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Mixité: we all have to win! – Les Echos – March 4, 2019 (Valérie Landrieu)

Chronicle of Paule Boffa-Comby for Les Echos (Valérie Landrieu)

The concomitant presence of men and women in project committees and decision committees is a significant change in the results.

I was fortunate to be in charge of the accent on them program, from 2000 to 2003 at Accenture, and to have been part of these pioneers who, while the subject was the subject of many quolibets, have positioned the mix in terms of leadership more than of ethics, added value for business more than constraint. So when, fifteen years later, I hear (again) resonate in the hallways of big companies the eternal question: “how to embark men on the subject,” I wonder.

Those I meet, pioneers of the first hour without always having been easy to convince at the start, as long as their wife or daughters did not encounter problems in their careers, who personally invested, “took risks” and named women with very high potential successfully (and some instructive failures), do not understand either. The mix, we all have to win!

Unanimous statement

In this matter as in terms of collective, trust or accountability, when the step is crossed-that conviction is there-it is forever! And it is transforming for oneself, for the women and men concerned and for the organizations.

Because the finding is unanimous: the profits obtained are greater than the obstacles to overcome. In terms of performance first: “+ 5 points in customer opinion, + 13 in internal growth and + 23 gross margin”, relates a study at Sodexo. And “+ 0.4 growth points per year in France”, according to the OECD.

In terms of ambience and quality of work: the leaders I meet are surprised to observe by themselves what the studies say: the climate, the approach of the problems and the relevance of the decisions taken change significantly When mixed profiles gather around the table. The concomitant presence of men and women in project committees and decision-making committees significantly changes the given.

The reason? The discomfort initially felt in the face of the difference is transformed-when it is worked and the will is there-opening to the other. Whether it’s differences in viewpoints, analysis, profiles, organization of work, relationship to the team, the company, the rules of the game, the general interest, etc. Then builds a culture of respect for differences, rich and valuable when it comes to looking at a situation together, to ask an informed diagnosis, to find solutions to a client problem, etc. This cultural transformation progressively and profoundly anchors the dialogue, the sense of the collective and the co-construction in the organization. Particularly conducive to trust and sense at work, it generates in return mobilization and pride.

Paule Boffa-Comby is an executive coach, visiting professor at the EMBA de l’emlyon business school, Member of the MEDEF social and managerial innovation Committee and author of the “collective leader®” (dunod).

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