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Women in industry : a guide to improve the mix

Only 29% of women in the industry and less than 20% in management positions. Governments and businesses are mobilizing to gain parity. Tuesday, July 21, Agnès

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Women in industry : a guide to improve the mix

Only 29% of women in the industry and less than 20% in management positions. Governments and businesses are mobilizing to gain parity.

Tuesday, July 21, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, now minister for Industry, received the "Guide of good innovative practices in the field of equality between women and men in companies", in the presence of Elisabeth Moreno, the new minister responsible for equality between women and men. The signal of a strong commitment of government in support of gender equality in a sector that is showing a large deficit. The numbers have not changed since ten years... despite a profusion of studies, reports, and recommendations. The Guide hopes to move the lines by offering 30 good practices, successful examples in support, to attract more women in the industry, keep them and allow them to evolve.

A competitive challenge

it All started in march 2019, with the creation of the Council of Diversity and Equal employment opportunity in the Industry, composed of representatives of the sector (business leaders, experts in HR, trade union representatives and occupational sectors), responsible for investigating the causes of and solutions to overcome the lack of female talent. After having worked on issues of education and schooling, and then on the recruitment of women in industrial undertakings, they are attacked with career management to enable the professionals to realise their potential. And encourage them to stay in office.

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This is in response to a double emergency, according to Agnès Pannier-Runacher : "The place of women in the industry is an issue of society, but it is also an economic imperative and competitiveness for our businesses, she says. Studies prove it : the more diversity within a company, it is more performance." And Elisabeth Moreno to add that individually, it is allowing women to be paid more on average in a growing sector, and to catch up with the overall gap with the wages received by the men. Of what to avoid to many also be the adjustment variable of the economic crisis that announcement.

glass Ceiling and glass wall

Has more than one title, it must therefore rely more on women in the industry, helping them to break both the glass ceiling by their increased presence in leadership positions, and the glass wall to avoid their concentration in the support functions. They are expected to orders and the operational. A number of legal measures that should enable it to progress, as the law Copé-Zimmermann imposing a quota on the boards of directors, or the Index Pénicaud measuring the wage gap, including to better correct them. But it is still necessary to pave the way, accompanied by concrete industry professionals in an approach of awareness-raising and advocacy. Such is the vocation of the Guide.

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The document has been drafted following the many interviews conducted by the members of the Board of the Diversity with the actors on their experience, before being placed in consultation with the 18 industrial sectors the French, members of the collective IndstriElles and Territories of Industries. Of large groups as well as small businesses have been solicited. This participatory mechanism has helped to identify good initiatives for sharing to inspire other actors. And the result is both practical, concrete and embodied.

to develop best practices

The paper proposes first a quiz for companies to take stock of their situation, before the list of 30 proposals. Some do not date from yesterday or remind us inevitably of evidence : intervening in middle and high schools, participate in policy forums, to better communicate on the networks, publish its Index of Equal employment opportunity each year, to articulate life pro and personal life... It must be well remembered. A lot also deserve to be highlighted : the training of the recruiters on the unconscious biases that guide the selection of candidates ; ensure to balance the promotions and increases are granted to men and to women ; to train them to wage bargaining to reduce wage differentials ; to conduct a discussion on gender stereotyping and harassment ; and provide spaces for expression anonymous ; encourage the presence of women in all strata of the trade unions and employer organisations...

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All the proposed practices are based on the testimony of the participants having developed with success. This significantly changes the result for the reader in search of a solution... as for the business model and implementation forward in the Guide. You need to believe in the strength of the 'Name and Celebrate"! Thus, one discovers that Renault has designed outfits for work taking account of the morphological differences between men and women, and aims to reduce the physical constraints related to certain positions. While EDF has developed kits for the awareness of key in hand on sexism addressed to the whole of its team leaders, managers. Pfizer has a Female Aspiring Talent Europe (FATE) that allows its employees to develop professional skills and personal. Side trade unions, CFE-CGC has created a MOOC on professional equality, also accessible free of charge.

The tricky point of the ruling bodies

But nothing on possible quotas for women on executive committees and management. Too bad... The idea is still in the air. Except that the pool of candidates would not be important enough, it should start to feminize the overall workforce... in any case, the argument commonly advanced. The suggestion of these quotas has, however, been made by representatives of associations, networks of women or collectives, Industrial as well as, during the consultation phase for the drafting of the Guide, but it has not been finally accepted.

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During the presentation in Bercy, two women CEOS of major industry groups, however, have witnessed the feminization of their governing bodies : Christel Bories, who runs Eramet, a mining company and metallurgy, announces 38 % of women in its executive committee; for its part, Emmanuelle Quiles at the head of the pharmaceutical company Jansen displays a score of 65%. It is so possible ! The Guide is being called to evolve and to be enriched with new proposals, we could see a day appear the recommendation quota... if they are not one day imposed by the law.

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