Chieh Inn Tan is a female executive who has worked in sectors often characterized by their “masculinity,” such as finance and management. Convinced that there is no job a woman cannot do, she has made promoting gender equality a priority, especially in operational posts. Incidentally, she is extremely proud of having initiated the hire of the first female heavy truck driver. At Veolia in Singapore, she has set up a program to promote gender equality: [email protected], which originally stood for [email protected] Environmental Services before becoming [email protected] Singapore, reflecting the promotion of diversity on a wider scale. For Chieh Inn Tan, “Changing attitudes and helping Veolia’s women follow their path involves everyone. I can say that where some people see gender first, I see talent first.”
Pour Chieh Inn Tan, « faire évoluer les mentalités et aider les femmes de Veolia à suivre leur voie est l’affaire de tous. Je peux dire que là où certains voient d’abord le genre, moi je vois d’abord le talent ».
With WIL, gender diversity is gaining ground
The WIL (Women in Leadership) program originated in Veolia in North America in 2014 to help develop gender diversity within teams. The gamble paid off in barely two years: in the course of 2016, over thirty Veolia female staff members in North America, across all business lines, joined the program.
For nine months, the participants follow seven remote coaching sessions, which allow them to tackle a whole range of issues linked to their professional fulfillment: worklife balance, communication and self-confidence, workplace performance and international mobility. The digital platform for these coaching sessions is proving to be a fabulous tool that helps increase the participants’ flexibility, performance and responsiveness.
The manager is fully involved in organizing these sessions throughout the process. Through facilitation sessions, they create a suitable framework so that each woman can follow her training unde
WIL triples women’s representation
The year after its North American launch, WIL was exported to the UK and Ireland. The program quickly proved its effectiveness there: three times more women had access to a promotion after participating in these sessions between 2014 and 2016. This positive move illustrates the overall progress in gender diversity at Veolia, where the rate of women hired rose by 33% in 2017. The same year, the percentage of women in the Group reached 20.71%, i.e. a 10% increase (35,000 women) over the previous year.
To support this momentum and improve these encouraging figures, WIL has been rolled out in Europe along with Africa and the Middle East since spring 2018. The latest version will include two sessions of twenty people, one in French and the other in English.
The aim of the WEDO network is to help promote gender diversity among the male population, through three primary goals: gender equality in the workplace; gender parity in the operational business lines and sites; and a gender balance in management.
Set up in 2016, this initiative looks to fully involve men in the gender equality policy encouraged by Veolia through its different programs worldwide, such as WIL or [email protected] (see opposite). From the United States to China through Ireland and Germany, WEDO has now been rolled out in 49 countries around the world and is tailored to a variety of contexts in line with different cultures and sensibilities. Bringing together members of staff on the subject of gender balance, little groups have formed into workshops — mostly made up of women! — to discuss different themes.
Two years after its launch, WEDO counts 2,200 members with almost perfect gender parity: 1,120 women to 1,080 men. The WEDO digital platform offers a host of discussion topics about the concrete application of gender equality in the company: they have been consulted thousands of times and received over 600 comments from staff.
Female representation and energy: on the same wavelength in Belgium
Greater female representation in technical sectors is a key driver in sustainably developing gender equality in the Group. For this reason, Veolia in Belgium decided to welcome female interns who had not planned on working in the male-dominated energy service sectors. Via the organization Bruxelles Formation, twelve young women aged between 18 and 30 followed a yearlong internship in 2016 to become electricians.
In 2017, seven of them reached the end of their training and signed a contract with Veolia. The new training cycle, which began in 2018, also counts twelve candidates ready to join the first battalion of female electricians! In parallel, Veolia in Belgium organizes the annual [email protected] Work event. At the Anderlecht Abattoirs site, this gathering allows a targeted female audience (young adults changing careers) to discover “typically masculine” professions. For its third year, the event held on April 24, 2018 brought together 18 companies looking to promote the recruitment of women in technical sectors, along with pupils from several schools in Brussels and the surrounding area. The operation attracted a high level of media and political interest. Accompanied by the first graduating class of young electricians, Veolia’s Human Resources Director in Belgium was invited to present the project during a meeting of the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.