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The 7th "Women in Engineering Sciences" day: Veolia’s women talk to middle and high school students about careers in science and technology

On 21 November, 22 Veolia female employees in France, Poland and Canada participated in the 7th “Women in Engineering Sciences” day. The event is organized by the associations "Elles Bougent" and "UPSTI" under the patronage of the French Ministries of National Education and Industry.

The day aims to raise middle and high school girls’ awareness of scientific and technological careers through talks given by women sponsors who are engineers, technicians or students. The objective is to inform students about areas of activity and training leading to engineering jobs; encourage them to pursue careers in the jobs of the future in industry, which are sources of technological innovation; and give them career ambitions.

During the day, by talking with Veolia's sponsors, the girls were able to broaden their career ideas and develop a more positive view of scientific studies: "these interventions made it possible to better understand engineering activities and consider new career opportunities".

 

Veolia's women sponsors talk:

For me the day was the first opportunity I have had to share my journey with about sixty high school girls. Some had specific questions about the engineering profession and others were discovering the world of engineering. They could also talk among themselves about the place they will have in the future in companies.
Muriel Albert
Chief Operating Officer for Innovation, Veolia’s Ofis subsidiary, France
I presented my career path in Montreal. The students were able to hear about the Group's activities in Quebec and showed real interest.
Valérie Messier
Quality Assurance Director, Veolia URHU, Canada
I enjoyed the quality of our exchanges with the schoolgirls and their already strong sensitivity to environmental and feminist issues. The school’s representative was surprised by their responsiveness and their ability to work together in a collective intelligence workshop to develop an application dedicated to eco-responsible practices.
Sandrine Oberti
Program Director - Special project, Research & Innovation, France
In my exchanges with 40 girls, I discovered that they had few prejudices about gender, and they asked practical questions about pay. The engineering profession is still quite obscure for them. They associate it with a scientific or medical career, which scares them because of the number of years of study. Among them, 2 or 3 young girls were interested in a career in engineering.
Adeline Bonnemain-Fernandes
Research Technician, Process Engineering, Research & Innovation Department, France
I am surprised by the maturity of these girls, some of whom were already interested in engineering studies. I tried to convince them that, from the beginning of their careers, they have to build a "personal brand" with which they can "conquer the world". They were surprised to be able to clearly define the goal and ambitions they aspire to. It was a good day.
Agata Heleniak
Energy Efficiency Team Manager, Warsaw (Poland)
50 high school girls were present. Some of them are considering their career choices. Our exchanges gave them some leads but also reassured them.
Dominique Bruneau
Operations and Sanitation Department, Veolia Water-Central West Region, France
We discussed very practical questions ranging from internships to details about graduate engineering programs
Muriel Chagniot
General Management Water France / Regional National

... And also Veolia's "link" men:

160 high school girls asked me why I was there: I told them that it is actually the diversity of a team that makes exchanges and ideas more productive. They were also interested in the fact that an engineering education would allow them to progress to various positions with a high degree of independence.
Louis Alard
Operational Performance Manager, Veolia Industries Global Solutions, France
30 high school girls asked me questions. Everything is still abstract for them. They need answers, advice and feedback. It seems to me more than necessary to pursue this kind of initiative.
Thierry Scanff
Information Systems and Technology, Veolia, France

Sponsor Ismahane Remonnay, Director of Risk/Compliance at Veolia Water Technologies, talks about her professional experience in raising girls’ awareness of careers in science and technology

Figures for the "Women in Engineering Sciences" day

    330 establishments in metropolitan France, overseas and abroad

    20,000 girls involved

    1,500 speakers