Interview · Clara Chappaz, Director of La French Tech

Clara Chappaz and Delphine Remy-Boutang, founder of JFD, at the JFD Night, dedicated to celebrating diversity and innovation, to mark the 10th anniversary of La French Tech.

 

Over the past 10 years, La French Tech has played a key role in the development of the tech ecosystem in France. What are the main objectives of La French Tech today and how do you see its future?

La French Tech has undeniably played a key role in the growth of technology in France over the last ten years. With its 25,000 start-ups and 1.1 million direct and indirect jobs, it is a driving force behind the French economy, and is becoming increasingly integrated into the everyday lives of French people.

Today, we are convinced of the need to promote the emergence of a new generation of entrepreneurs, with more diversified profiles, often women with more atypical backgrounds, who have projects with a high technological and industrial content. Their objective: to meet the major environmental and social challenges of our time.

 

The inclusion of women in the tech space remains a challenge. How is La French Tech working to promote diversity and gender equality in the industry?

We are giving top priority to the issue of parity within the technology world, for two fundamental reasons. Firstly, there is an ethical dimension that cannot be ignored. The digital professions have a decisive impact on our future, and that future cannot be shaped effectively without the active participation of women, who make up half of our society! Secondly, there is an equally essential economic consideration. The diversity of talent within teams encourages more informed decision-making, thereby contributing to the success of companies.

Our aim is to make tech a sector where equity reigns supreme, because we firmly believe that diversity is a catalyst for innovation and success.

 

What key initiatives have you launched or supported to encourage women to join and succeed in technology and entrepreneurship?

In 2022, we launched a collaborative project based on feedback from French Tech Next40/120 start-ups. A few months later, we published the Parity Pact, which includes 5 commitments aimed at taking concrete action on structural issues: governance, training, recruitment, representation and parenthood. With this pact, the start-ups undertake to implement concrete actions to achieve the objectives set. The pact also sets out eight avenues to be explored in order to propose practical solutions for start-ups. Today, there are almost 200 signatories in the ecosystem.

 

Technology is evolving rapidly. How is La French Tech approaching innovation and adapting to emerging trends to maintain France’s competitiveness in the tech world?

Our ecosystem is more focused on disruptive innovations, and we are witness to this. For example, the latest FT120/Next40 promotion includes 24 start-ups in the DeepTech sector. This sector is recognised as a key strategic issue for the French government, and as such receives substantial support in terms of both funding and support.  

Last June, in collaboration with Bpifrance and the SGPI (Secrétariat Général Pour l’Investissement), we launched the French Tech 2030 programme to support emerging players operating in key sectors as defined in the France 2030 plan (digital, energy, aeronautics, etc.). The companies selected are those that will enable France to achieve industrial and technological sovereignty. Our ability to bring French Tech 2030 to fruition is therefore essential if we are to place France among the great economic powers, because we need to be at the forefront of the new technological wave.

 

La French Tech is one of JFD’s long-term partners. What does this commitment represent and why is it so important to support it with JFD?

Working towards a more equal Tech ecosystem is a collective effort. We can’t work in silos and it’s important that all the players are united: parity is not a question of altruism, it’s a source of growth.  The work carried out by JFD over the past 12 years is remarkable, as it acts at all levels to enable all women to take their place in the economy. 

Finally, thanks to its actions, it is able to showcase many women with admirable careers in the sector, and so inspire those who are still hesitating. So well done JFD!

 

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