On March 18 2011, Women in Leadership club members had the pleasure to visit Schneider Electric HQ at Rueil-Malmaison to have an interactive exchange of ideas between Schneider Electric employees and HEC women .
The event was organized by Anéta Kowalska, Corporate HR and the speakers for the day were:
Frederic Beuvry, Senior VP Industrial Design & Ergonomics
Paula, Project Manager Industrial Design & Ergonomics
Marie Vezy , SVP Talent Strategy & Organisation Development
Cecile Tuil, VP Influence Strategy
Celeste Messina, VP Senior Executive Programs
The day started with a company presentation by Paula introducing us to the history and journey of Schneider and how the company is adapting to the changing business environment on a continuous basis. This was followed by a very interesting presentation by Frederic on Industrial Design and the importance of coherent product designs for all business units at Schneider. Right after this, we were joined by Marie, Cecile and Celeste. We soon started our panel discussion on “Defining Women Leadership” with an introduction from each of the ladies and also the career paths they followed. This was followed by an interactive session on topics such as gender diversity and its importance, work life balance, different leadership styles between men and women etc. The Schneider women shared with us personal examples to illustrate their learning and thoughts on these topics.
Participants then shared lunch with the speakers and interacted personally. The day ended for us by a very special present from Schneider, a book titled “How Women Mean Business” by Avivah Wirrenberg-Cox.
We would like to thank all the speakers at Schneider Electric for taking time off their busy schedules and sharing their experiences. Special thanks to Anéta for inviting us and organizing the whole event for us!
“Thanks for the warm welcome by Schneider. It’s a great and successful trek. It makes us (all women participants) desire to work with Schneider. I appreciate that so many women senior managers shared their experiences on career development and how to be a successful women leader. I look forward to participating more events like this one.” HSU, Yi-Fen
“It was a rare experience to see an industrial company taking diversity seriously at the board and senior management level. Schneider Electric is a great example of a company adapting to a changing environment in so many ways from design to brand management to diverse and international workforce to solution and services based culture. It was truly inspiring to meet accomplished women sharing their experience and dispensing straight, honest advice in a relaxed atmosphere. Thanks to the Schneider Electric team for welcoming us and for a very fruitful day.” JAIN, Sonali
“It’s a very interesting trek, I really appreciate the chance to communicate with those successful females in a large multinational corporate like Schneider, their stories about their balanced career and family life really inspired me, and set good examples for young people like us who has both great career family aspirations.” ZHANG, Juan
“Thanks to Schneider Electric for inviting us and especially for providing us the opportunity of personal interaction with very successful Schneider women. The interactive session on women leadership helped me a lot in identifying some myths and many practical ways of developing my career and move up to senior ranks. Frederic’s presentation was another aspect of Schneider business which was rather new to us and that also showed how focussed the company is to stay ahead of its competitors.” Garima Mathur
“For me the trek to SE was a “myth-breaking experience”. I learnt from Mr Frederic’s presentation the importance of design for Schneider Electric and was introduced to a very new definition of Design – “Design must change existing situations and transform them into preferable situations”, this was contrary to my previous belief that design is not a thing of industrial workshops! The conversation with Marie, Cecile, Aneta and Celeste were candid and very interactive, I realized that what I thought was being nice in a woman’s world was being unassertive and gullible in the business environment. Thank you Schneider Electric for this unique opportunity to interact and learn from the unique experiences of women and men at SE” SAYAL, Ankita
“It was a great trek that enabled us to know more about the company as well as to hear insightful ideas regarding leadership and career. Frederic’s presentation impressed me and I learned a lot about how companies can align their product design with their strategy, especially in Schneider’s type of business. I also really appreciated all senior leaders who shared with us their career paths, giving us concrete examples on how they succeeded.” Priscila Marques
Special Thanks to the organizers for putting the event together.
Ankita SAYAL, President
Priscila Marques, Corporate Relations Director
Garima Mathur, Vice-President