Caroline Gaye was appointed Country Manager, France of American Express in 2015. She sits on American Express France’s board of directors, and leads American Express France’s management committee. She is in charge of defining and implementing the group’s strategy in France to deliver American Express’ vision: provide the world’s best customer experience every day.
She is an active member of the Women’s Forum and has contributed to the launch of an internal network within American Express France, in order to guide both male and female employees throughout their career, as well as promote well-being at work.
From 2008 to 2015, Caroline Gaye was Vice-President, in charge of the Personal Cards Services division. In 2012, Caroline Gaye extended her responsibilities by taking over the corporate cards division for small- and medium-sized businesses.
Caroline joined American Express in 2000 as Manager, first for the co-branded Accor product, then for the Air France-KLM card. Caroline Gaye started her career abroad with Sopexa, first in Dublin as Product Manager (1994-1997), then in London as Group Manager (1997-2000).
She graduated from Paris Dauphine University and Edhec Business School.
What is the challenge you/your organisation is working on?
At American Express, we’re focused on driving ambition throughout our organization. A few years ago, we surveyed our most senior women across the company. Less than a third had ever described themselves publicly as ambitious. In response, the women leaders on our company’s Executive Committee decided to focus their efforts on backing other women’s’ ambitions.
We believe ambition can take on any form – it can range from receiving a promotion, attaining critical skills or finding balance between work and life. But, whatever form it takes, ambition should also be about helping others reach their aspirations.
We have encouraged our leaders to have ambition for their colleagues through various initiatives, including mentorship, roundtable sessions and a Shadowing Program. Over the coming years, we hope to continue our efforts to bring ambition to women (and men) at American Express and beyond.
How does this issue affect women?
As women, we can sometimes be hesitant to embrace the concept of ambition. But, it can be a valuable tool when understood in the context of helping others. Ambition allows us to empower others and be empowered.
Why is women’s leadership important on this issue?
When women take on leadership roles, they have the power to advocate for other women and open doors for them to new opportunities. In addition, it is important for women see other women in leadership positions. This sends a clear message that gender should never hold us back from achieving our ambitions.
How can women amplify their impact on this issue, and what’s necessary to help them combine their efforts?
It’s simple… be ambitious for other women (and men too). If you are in a position to drive a more diverse and inclusive organization, do so. Understand what your colleagues’ aspirations are and how you can help them get there. Advocate for others by offering your mentorship, support and advocacy.
How important is collaboration to having an impact on this issue? What role does an initiative like the Daring Circle play in that shared work?
We view our role in WFES’ Daring Circles as an extension of the incredible work we are doing to advance women and drive inclusion. As a partner on both the Women in STEM and Women in Business Daring Circles, we’re committed to ensuring women are empowered and connected to the resources they need to thrive and achieve true equality.