Grandes Ecoles au Féminin launches its diversity charter

“We want to change the culture of senior school graduates,” proclaims Hortense de Roux. Partner in the litigation department of the Ashurst law firm in Paris, this HEC graduate has been, since 2018, the president of Grandes Ecoles au Féminin (GEF) which brings together representatives of ten alumni associations (Polytechnique, Centrale Paris , ENA, Essec…). “We realized that there was a certain ‘normalization’ of the subject of professional equality, with a hard core that does not advance”, continues the lawyer, who wondered about the actions to be taken. when she took over from Clarisse Reille at the head of GEF. The idea of ​​a diversity charter, completed this week, has finally won.

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A brutal decline in the visibility of women

“The signatories of the charter want to improve the visibility, representation and participation of women in the professional sphere”, states the text, which recalls the catastrophic consequences of the coronavirus crisis on the presence of women in the media. In 2020, the share of women interviewed in the audiovisual industry and the press fell from 38% to 20%. A brutal regression which involves “serious repercussions on the place of women in the economy, the company but also in the private sphere”, underlines the GEF charter. Enough to send back years the credibility of women’s voices and the seriousness of their skills.

Taking up the theme launched in 2016 by the #JamaisSansElles collective, GEF therefore wants to encourage the 400,000 graduates from the ten business and engineering schools that it brings together to become proactive actors in gender diversity. Particularly within the framework of the numerous events – several hundred each year – organized by the alumni associations. This approach is all the more important, underlines Hortense de Roux, since they are “professionals whose social impact is important”.

Aim for the widest possible distribution

The signatories of the charter will make three commitments. First, to establish mixed governance within their association, to better reflect the evolution of the student population. Second, organize training or conferences on cognitive biases every year within their respective organizations. Third, never organize or join a public speaking event if no woman is participating. The appointment of referents responsible for identifying possible stakeholders, in connection with the base of experts formed by the 2GAP association, is also included in the program of the charter. Each GEF member association is also invited to use the hashtag # CharterMixityGEF in its communication.

This charter, Hortense de Roux hopes to disseminate it as widely as possible. “It is open to all associations of former students of higher education,” she underlines. For the president of GEF, who is delighted to work in a cabinet (Anglo-Australian) possessing “a real culture of diversity”, it is not only a question of advancing women in society. “Everything we do on behalf of women benefits many others,” she said. Its next project: the launch of a study on the advantage of diversity in risk management. Its results should be released next November.

Source: Challenges en temps réel : accueil by

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