Recruitment for diverse profiles, multidisciplinary ones, and why not, gender balance? At Grenoble Ecole de Management, the Advanced Master’s in Big Data and the Digital and Information Systems Manager programs are led by two women in a highly masculine environment.
Digital engineering programs in France currently enroll 15% women according to official figures. At Grenoble Ecole de Management, the Big Data program is 10% female and the work/study Digital and Information Systems Manager program is 30% female.
“The web opened the door to digital jobs. We see change happening for younger generations, especially in terms of internships. But the digital world, in particular development, has a very masculine culture,” explains Fanny Rabouille, whose has been head of the Advanced Master’s in Big Data and the continuing education program for information systems managers at Grenoble Ecole de Management since 2011.
Two women in charge of digital programs
The digital field is Fanny’s primary area of interest. With a degree from ESIEA (engineering school for automatic IT electronics), she spent 20 years working at Capgemini in the fields of IT development, project management and as a certified Capgemini project director.
As for Blandine Bongard, director of the GEM Digital and Information Systems Manager program, she earned a 100% digital education. “The program I manage at GEM is strongly tied to information systems but also opens the door to digital jobs in general.” With a Master’s in information systems and a degree in software engineering, she also worked for 20 years at Capgemini: first in development, then as project manager and project director. .
In 2014, GEM was a forerunner with its Big Data program. “The school collaborates with Grenoble INP and offers unique content: a combination of advanced technical expertise and practical ethical and management training,” explains Fanny. “The Information Systems Manager program has itself existed for 15 years,” adds Blandine. “GEM has positioned itself as a leader among French business schools in this field. It’s the only business school to participate in the Excellencia Trophy organized by Syntec Numérique, the French Federation for the Digital Ecosystem, Les Talents du Numérique, 8 institutions of higher education and 7 companies. The contest aims to promote the diversity of profiles, and in particular, increase in female participation in this sector.”
With many openings in the digital field, the challenge is also to open the range of available profiles. “You can become an excellent digital specialist all the while having a very different background,” highlights Blandine. “Many of our students come from other business schools or sectors! At GEM, its our multidisciplinary recruitment that is shaking things up. For the Information Systems Manager program, one third of participants come from the IT sector, one third from traditional business jobs (accounting, finance, HR, legal…) and one third from general business school backgrounds.”
In economic terms, recruiting women is an essential factor for success. “In the case of Artificial Intelligence, men are doing the coding, and the result is that an AI’s responses are sometimes biased by a solely male perspective,” adds Blandine. In addition to promoting diversity, it’s an essential factor in order to increase competitiveness on the global scene.