Adeline, Chief Economist at ENGIE
Driven throughout her career by a passion for energy, Adeline is now Chief Economist at ENGIE. The HEC Paris graduate talks to us about her daily experience of working alongside this key player in the 21st century energy industry, which brings out the best in all its talented people without fear or favor.
This interview with Adeline appeared in issue 65 of Grandes Ecoles et Universités magazine
What do you find fascinating about your job ?
My teams and I build commodities price scenarios for the Group. That involves forecasting economic conditions – economic growth, foreign exchange rates, levels of demand and energy prices, for example – for the next 20 years in all the countries where ENGIE operates. These forecasts are used by the Group to guide its investment policy, provide input for its global strategy considerations and build its business plan. Working closely with the executive management team, these tasks involve detailed examination of a huge volume of forecasting data on current topics covering an enormous spectrum, but from a fascinating technical and operational perspective.
What kind of projects do you delegate to your younger staff ?
As trend detectors, they submit topic-specific forecasts directly to the Group CEO. For example, one of them recently submitted a study on the construction of a notional global price for CO2. The Board of Directors adopted the recommendation, and will now take this price into account when evaluating our capital investments, especially in coal-fired power plants. So ENGIE is a Group that puts its trust in its young people, and it always has done. As a new graduate, I was recruited as a customer branch manager leading a team of 30 people with responsibility for a multi-million franc budget.
Why did you choose to begin your career with ENGIE ?
Because it’s a global energy leader today and will continue to be so in a constantly changing world where disruptive innovations come thick and fast, from digitalization to the development of renewables, the potential offered by shale gas and the challenge of climate change… At ENGIE, young people are in direct contact with every sector of the energy industry and its many specialties, from exploration and production to marketing, transportation and distribution and energy services. That gives them a fairly unique opportunity for a dynamic career that will give them an enormous amount of experience worldwide, if that’s what they want.
How does ENGIE enable women to achieve their ambitions ?
It’s true that we still have fewer women senior executives than men, but that’s primarily because most women are not attracted to the industry. Nevertheless, ENGIE has a really dynamic commitment to success, built not only on quantified diversity targets, but also on the introduction of in-house networks – including the global Women In Network or WIN – and mentoring programs. Valued very highly within the Group, this approach illustrates the willingness of the Group to nurture the abilities of its most talented women. You can see that for yourself in the fact that our Chairman involved WIN in partnering the company for the emergence of new business. Even now, it’s not unusual at some of the meetings I attend for the speaker to begin with «Good Morning Gentlemen», but I’ve never experienced any form of discrimination in terms of pay or in terms of holding back my career in this Group, which does so much for women with children and encourages all its talented people.
What would you say is the ideal first job at ENGIE ?
There’s no such thing really, because there are so many career opportunities for young people with ambition, drive and a feeling for innovation. You could begin like me by leading a team, or you could pursue your own project, as one of my staff has done, who is now preparing to market a solar energy offer in Germany, with support from the Group. Joining ENGIE is about opening your mind to a changing world, taking on global challenges, benefiting from a diverse range of professional opportunities, and working in a company that will never blame you for daring to take on a challenge.