Creation of TWICE
In 2005, I was asked to boost a network of women within the Group ... At that time, I was Director of the R & D of the EP - a heavy position - and I confess I did not join immediately to the idea. For two reasons, on one hand because there had already been a draft network ... I had attended a few meetings but I did not find myself ... Too girly for me! On the other hand, because I did not immediately perceive the role that an internal network could play ... Personally, I already had more than 20 years of career in the Group, I had fought to overcome the obstacles, to adapt, to open the doors ... And then, by exchanging with other women, I was shaken in my convictions. A space of exchange and communication could make things progress ... So, I mentioned the idea of the creation of this network with my hierarchy - only men - who rather tried to dissuade me “not to hinder my future career”... an argument I did not want to hear! I was right, as TWICE was then supported by the CEO and several leaders who campaigned for the feminization of teams and I have never been blacklisted for being the founder of TWICE ... On the contrary!
TWICE = Total Women's Initiative for Communication and Exchange
I said “banco, I'm going!” But I wanted to structure this network in a very professional way to make it credible and sustainable. As I had been able to do in subsidiaries or R & D, I set up a steering committee made of women and men, some of whom were not necessarily part of the cause. An indispensable mixture to move the system and demonstrate that the codes imagined by men could be questioned. We found a name, TWICE, that summarizes the spirit of this network: to exchange, to communicate. Without encroaching on HR, diversity ... who also work on the feminization of teams. TWICE is the OFF ... We talk about the subjects from another angle, that of sharing experience and advice, for a better balance between men and women in the company.
Stereotypes in the closet!
Always in a professional approach, TWICE has a charter and defined its objectives. Three flagship projects quickly emerged: mentoring, awareness of and fight against stereotypes, need to internationalize the network. Mentoring is the accompaniment of a young woman by a mentor for several months. A real success! As for stereotypes, we launched training courses to reduce bias in assessments and career development. Concerning the internationalization, TWICE antennas were created in the countries, bringing together the women of various local subsidiaries, connected to the global network.
Conferences, thematic breakfasts ... step by step, words were liberating! From time to time, we have adapted our training and our themes of reflection: speaking in meeting, affirmation of the voice, self-confidence, return of maternity, access to operational positions ... Women often do not dare, it is the result of an education. Such as for networking, they tell me "I'm afraid to disturb". As I had done at the beginning of my own career, they want to impose themselves on their strict skills and feel that maintaining their network is clientelism. That is false! In a Group of more than 100,000 employees, sponsors, men or women, are necessary to progress.
Eventually, I stayed for eight years as president of TWICE, a "baby" that I passed on in 2013 to Geneviève Mouillerat, then to her departure to Odile de Damas-Nottin. Today, Nathalie Brunelle chairs TWICE. The network brings together more than 3,200 members in 30 countries. It takes time, but we are moving forward!