Sarah, in her work environment

As the Vice-President of Manufacturing Operational Excellence for the Michelin Group, Sarah is currently responsible for 69 plants and a total of around 69,000 employees around the world. Her adaptability, ability to understand a multicultural context, curiosity, and personal and organizational skills have allowed her to overcome many challenges in the various positions she has held in France, Romania, the United States, and China.

The Group's ambitions for gender diversity

'Reflect society and our customers': this is how I would summarize our gender diversity ambitions. Though certain regions have made a lot of progress, such as Central Europe, with 30% women in production jobs, strong geographic disparities persist. So we still have a ways to go to reach our goal at the Group scale. Though we want to promote and encourage diversity across the Group, we also want to capitalize on the strengths of each person as an individual. To take advantage of this diversity, we have to create an inclusive environment in which all employees are empowered to express themselves and make decisions. For example, we want women to be represented at each level of responsibility within the company and ensure that their peers’ behavior does not limit their ability to fully express themselves and influence others. We have also set an objective of 30% women in management by the end of 2020, and are currently defining our ambitions for 2030.
JC Pats - Executive Vice President & Chief HR Officer - Member of the Group Executive Committee.
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A discussion with Sarah Miller and Jean-Claude Pats

What are the benefits of improving gender diversity within the company?

 

JC Pats : Gender diversity, like all other forms of diversity, is essential to our development and future success. Diversity expands our understanding of the world and amplifies our creativity thanks to the richness of differing viewpoints. It boosts performance because it fosters collective power and provides additional motivation. At a time when artificial intelligence is playing an increasingly larger role in our lives, emotional intelligence is more important than ever. In this vein, improving gender diversity can offer a real competitive advantage.

 

S. Miller: Today, all across the Group, new technologies are arriving. Even though automation and artificial intelligence are gradually replacing repetitive and physical tasks, there's no alternative to emotional intelligence. I truly believe that gender diversity can foster this emotional intelligence, and consequently provide a company with a real competitive advantage.

How can we improve gender diversity?

 

JC Pats : In our recruitment efforts we are taking targeted action by seeking out female candidates as soon as they finish their training programs. We are also making sure we highlight the different career paths of women in the Group such as Sarah, who was honored as part of the Trophées des Femmes de l’Industrie (Women in Industry Awards) organized by Usine Nouvelle. Employer brand campaigns on social media are another tool. In parallel, we are also modernizing the work environment in manufacturing, and more broadly throughout the group, while creating new pathways and new bridges between professions. We also want to move towards more women in management. Each Region is working in that direction by identifying potential or through dedicated coaching or mentoring programs. 70 women in the Group have already benefited from these programs. The Women Forward network also offers trainings, coaching, mentoring, and co-development on diversity and inclusion and is helping us conduct studies on how the Group can recruit more women.

 

S.Miller : Manufacturing has changed. We have to forget the old clichés because working in manufacturing doesn't just involve physically demanding tasks. Just like other professions, what matters are skills and emotional qualities! Michelin is looking for talent above all, and more than any other sector, offers a wide variety of jobs. There are many career paths and promotion opportunities for women.  The diversity of my own career path is proof of this: 5 different professions in 4 different countries. In my opinion, manufacturing is a great environment to work in. "If you like adventure, challenges, and learning new things every day, then manufacturing is for you!"

 

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