SPIE rallies together for “La Parisienne”

Published on 02 September 2019

250 of the company’s female employees, including a 20-strong delegation representing the United Kingdom, will take part in the sporting event in Paris


Cergy, September 2nd 2019 – In the lead up to the 23rd “La Parisienne” event, being held on 8th September 2019, SPIE, the independent European leader in multi-technical services in the areas of energy and communications, is celebrating the steps it has made in promoting greater gender diversity by sending an international delegation of 250 female staff members representing the Group’s main European subsidiaries, including twenty from the UK, to the French capital.

Gender balance is a daily commitment for SPIE

SPIE employees are running in La Parisienne to celebrate SPIE Group’s daily commitment to gender balance, encouraging women to take their place in a traditionally more male-dominated professional sector. This commitment, championed by the creation of the So’SPIE Ladies European network in 2015, was further reinforced a year ago by the appointment of two-person teams, consisting of a So’SPIE Ladies network leader and a Executive Committee member, within each national subsidiary. Their mission is to roll out a programme of action in each SPIE subsidiary, with clearly defined annual targets for improving diversity. This includes powerful national initiatives to strengthen gender balance in teams year on year.

In France, young women themselves often close the door on a career in our lines of business”, says Corinne Figuereo, SPIE France Director for Innovation and Transformation and “So’SPIE Ladies” network leader for the subsidiary. “In partnership with the "Elles bougent" organisation, we are doing our utmost to boost their confidence so they are freely able to contemplate a career in engineering and/or technical occupations. One of our latest initiatives included our support for Challenge InnovaTech, an event giving female students and secondary school pupils the opportunity to devise an innovative product or service related to Industry of the Future, using a "speed project” approach.”

These local and national initiatives are now bearing fruit: in 2018, women accounted for 16 percent of the Group’s new employees, compared with 10 percent just three years ago.

A specific mentoring programme

In 2018, a specific mentoring programme aimed at female managers was introduced. Within each subsidiary, around ten women in operational and support roles were selected to get the benefit of specific personal development guidance from a member of each subsidiary's Executive Committee. The goal is to prepare them for the responsibilities they will be likely to assume within the company, with a special focus on gaining new skills.

La Parisienne”: a key event in SPIE life

France’s leading women-only running race, La Parisienne, has brought thousands of women together since 1997. The event takes place on a 7km course around the French capital's most prestigious sites, including Champ de Mars, the banks of the Seine, the Eiffel Tower, Place de la Concorde and the Grand Palais. La Parisienne has been a key feature in SPIE life since 2012. This year, almost 250 female staff members, mainly from Europe, will take up the challenge along with the other 25,000 female participants. Two women of SPIE Oil & Gas Services will also travel specially from Nigeria and the United Arab Emirates.

All the women, whether keen athletes or walkers, are motivated by the pleasure of sharing together in a sports event focused on conviviality, friendship and the promotion of gender balance. This is a strong priority for SPIE group’s general management, some members of which will be present on September 8th. “La Parisienne provides an ideal opportunity to shift people’s attitudes on gender balance and women's place in the company’s development.” says Elisabeth Rasmussen, the Group’s Director for Human Resources. “This is a friendly, sociable and meaningful event”.

SPIE, like every major group in its sector, still has a lot to do to achieve full gender balance within its teams. This goal should not be seen as a limitation, but rather as an opportunity to improve the company's performance”, explains Paula Guesnet, branch manager and “So'SPIE Ladies” ambassador at SPIE Deutschland & Zentraleuropa. “La Parisienne shows SPIE's commitment to this objective and its support for all women and men who make a difference every day