7 march 2019

Interview with Elise Le Vaillant

Introduce Yourself
Hi, My name is Elise Le Vaillant, I’m working as a Director of the Services to BUs here at VWT and I’m also coordinating all company projects for VWT. Originally, I’m an engineer. Actually I started as a process engineer 15 years ago in the same company VWT.

What made you decide to be an engineer?
Well actually, I didn’t know really what I wanted to do when I first graduated from high school. I really had no idea. But I thought since I liked maths, physics and so on, that being an engineer would keep a lot of doors open to me afterwards, a lot of different jobs that I could do afterwards. So It was a good way to avoid to having to choose too early what I really wanted to do.

What do you like in your job?
I like the fact that no day is the same in the week or in the month. That every day I learn something new, every day I do something different. I like working with a lot of different people with different backgrounds. I learn a lot from them. I hope they learn something from me as well. I like the fact also that now I’m in a major position I also have the opportunities to help other people grow as well, to see them evolve in the company in different BUs and so on.

What is the place of women in this engineering world?
In this world there are still too few women working there, obviously a lot of studies show that the best performing teams are the ones equally balanced in term of gender diversity. I truly believe that as woman we have a lot to bring to the company in working in this field.

Is there a female management style?
A female management style? Not so sure. I think it’s all about who we are as a person, I would believe that I have different style of management from many different people whether they are men or women.

Why are there fewer women in scientific and industrial sectors?
It’s about the fact that these young women don’t necessarily believe they can study engineering, that this is something for them as well. I’m lucky that I didn’t have the problem when I was growing up. Talking to these young women, a lot of them have heard at home that women are more suited too more literally type of fields. This is not true at all, there is no scientific proof that it is true.
I have two parents who never made me feel any different because I was a woman compared to a man for my studies. They always believed in the fact that I could do whatever I wanted as long as I really applied myself to it. I have two younger sisters, they are both also in scientific fields today, we all grew up knowing that we could do whatever we wanted, we could just choose whatever we like.

Some advice for young women who want to be an engineer?
I just can tell them: just believe in yourself. If you like the field, if you like the different things that they teach you, then there is no reason why you can’t be what you want to be in the future.

Your favorite quote?
Carpe diem

What makes you happy in the morning?
It depends if it is during the week or during the weekend

Your guilty pleasure?