Elene CENTENO · Sales Manager Iberia ANAPLAN, Certified Coach & Specialist in occupational psychology
Alizée MOUREAU · Partner Success Manager, ANAPLAN
What do you think about the place of women in the world of work?
Elene Centeno: Work is central to our society, to our lives, it gives each of us a place, a role, a status… and it’s by working that we can be recognised by others.
This recognition from others is a vital need for every human being, to be able to establish their integrity, their rights, their personal and moral autonomy (Axel Honneth). To work is therefore to produce, but also to confront failures while seeking solutions to emerge from them stronger.
I believe that work is the royal road to women’s emancipation, because it’s through work that one can transform oneself, gain confidence, acquire expertise… and above all free oneself from gender assignment (gender in the feminine sense with all the projections that this implies: fragile woman, sexualised woman, woman assigned to domestic chores, care work, assistantship…) in order to make room for one’s true professional desires.
How do you think you can contribute to change things?
Elene Centeno: I think that every woman has a responsibility to change her own place so that future generation can take their work ambitions to the next level.
I believe in the power of role models, of network, of the transmission of knowledge and stories (sometimes incredible) that we’re able to accomplish to inspire and free those who have not yet dared.
For my part, I feel a deep need to act so that every woman is recognised as equal to men, especially at work.
My professional and extra-professional commitments are very much in line with this desire to help women find their way, to encourage them. It can also be said that in every company where I have worked , I have always wanted to make my contribution to the women’s cause by creating concrete actions such as internal coaching and mentoring, and sometimes even more symbolic actions such as the creation of the first European women’s soccer team out of more than 100 men’s teams. In doing all this, I am being transformed, nourished and I can see how I have been able to gradually free myself from everything that was assigned to me.
At Anaplan, via our network WIN France (Women Interest Network) we have created cross- functional and spontaneous cooperation (non-prescribed, women and men, multi-positions). We have carried out projects with a societal impact, particularly for women. We were able to create spaces for discussion, deliberation and exchange in order to brainstorm and prioritise our actions, with the desire for each participant to be an agent of change for women.
I also think that without high-level sponsorship, as was the case with Nadine Pichelot, it’s difficult to see such a dynamic flourish.
Why would you encourage a young girl to choose a career in Tech?
Alizée Moureau: Because there are positions to be taken and it’s a good place to live. It’s a sector that recruits a lot, that looks for many talents, and that has difficulty finding the right shoe. However, talents is not defined by gender and employers can’t afford to deprive themselves of talented women, quite the contrary.
The working conditions are comfortable and young women should no longer hesitate to apply on the grounds that it’s too “technical” or “geeky”. Tech is changing its image and today’s digital world will be even more so tomorrow, so the shift is to be made now to ensure a successful career. Furthermore, although we only represent 30% of the sector’s employees, this figure is set to grow, and all positions are accessible.
Finally, many positions do not require an IT background per se. Many profiles come from engineering schools, business schools and universities. For my part, I embarked on this career almost “by chance” after a Master’s degree in public law, which did not really lead to this type of career. And yet, I have no regrets as there are so many opportunities and the sector is constantly evolving.
How do you get the new generation to project themselves into this world?
Alizée Moureau: The new generation should not be prevented from taking up a career out of passion, not out of reason. Many young women have studied computer science and turn away from this field when they enter the job market, even though they are welcome to do so for various reasons. Society does not expect them to be there, the education they have received etc. I think that a real work of evangelisation, training and support must be carried out from a very young age so that the young girls of today are the talents that Tech will recruit tomorrow, and the leaders of the future. This is why, thanks to the ANAPLAN Women Interest Network sponsored by our CFO Nadine Pichelot, we are lucky enough to be able to set up various actions to promote women in this sector, by training them in our product, but also by taking part in various meetings at engineering schools or universities, or simply by helping them to write a CV etc.
Each young woman must become aware of her value, and dare to speak out, and I would say even more loudly when the audience is predominantly male. Tech is a sector where sisterhood is a real added value, which should allow us to propel the future generation of working women towards a bright future in this sector.