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Chiara Corazza, Managing Director of the Women's Forum, defending Isabelle Kocher: Enough is Enough

24.12.2019

Enough is Enough

 

From the moment I joined the Women’s Forum, it has been my ambition to ensure that women around the world are empowered to be able to bring positive impact upon issues that concern all of humanity.

 

Why? Because it is fair and efficient for all of us

  

Because as recognized by global studies, female leadership contributes to a tremendous amount added value worldwide: 28 trillion dollars in total and 240 million by 2025.

 

As someone who is not French, the more I travel the world, the more I have come to admire the capacity of France to always be one step ahead of the times; to be a pioneer and a role model for the rest of the world; and to carry the values it embodies loud and clear for the past few centuries.

  

This gives France a unique responsibility in many domains of global issues, especially a leading role in advocating female leadership today.

 

It is no coincidence that the World Gender Equality Champion Corporations are French. I am referring to BNP Paribas, Danone, L’Oréal, Publicis, Schneider, Sodexo ... among many others.

 

Nor can we neglect the fact that France leads the world, at 44%, with its highest percentage of women on corporate Boards of Directors. Are we aware of how much we are admired, solicited or even envied by the world?

 

Yet, where has this French exemplary of pioneering female leadership gone, when we face the reality of the presence of one sole woman within the CAC 40?

 

Moreover, we are jeopardizing this luxury by destabilizing, attacking and calling into question the skills of the one who carried out new forms of governance in France and abroad. These are reforms that meet the expectations of the younger generation due to its modernity and ability to inspire and encourage...

 

Globally, how many women are taking part in the crucial movement of energy transition and ecological preservation? The example of Isabelle Kocher is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate that female leadership of a major French industry has the capacity to impact the world.

 

What I have witnessed, is that her spirit represents the epitome of what drives girls and women today to devote themselves to the work for the common good. Recently, I experienced the power of impact of her speech during our Global Meeting with over 3000 participants in Paris this past November.   At all our International Forums —regardless of the Women’s Forum Americas or the Women’s Forum Asia—Isabelle Kocher would never fail to be present alongside the most influential and aspirational characters in the world such as Christine Lagarde.

 

Why deprive ourselves of such an asset who portrays the attractiveness and influence of France?

 

Why not grant her with equal opportunities as her peers, for her to succeed or ... not to succeed?

 

Why was she treated with discrimination when she arrived at the top, with public scrutiny of her personal life and management skills?

 

Why was she under immense pressure, for 4 consecutive years, to constantly prove herself? I don’t believe this was the case for others in her position...

 

Why had she, and her alone, undergone an unprecedented assessment by an international audit firm?

 

Why can’t the sentiments of pride be freely felt when a universally respected and appreciated woman represents the prominent ambitions of France fighting at the frontiers of promoting renewable energies?

 

Why couldn’t the government that established a pioneering law, during G7 in Biarritz, against the economic emancipation of women and that seeks to reduce gender inequalities, not treat THE leader in the energy sector with the justice and respect that she deserves, to attract women to the professions of the future?

 

Why do we not celebrate the fact that Isabelle Kocher is amongst one of the most influential women in the world? Or the fact that just a few days ago, she was recognized and awarded by the press as The Industrialist of The Year?

 

Is it merely a coincidence that Judith Hartman, Chief Financial Officer of Engie had also recently been recognized as the top CFO due to the Group’s outstanding and promising performances?

 

Enough is enough. On the Eve of Christmas, in this world of turmoil, we call for a little decency and equal treatment of both men and women.

 

For French version please access: https://www.lesechos.fr/idees-debats/cercle/opinion-en-defense-disabelle-kocher-1158200