This interview with Stéphane appeared in issue 65 of Grandes Ecoles et Universités magazine


Stéphane, Executive Vice President, Human Resources at Cofely IneoWhat are the cornerstones of the worksite gender diversity program ?

60% of Cofely Ineo careers involve on-site working; a world that even today remains almost exclusively male. To enable more women to take on these roles, we launched a pilot integration program in two of our regional divisions on a work/study basis, and involved our network of 350 «Masters of Energy» to provide on-site tutorship. Although our initiative was very well received internally, we still had to cope with issues of sourcing new people, so we got together with recruitment consultants Manpower, whose talent pool of applicants provided us with 20 work/study trainees in 2012. That was a pretty good performance when you realize that we had to go through nearly 900 applications to recruit one woman onto a Bac Pro vocational qualification course.

So what is the position today ?

Having rolled out the initiative regionally to begin with, it is now national, and we have 80 women in the on-site operators’ college. This program also benefits from the fact that integrating these young women is so strongly supported by tutors and colleagues, and requires no changes to be made to job tasks or responsibilities. The on-site presence of women is not only appreciated, but is also a source of innovation, especially in terms of working methods. With support from the ENGIE Group, we are also working on the promotion of women to non-site management positions with a training program focused on women in leadership, mentoring and Women In Network. Although these results are encouraging, we will never have true gender diversity until there are sufficient women in the labor force to drive the emergence of women team leaders and site managers.

What attracts qualified young women to work for your company ?

First, I would say it’s our entrepreneurial spirit, which gives all our employees a high level of autonomy. Second, it’s our broad range of business activities – from construction and transportation to aerospace, defense and public lighting systems – and the diversity of career opportunities offered across a nationwide network of 300 locations. And then, of course, there’s the fact that we are part of ENGIE, which is such a major player in the global energy industry.


Spotlight on Cofely Ineo apprentice electrician Christel (studying for her Bac Pro at the Delépine CFA apprenticeship training center)

Christel, apprentice electrician at Cofely IneoWhat do you like most about on-site working?

The freedom of not being confined in an office, because when I get up every morning, I know I’m going to get out and about and learn new things. It’s also working alongside my colleagues, who have all made me really welcome as a member of the team: I never feel on my own in learning and developing my career on site. And, of course, I love my job: I’m currently working on updating the electrical systems for a chain of stores, so that gives me the chance to put into practice what I learn at college, from wiring sockets to light fittings and fire safety systems. I also like the fact that we all wear the same blue uniform, so there’s no difference between men and women!

Why should others follow your example ?

Women shouldn’t be afraid of technical careers or working on site, because they’re just as capable of doing those jobs as anyone else. These jobs are really fulfilling and open up a lot of opportunities. For example, after my Bac Pro, I could move into electrical engineering, smart home technology, Internet technology or renewable energy. Starting your career on site gives you the opportunity to develop into other jobs, especially in a Group as enormous as ENGIE


Watch the video profiles of women working at Cofely Ineo (in French only)

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