Schneider Electric confirms its commitment to promoting women by sponsoring the Chinese Delegation at the 2007 Women’s Forum
Deauville, October 11, 2007 – This year sees a unique initiative for the Women’s Forum, which will be held in Deauville from October 10 to 13, 2007 – focused on the topic of “Reinforcing confidence in our societies”: the visit by a delegation of 50 Chinese women representing the role that women now intend to play in China. They are coming from different areas such as press, communications, bank, counsel or industry. All decision-makers, they will attend conferences and debates and share with other women their vision regarding the economic and societal subjects that are at the core of the preoccupations of our era.
Schneider Electric: a strong commitment in favour of gender equality
In December 2004, Schneider Electric signed a gender equality agreement to encourage gender diversity at every level of the company and reduce wage differential. This clearly defines rights and obligations.
- Towards more women recruitment: As an industrial company, Schneider Electric attracts a majority of men. To redress this imbalance, recruitment is more oriented towards women. For example, 25 % of the group’s Engineers and Managers are now women, compared with a proportion of 24 % graduating from engineering schools. Another revealing indicator is that, in 2006, 25 % of the women joining the group had an MBA, compared with 21 % in 2005.
The group is interested in hiring young graduates, but also women with 10 years of experience so that they can immediately take up strategic positions...
- “Choose your life”: Schneider Electric sponsored 20 female students from the INSA Lyon and ENSTA Paris engineering schools. The aim was to help these engineering graduates structure their careers by enabling them to participate in three-month internships with personalised monitoring. The project is being repeated this year with 30 students and 3 partner schools.
2. Acting internally: more women to access strategic positions
- Programmes to bring out women high potential: Schneider Electric has introduced processes to identify women talents and to accelerate their careers. One of these aims to identify 100 women with high potential, to set up a think-tank and set out 10 major actions to be taken up in the company, with the aim of promoting the place of women.
- Enabling women to access strategic positions: Traditionally made up of men, Schneider Electric’s Executive Committee welcomed its first women in June 2007 with the appointment of Karen Ferguson as Executive Vice President Human Resources.
3. Encouraging women’s career development: 20% of women in international mobility programmes
- Promoting career development: Set up in 2001, the Marco Polo programme enables new hires to work abroad. The first class was exclusively male. In 2006, 23 % of the programme’s participants were women.
- Greater flexibility for mothers: In the group, it is perfectly possible for a woman to hold a demanding, strategic job working on a chosen schedule.