Joly Andres : «Diversity is a real growth driver for the company »

From her career path full of challenges, from Libreville to France, dreams and disillusions, in the universe of large groups of the CAC 40, Joly Andres made his commitment. Today, a high official of a French industrial group, she campaigns against all forms of discrimination.

At the Conquest of Professional Happiness *, a quest dear to any young active woman. This is also the title of the book, published in 2017, by Joly Andres. The author reviews her sometimes difficult career path. Born in a privileged environment in Libreville, Gabon, Joly wanted to succeed relyng herself. She then pursued higher studied in France, enrolling in prestigious institutions such as the Graduate School of International and Political Studies (HEIP Paris) and the Free Institute of Studies in International Relations (Ileri).
Joly obtained a string of diplomas which offered her immense opportunity in him the assthe job market by the royal road. She then knocks on the doors of major French companies and quickly wins a position in the Purchasing Department of an oil group. « I started with an internship and was encouraged to apply. My application was validated but turned down due to the lack of available position. » She went on to do several temporary assignments in the same company, then in a world leader in security and defense and other French flagship groups of Cac 40. « It took me about ten years to get a stable job. While I saw other agency workers get hired, I has no chance… My fault: not being blonde with blue eyes ».

A commitment to promote diversity

Affected but perseverant, Joly was able to turn these difficulties into commitment. Today a high offcial of the French industrial group Engie, she campaigns against all forms of discrimination. « The subject of diversity and struggles against discrimination is still relevant in French companies. Progress has been made since the adoption by the National Assembly of laws in 2008, the introduction of quotas through the Cope-Zimmermann law or labels like the one in favor of diversity. This is not enough to solve the problem », she says. « Indeed, it is clear that this diversity, well represented at the base of the managerial pyramid, remains almost non-existent at the top. This discrimination affects women in general but especially those of diversity, despite their skills. I remain convinced that the diversity of genres, origins, career paths, is a real driver of growth and development for companies. Provided that a woman not only serve as a foil, but can fully express her talent. »

Member of the Women In Networking network at Engie, she participates in the promotion of women leadership. In Africa, in particular, her continent that she has never left. « If it is true that Africa remains characterized by paradoxes, it seems to me that the future of the continent and its development depend on the vitality of its population. 43% of Africans are under the age of 20 and more than half are women. Priority must therefore be given to education, especially youth. Access to energy and the digital revolution are important vectors for ensuring access to quality education for the greatest number of people. Let us fight so that this generation become hostage to a problem, often considered a fate by these populations ». A message she underlines at her conferences in France and Africa, where she speaks about diversity and women leadership.

Wowen network

This commitment naturally led her to participate, in September 2017, in the first world summit of the Women In Africa Initiative, in Marrakech. « This forum, where women from all walks of life, working between Africa, Europe and the United States, have come together, provides insights into the potential of women leadership. These meetings, showcases of women entrepreneurship, show that the entrepreneurship spirit is immersing African societies but lacks visibility. For quite a long time, I have always seen women launching businesses in Africa, investing in the political, economic and social fields, while remaining true pillars in the household. This role has often been relegated to the background. This is why networks like the WIA Initiative are proving to be useful for finding management tools, making it possible to move from the artisanal mode to a more sustainable organization. Let us not forget that the West has technological, economic and social progresses that Africa can not do without ».

*At the Conquest of Professional Happiness, Joly Andres, ed. Book News, 2017