Elles Bougent: breaking down stereotypes around scientific and technical careers
While the mathematics and physics-chemistry sections in high school attract as many girls as boys, only 28% of young women attend engineering school. This is due to gender stereotypes that are unconsciously assimilated from a very young age. This is a fact... but not a fatality for the association Elles bougent, which is working to change this situation.
This inter-company network introduces secondary school girls and students – and their parents and teachers – to female mentors (engineers and technicians); the aim is to demystify the scientific professions and encourage women to follow their vocations.
VINCI Construction is supported by the VINCI partnership with the Elles Bougent association initiated in 2018 to encourage the hiring of women in the construction sector over the long term.
All volunteer employees are invited to join the “Elles Bougent” network, and thus encourage more girls to become engineers or technicians. As sponsors or contacts, they help to give others an insight into the construction sector and its trades, as well as the studies that lead towards them.
VINCI Construction sponsors and contacts have joined the network to share their experiences in the area of:
1. Guided tours of projects and work sites
2. Theme conferences and round tables in companies or schools
Individuals talking about their professions to help others find their way and counter self-censorship
The construction sector is often associated with a masculine image; but according to Marion Le Batard, Operations Manager at Freyssinet, “that doesn’t exist; there should be no gender issue in the professions!”
By putting herself forward as an Elles Bougent sponsor and telling her story, Marion is opening up new horizons for young women.
“I’ve always been attracted by practical jobs where I can make a difference at grass-roots level. I was particularly attracted to the strong human values and team spirit of the construction sector, and I’ve never been disappointed. It’s important for me to speak as a woman, about my career and the positive aspects of our professions, but also to reassure young women who might not dare to knock on certain doors, even though they are wide open to them.”
“By meeting these young women, I was able to help them tap into my network, on which I distributed their searches for internships or jobs. We’re also there to support and encourage them in the path they have chosen and tell them that they have a place there… and that we’re waiting for them!”
Find out about the “Accueil des primaires” event at VINCI Construction headquarters:
“To demystify engineering studies, break down stereotypes about industry and raise awareness of the wide range of professions and careers: that’s the mission of Elles Bougent.”