somewhat changing in urban India. Investment on the girl child is also therefore low. This prevents many young women to participate effectively in the workforce. Apart from this, the ecosystem to help women manage work is missing for eg. Child care facilities are scarce and women are not comfortable leaving children in daycare. If women have to continue to work, they need the support of their parents or their in laws. Apart from this, many women entering the workforce are first generation women. Their mothers and aunts have been homemakers. Their identity is shaped by women in the household who have never worked. The dominant “mother and wife” identity is what gets reinforced.

3. What is the place of women in Indian companies? How this evolved over time? Did you observe a difference between sectors?

Most professional Indian companies have now started looking at women in the workplace. The financial services industry and the public sector have been quite progressive in their gender composition. In recent years, many business houses have inducted women family members into the executive and the board. There is a need for more women in the technology stream. While the absolute number of women in the workforce has increased, their presence at the level of CEO/CXO and the board is poor.

4. What are the actions that Indian companies implement in order to build gender diversity?

Companies are building gender diversity by providing flexible policies around workleave. They are also providing coaching and mentoring opportunities for women. Women’s networks in organizations are also gaining importance. In India, given the weak support structure for childcare, many organizations are investing in creating child care facilities. This will help to keep the women talent pipeline growing.

5. You travel a lot. What do you think are the main differences between a business woman in India and a business woman in US or Europe?

In US and Europe, there is a generation of women who have entered the workplace two to three decades ago and they have helped in young women professionals gaining a “working identity”. I believe this working identity, allows women to aspire and choose careers, in some cases, putting professionals choices ahead of personal constraints. The extent of society induced constraints in terms of security, staying out late at night, entertaining male guests, all of which could hamper networking pose additional constraints on women in the Indian context.

 6. What are the challenges for dual-career couples in India? What are the mentalities regarding dual-career couples?

Dual career couples have a real challenge. I experience this all the time. My husband is the CEO of an American multinational company. He travels extensively and so do I. We ensure that we both don’t travel at the same time. We never travel together for work and more importantly, we ensure that we take a holiday with our daughter every year. Synchronizing this holiday is a nightmare. Then of course, is the expectation that mothers will be present for the parent Teacher meeting at school. When my daughter was in the sixth grade, for a whole year, my husband was the only male at the Parent Teacher meeting. Her teacher was keen to meet the absentee mother.

The domestic responsibility is largely that of the women. Cooking is quite a significant responsibility for most workingwomen. Many women therefore find it difficult to travel or take on international and national assignments. This hampers career growth and success.

7. Are the facilities offered by companies or government (health, education) important to create a better environment for dual-career couple?

Yes they are, but at the end of the day, it is about women negotiating their own identities and society enabling the identity of women. Spousal support is a key element for the success of women’s career in a dual career household.

Special thanks for putting the article together to:

Bianca Roatis, WiL President and Part-Time MBA 2012

Blanca Edigo-De-Miguel, WiL Vice-President and Part-Time MBA 2012

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HEC au Féminin 10 year Anniversary Event

On Tuesday 15th November almost 20 Women in Leadership club members had the pleasure to participate to the HEC au Féminin 10-year Anniversary event which was organized at Palais Brongniart, a prestigious place in the very heart of Paris.

In presence of 300 participants, HEC au Féminin celebrated 10 years of concrete actions to promote diversity. “The aim of the network is to empower women by providing them tools, mainly through education, guidance and mentoring” said Sophie Reynal, the HEC au Féminin president since 2009.

The purpose of the event was to share with all participants the network values and vision for the future. During the event the HEC MBA students had the opportunity to discuss with the amazing HEC au Féminin volunteer team and to network with other participants.

Bianca Roatis, Part-Time MBA 2012

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Conference: Women’s Leadership – World-shaping Impact on the Pharmaceutical Industry

Monday, September 19th, 2011, 06:00 PM

At Women in Leadership club’s inaugural conference, the MBA HEC students were honoured to have Mrs. Sabine Dandiguian as guest speaker. Mrs. Dandiguian is Managing Director, Emerging Markets, Janssen EMEA, Johnson & Johnson group and former President of Janssen France and Janssen Belgium.

A noble topic: “LIFE”

Before the conference, we were excited about what we believed would be an opportunity to learn more about pharmaceutical industry economic model and the ongoing changes in markets.

Mrs. Dandiguian sent us a very inspiring message about how much Janssen enriches its employees and the communities around the world. She said that, despite of some rumours (that are circulating) about the pharmaceutical industry; the aim of the industry is a noble topic: “LIFE”.

Markets and Challenges: yesterday, today, tomorrow

Through clear examples, we learnt the importance of the change process that pharmaceutical companies are operating, from developed markets to the emerging markets.

Mrs. Dandiguian said that the changing structure of the pharmaceutical industry is driven by several factors: patent expiration for blockbuster drugs, healthcare budget deficit, cost and price evolution, increase demand in regulation & transparency, R&D productivity and accessibility.

On the innovation side, our speaker said that the “integrate information” will play a major role in a better diagnosis and an accelerate access to the treatments. Patients, hospitals, physicians and pharmacies will be more and more connected through Internet.

Nevertheless, Janssen wants to “reach the best of science” by building bridges between biotech, biomarkers and pharmaceutical companies, academic, patients associations.

We had also an interesting benchmark presentation on the economic business models of some important Johnson & Johnson competitors.

Leadership and Diversity at Johnson & Johnson

The empowerment of the local teams by decentralisation, the right people in the right country/market, the collaborative taking decision style, the self awareness and adaptability are some of the Johnson & Johnson corporate values and drivers for excellence that Mrs. Dandiguian shared with us.

The diversity of origins/culture, thoughts, gender exists at all the levels in the company, said Mrs. Dandiguian.

At the end of the conference, as a conclusion Mrs. Dandiguian accentuated how important is the credo at Johnson & Johnson and how the credo embraces all the values of the company and is anchored very deep in all the processes and interactions, either internally or externally.

 Bianca Roatis, Part-Time MBA 2012

Audience feedback

“I spent a very good moment to this conference. The speaker was a charismatic person, who gave us a lot of key information helping us to understand better Janssen strategies in emerging markets. Despite some recent debates in France about this subject, we could put some open questions about the pharmaceutical sector, too. This was the first time that I attended a WiL conference and what is sure is that… I will attend as much as I can to those conferences, thanks!”

Linda Goumara, Part-Time MBA 2012

“What I really enjoyed during the conference was the finest analysis presented by Mrs. Dandiguian about the changes and challenges that the pharmaceutical industry faces and will faces during the next decade. I discover a very dynamic industry beside the constraints: regulatory, cost, social/cultural, etc It was interesting to see how the business development strategy in emerging markets fits with the HR & Diversity strategy and with the Johnson & Johnson corporate values. Furthermore, the communication talent of our speaker contributed to facilitate the highly appreciated interaction with the audience.

Thank you to the Johnson & Johnson team (Mrs. Muriel Malbezin – Vice president Medical Affairs and Mrs. Maryse Veysseyre-Smol – Executive Assistant to MD & HRD) for this opportunity to interact and learn from the unique experiences of Mrs. Dandiguian.

 Bianca Roatis, Part-Time MBA 2012

Special thanks to the organizers for putting the events together:

Bianca Roatis, President

Blanca Edigo-De-Miguel, Vice-President

Mariana Dominguez-Salas, Corporate Relations Director

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Introduction to WiL Board: June – December 2011



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