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    Schneider Electric, in association with Companieros and SFR, launches the second edition of the “Choose Your Life” program (Choisis Ta Vie): 34 female students from INSA, ESSEC and INT coached in constructing their professional projects

    Rueil-Malmaison, January 23, 2008 – 17 female students from INSA Lyon (National Institute of Applied Science) and ESSEC (School of Economic and Commercial Sciences) are taking part in the launch day of the second edition of the “Choose Your Life” program alongside their sponsors, engineering school graduates working in managerial roles with Schneider Electric (Human Resources, Marketing, Finance and Factory Management).

    Karen Fergusson, Executive Vice-President Human Resources with Schneider Electric, sponsor of this second edition, explains that: “the ‘Choose Your Life’ program is an opportunity for Schneider Electric to show its commitment to women and its determination to develop their talents and promote them within the company. Today, female management is an important issue”.

    Catherine Baruch, Director of Recruitment and Mobility France, adds: “the second edition of the “Choose Your Life” program crowns the award of the Equality label at the end of 2007 and encourages broad internal mobilization of the women’s network, set up in November 2007. They have given this second edition an enthusiastic welcome and have agreed to give their time to accompany these young women in setting out their professional and personal projects”.

    In 2006, Schneider Electric became the first partner of the ‘Choose Your Life’ program designed by Companieros (an accredited training entity for Business/Engineering School students). Following this first successful experience, this year Schneider Electric and SFR have enabled 34 students - in their second year at the INSA and INT schools and in their Specialized Masters year at ESSEC – to take part in a joint work-training program over three months which involves group work sessions and individual and personalized monitoring.
    The aim is to provide those taking part with the keys to their professional future through thought and exchanges.

    As part of its social innovation policy, SFR, for whom female-male equality in the work place is a priority, joined the Choose Your Life program. Today at SFR, 22% of network and systems engineers are women. The aim is to increase that to 30%. In addition to support students in forming their future career paths, the Choose Your Life program can help to reach this aim. Seventeen sponsors have already keenly committed to the tutoring program.

    “Chose Your Life”: the transmission of knowledge, experience sharing and practical application
    This program was born of three essential observations: the difficulty of female students to set out a precise professional project, the need of the grandes écoles (business and engineering schools) to develop a learning tool allowing students to structure their professional choices and the Schneider Electric’s need to encourage the interest of female students in its professions, in which women are still under-represented.

    Designed as a means of reconciling these imperatives, “Choose Your Life” focuses on three complementary vectors:

    • Group work through five training days
      Methodology of structuring professional projects, gathering of accounts, debate sessions on the sense of professional life with the sponsors: some of the tools that will be provided for the students during these working sessions. A good means of passing on knowledge and sharing experiences.

    • Individual and personalized student support and supervision
      Through consideration of their profile, pathways, acquired skills and knowledge and professional aspirations, the students improve their self-knowledge.
      “Who am I? What have I learned? What choices should I make? These are some of the questions that these sessions hope to address: Coming up with their own professional projects based on knowing oneself and ones aspirations.

    • Internships or more in view
      After the operation, Schneider Electric will respond to requests from students wishing to continue the adventure within the company.

    About Comanieros:
    A certified training entity, Companieros designs and produces educational programs jointly for Business and Engineering Schools and Universities on social themes including, sustainable development, the integration of disabled people, successful women, etc. To find out more on the program: www.companieros.com

    About SFR:
    With more than 18 million customers, SFR is the second largest mobile operator in France. SFR has its own GSM/GPRS and UMTS/HSDPA networks. It provides complete mobile, multimedia and data mobile offers for individuals, professionals and companies. As a reference for mobile operators, SFR launched the first 3G and 3G+ on the French market and counted 3.5 million 3G/3G+ customers in September 2007. SFR is also active in the fixed line telecoms market via a 40% share in neuf cegetel, the first alternative operator on the French market. SFR has a stable shareholding with two major shareholders, Vivendi (56%) and Vodafone (44%).www.sfr.fr

    About Schneider Electric
    The world leader in electrical distribution and automation & control, Schneider Electric develops a global offer of products and services for the residential, building, industrial, data centers and networks and energy and infrastructure markets. The 112,000 employees of Schneider Electric achieved sales amounting to 17.3 billion euros in 2007 via 15,000 sales outlets in 190 countries.
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