On this 8th of March, International Women’s Rights Day, Isabelle Bailly – Chairman of SNECI- looks back at the evolution of the status of women in the world and talks to us about women entrepreneurs and the assets they need to run a business, particularly in so-called male sectors.
How has the position of women changed in our societies?
The position of women has changed thanks to some women, the great women who have been leaders for us, like Marie Curie and many other women…those women who have evolved through education and have opened up our voices on certain things.
Before we couldn’t vote, we couldn’t have a bank account… and today we may not realise it but everything is open to us.
Today we are able to vote, to have a cheque book, … to do a lot of things that less than 50 years ago were forbidden to us.
It was women of the beginning of the 20th century and late 19th century who helped and contributed a lot to the emancipation of women.
Women in the automotive industry – you are the president of an international company that has been working closely with different players in the automotive industry and more broadly in different industries for 70 years – is being a woman a strength or an obstacle?
I was lucky enough to be immersed in a man’s world from a very early age and therefore to be open to all types of sectors and all types of activities. And this is what enabled me, thanks to my very special youth, to rub shoulders with and enter a world of men as soon as I finished my studies without any complexes, without imagining any difference. For me, a woman was the equal of a man.
In the fourth grade, I started co-education in a boarding school where there were 300 boys and only 4 girls. So the world of men never bothered me. On the contrary, it was my world and I thank my parents every day, who had only had three girls, for having had the original idea of putting me in a boarding school to start co-education.
My parents were real originals, they really wanted to have a boy and so they brought me up as I was. I was the last of 3 girls, and they gave me cars, garages, Ken… while my sisters had Barbie, dolls… so the male world always seemed normal to me, no difference.
On the other hand, when my father died when I was in my early thirties, some men told me that I was not only too young, a woman, but that as I was not an engineer, I was not legitimate for the world of cars.
I looked at my assets. And my best asset was my difference and I always cultivated this difference. Not only the difference in having teams which are diverse, but also the difference in the mindset, in the relationship with others; and I worked a lot on the relationship with others as much with my clients as with my employees because without others, companies do not develop.
A company leader cannot succeed without its employees.
The woman entrepreneur: more and more women are starting their own business, what is the mindset of a woman entrepreneur?
A woman entrepreneur must be bold, she must have a vision, she must want to project herself into the future and she must want to work in harmony with her colleagues and her clients.
She must love her customers, she must love her employees and she must involve them, embark them in a project to create the future and to show them the ways to progression.
How? Showing them where she wants to go and taking advantage of her assets which are audacity, innovation, diversity and the taste for challenge as well as the international aspect.
All this can only be done with the support of its employees.
What message would you like to convey to women around the world on this Women’s Rights Day?
If I had a message for all women, of all generations and all cultures; because I haven’t mentioned it, but for me diversity is fundamental; then it would be DARE!
Go ahead, have a vision, believe in yourself. If you believe in yourself, others will believe in you.
And above all, love others, because to build a company, it is essential to build it with your employees and you cannot build it without them and without your customers.
Who are we at SNECI :
SNECI is a family-owned international consulting and services company with seven decades of experience in the industrial world, dedicated to the operational performance and business development of its clients generating more than €20 million in annual turnover.
With 10 subsidiaries worldwide for a local, agile and tailored approach, we support more than 400 companies (manufacturers and suppliers) in 50 countries on their way to success.
Our diversity-based teams are composed of 450+ engineers (1/3 of which are women) of 20 different nationalities.
With roots in the automotive industry, a complex industry of excellence, we apply our expertise to all industries, from pharmaceuticals to rail and aeronautics, including energy and luxury.
In industrial performance, SNECI manages industrial projects such as production launches and/or transfers, dismantling, etc., by providing technical support to manufacturers’ and suppliers’ plants from the start-up phase through to production. Our know-how allows us to master the organization and management of the project. We have the technical, quality, cost, deadline and risk management skills to do so.
In business development, our teams provide daily support to manufacturers and suppliers throughout the world: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Africa, Turkey, India, China or Korea as part of their international development. We prospect for new customer opportunities, respond to calls for tender, and manage the project management of acquired business and its follow-up. Our good knowledge of our customers, our commercial and technical know-how allow a rapid and controlled growth of the turnover of our partners, some of whom have trusted us for over twenty years.
SNECI has received ISO 9001:2015 and ECOVADIS Silver awards for its CSR approach.
If you want to know more about SNECI or to receive our documentation, do not hesitate to contact us or to send a mail to Laura@sneci.com