8 March 2017

International Women’s Day at Bouygues Energies & Services

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International Women’s Day at Bouygues Energies & Services

This International Women’s Day campaign is focusing on the theme #BeBoldForChange. The campaign is calling on the masses to help forge a better working world.
 

At Bouygues Energies & Services, we’re proud of our commitment to diversity. In June 2013, we launched Welink, the Bouygues Construction network for women managers and has proven to be a great success. Its objectives are simple, to attract, retain and promote women in the business, share ideas, develop careers, provide networking opportunities and   encourage gender equality.

 

To mark International Women’s Day we spoke to some members of Welink to find out how they feel about their careers and what advice they would give to their younger selves.

Eleanor Matthews BEng

(Hons) MSc FCMI MIET MIHEEM
General Manager



What advice would you give your younger self upon starting your career?

Regular setting of personal goals maintains drive and focus; enabling you to see beyond your current role, and invest in your own future. Don’t let other people make decisions for you about your career, as you are the sole interested party in your own development. There are so many opportunities that will come and go, and you have to make up your own mind which ones of those to follow.


Do you have a clear career path?


Through the support I get from my manager, I feel that I have a career path within the business, where my only limitations are what I set myself. It is quite clear to me that our strength as a team is reinforced by our diversity; and this is recognised by the Executive Committee who are in positive support of our Equality, Diversity & Fair Treatment Policy.


What challenges do you feel women still have in the workplace?
Tackling first impressions; whether that is with customers, clients, subcontractors or colleagues. What does your image and behaviour say about the role that you undertake, and the career path you want to take?

Elisa Allsop

MBIFM
General Manager


What advice would you give your younger self upon starting your career?
 

Start your network, it’s invaluable, connect with people as much as you can.

How do you balance your career with motherhood?


Bouygues Energies & Services is all about flexible working. In this day and age everyone is connected wherever you are and you are judged on your output not your time sat at your desk. I have two young children which means I can have it all, a career and a family.

What challenges do you feel women still have in the workplace?


Still a low level of women at board level across our industry, we probably haven’t really broken that glass ceiling, although I think it’s going in the right direction.


Andrea Paget
MBIFM
General Manager


What advice would you give your younger self upon starting your career?


Don’t waste your time pretending to be what you are not.  You need to identify your strengths in order to understand the path you need to follow.


What challenges do you feel women still have in the workplace?


It remains difficult to find an appropriate mentor in the workplace.  There is sometimes the assumption that women should have a female mentor.  I believe this in itself is restrictive.  We should look at people to mentor us by subject skills and not gender match.  In order to work equally I need to understand the male perspective in what is a male dominated business environment.

Victoria Melhuish
General Management Graduate


What advice would you give your younger self upon starting your career?


Make the most of opportunities you’re given, even if it’s something that doesn’t align with your career path. It’s important to be flexible, and applying yourself to a range of areas provides a better chance to learn.


As a graduate, how do you feel about starting your career at Bouygues?


I’ve noticed that many women at Bouygues benefit from flexible working arrangements. While there are more issues to be addressed, as a graduate I feel happy to be starting my career with an organisation that values equality.


What challenges do you feel women still have in the workplace?
 

Across the industry as a whole there seems to be a disparate level of women compared to men across board level, however I feel that this inequality is slowly improving.

Amelle Mestari

Head of Procurement (FM & Infrastructure)

 

What advice would you give a young woman coming through the business today?
 

Don’t wait for someone to give you the opportunity for your own career – find out what you want to do, network with people that can guide you through it, promote the great things you have achieved, and then create your own opportunity within the business!

 

 

What challenges do you feel women still have in the workplace?
 

First of all, the lack of confidence such as the imposter-syndrome. Be aware of it and try to overcome it - don’t let it put barriers in your career progression – you got to where you are because you deserve it and worked hard for it.  Just remind yourself of all the great things accomplished already and more to come.
 

Secondly, to find the right sponsor (man or woman) in the senior management team to advocate for you.

 

 

As our commitment to equality continues we will take the message of International Women’s Day and continue to #BeBoldForChange. We hope, like many, that we can achieve a more inclusive, gender equal world.