Talk to us about your background. How did you come to join CFM Indosuez?
After a Master’s degree in Accounting and Finance and a Postgraduate Degree in Management Science, I joined the securities back-office team of a bank in Caen, in my home region of Normandy. I was in touch with a Monaco-based bank as part of an asset recovery operation, and took advantage to apply for an interview and secure my first job in Monaco.
I arrived in Monaco in 1998, then moved to CFM Indosuez in 2001, working at the Securities and Markets Department. In 2008, I became head of this predominantly male department, then, after various changes in the organisational structure, I took on my current role as Director of Operations. I’ve been working for CFM Indosuez for 20 years now.
How do you look back at your career progression?
With hindsight, coming from an operations background, the main reason I was able to progress was the fact that I had managers (all of them men) who trusted me and pushed me out of my comfort zone.
Overcoming challenges has enabled me to grow.
Was being a woman an asset or handicap in your career?
I think that as a woman, you have to prove your capabilities much more, even when they are there. I have been lucky enough to have male managers who recognised the work I did.
We always doubt ourselves more, questioning our right to be there, even when we have all the skills. Every time I was offered a chance to move up the ladder, I questioned whether I was ready. Men probably question themselves much less.
You have to get out of your comfort zone and rise to the challenge. If we’re offered a job, it’s because we are capable of doing it.
Today, as department head, what is your attitude towards addressing gender equality in the workplace?
I’ve never really sought to promote women over and above men. Either an individual is capable or they are not. That said, I am always on the lookout for colleagues who tend to censor themselves or hold themselves back. I encourage them to take the plunge.
What advice would you give to the younger generations?
I will start with a piece of advice for the new generations of managers: forget quotas; we need to recognise people for the skills they have and be alert to the fact that women might be more hesitant.
If I had one message to pass on to the younger generations, it would be: you need to seize your opportunities. Some people call it luck, but I don’t think it happens on its own. You have to make your own luck. Capitalise on opportunities, don’t censor yourself.
Finally, say what you think and make it clear what you want. Making yourself known is just as important as what you know.