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Women in a digital world

Les femmes et les métiers du numérique
Published on
25 February 2019

Charlotte Jondet, 23 years old, is a work/study participant in the digital and information systems manager program at Grenoble Ecole de Management.  At 37 years of age, Jalila Fouah is part of the executive education program for Executive managers of information systems at GEM. Both students have a similar professional goal: to enable change through digital tools.

The Grenoble Business Review  is dedicating a series of articles to women in digital fields. The goal is to overcome stereotypes and prejudices present in both companies and students.

“I always used computers without programming. My father is passionate about technology and when he decided to launch the development of a mobile application for photography, I decided to work with him. We collaborated on everything including developing the idea, its functionalities and finding investors. As a result, I realized the digital world enables us to create infinitely. It requires rigorous analytical capacities in order to design software or applications as well as creativity to imagine how we can meet emerging needs,” explains Charlotte.

At 23 years of age, the young woman is a laureate of the Trophée Excellencia 2017, which was organized by Syntec Numérique and the association Pasc@line, in partnership with 8 institutions of Higher Education including GEM as well as 7 companies. 

Technical skills to facilitate project management 

With a technical background, Charlotte chose to follow the master's 1 in information systems management at GEM via the HEC Montreal option. “This experience marked me in both professional and human aspects. Canada is home to open-minded spirits with fewer prejudices. Their work methods are quite different. I was able to learn SAP and data management skills.”

Now back in France, Charlotte is a work/study participant in her second year of the Master’s. She works at Adequasys, a Franco-Swiss company specialized in the development of HR web applications for SMEs and major groups. “I like coding, programming and integration, but I favor working on human and relationship aspects. At Adequasys, I can combine development and project management where I’m in contact with clients.”

A nomad, hybrid profile

“I think companies understand that recruiting women opens the door to hybrid profiles that combine technical and interpersonal skills. When you’re speaking with developers or IT consultants, so-called ‘feminine’ empathy is quite natural. Interactions are fluid. And in transversal organizations, you really have to create ties between operational and functional aspects.”

At the end of her training, Charlotte expects to be employed by her current company with a salary between 35,000 and 40,000 euros.

With many opportunities available in the digital sector, she is open to an international career. But she also wishes to launch a project based on an idea for an innovative social network dedicated to managing neighborhoods and buildings. “This business project helped me earn the 2017 Excellencia trophy.”

Fostering disruption: the executive information systems manager program at GEM

Jalila Fouah is a 37-year-old customer data administrator at Roche Diagnostics France. “I was recruited in 2006 to implement a new billing system. My mission was to manage the large scale deployment of this system, enable our internal clients to use it reliably, and ensure our external clients received accurate billing services.”

“When I joined the IT sector, I was a bit nervous about integrating a ‘masculine’ world. Yet gender parity is slowly making headway and I now know how well I fit in here.” Today, Jalila is looking forward to moving up in the Information Systems Department. In February 2019, she completed the GEM Executive Education program for information systems managers. “This 15 month program offers a toolbox for information systems and their management. Thanks to a global view of data flows, I developed a new perspective on digital project management.”

With her new skillset, Jalila has opened the door to a possible promotion and salary increase. “The secret of my success is twofold: my motivation and a company that supports my actions. I can pursue my career at Roche with new skills, knowledge and spirit in order to bring disruptive changes! The digital world is everywhere and the opportunities are enormous.”

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