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On the occasion of International Women’s Rights Day, a few PMP consultants met this morning to discuss the meaning of this day and the role of women in the professional world and more particularly in the world of counseling.

Short report on this crossover of ideas between Caroline PONAL (Partner), Marie-Sophie HOUIS-VALLETOUX (Partner), Cécile PERRIN (Manager), Laura PAPET (Manager), Mathilde TIGNON (Manager), Emmy-Lou NICOLAÏ (Senior Consultant), Marine TRILLAT (Senior Consultant) and Sofia SERNA ANGEL (Consultant)

photo pmp

THE MEANING TO GIVE TO THE INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S RIGHTS DAY

Aware of the chance they have to take women’s rights for granted, unlike women in other countries, the consultants discussed the important challenges that remain, and which are reminded us annually on the occasion of this day. These challenges are found in families, businesses and in interpersonal relationships. Most of these inequalities are rooted in childhood, whether in sports activities, in expected behaviors or in the choice of school path.

In view of these challenges, Caroline and Emmy-Lou recalled that this Day was also an opportunity to take stock, in a cyclical manner, on the achievements in terms of equal pay and respect for women’s rights. For Marie-Sophie, this Day is also a way to « put the spotlight once a year on the road still to be covered and to make women and men aware of this essential cause ». “A necessary reminder” for Laura, this Day also highlights the inequalities that remain difficult to resolve, because they are linked to mentalities.

DIVERSITY IN THE CORPORATE WORLD

As Marie-Sophie has indicated, the place of women in the business world is as « essential and obvious as to campaign for equality between the two halves of the world population ».

If it is obvious, it is also because diversity is a performance issue for companies. The best performing teams are those able to mix teams in terms of gender, training or origin because, as Caroline reminded us, “diversity forces us to listen, to question and to ‘innovation’. However, the CODIRs of large groups are still predominantly male today. To improve the representativeness of women within these bodies, the consultants cited solutions ranging from quotas to education programs focused on risk-taking by women.

Consulting firms are unfortunately no exception, as a recent article on the Consultor website showed. Marked by a masculine image, linked to the supposed constraints of the profession in terms of workloads and associated schedules, the board sometimes has difficulty attracting young graduates. However, women most often find a valuation identical to that of men. For Laura, « testifying to students, as women working in the consulting sector, is certainly a way of convincing that these professions are neither male nor female ». Beyond the testimony, Emmy-Lou underlines the importance of the models that can constitute « associates and managers who fully assume their career, their life as a woman and sometimes as a mother ».

On the occasion of this Day, Mathilde, underlined the challenge of keeping women in the consulting professions, especially at the time of their first maternity. And even if mentalities are gradually changing and young fathers increasingly aspired to take care of their children, means could still further promote the reconciliation between professional and personal life: extension of paternity leave, company crèche, teleworking. … Marie-Sophie also emphasizes that this is a more general issue, in order to develop the employer brand.

THE WOMEN’S PLACE AT PMP

What place do women have at PMP? « The same as that of men! » According to Caroline.

With 23% of women partners, PMP is a good student. Even more for a firm focused on sometimes technical skills where engineers (and therefore men, engineering schools still attracting few young girls today) are in the majority.

Even if parity is not in itself a goal at PMP, Laura emphasizes that equality is achieved “through promotions, [which demonstrate] equal treatment between men and women. This equality of treatment is important for the good balance of the firm, to have different opinions and working methods. And that helps raise the level of jokes at the coffee machine! « .

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