WIA-E Toulouse briefs on end-of-year get together event

The Toulouse local group held its annual year-end get together at the French National School of Civil Aviation (ENAC) on December 5th. More than 100 members and friends joined the Toulouse group committee for an evening of presentations, awards and networking.

The group was welcomed by ENAC’s Social Responsibility Director and active WIA member Sophie Coppin. Hélène Lemonnier presented some interesting facts and figures and the key achievements for the group in 2017. The Toulouse group aims to connect aerospace professionals through networking events organised throughout the year (after work drinks, January Kick off). 

Share is another important part of WIA-E Toulouse’s action plan: we strive to share our passion for our industry and the technologies we develop. This year, we participated in the “Femmes dans l’aérospatiale” conference organised by ISAE and Supaéro as well as the Enterprise Forum at the ENAC and a variety of seminars targeting young people as they choose their future higher education orientation. Through our partnership with C Genial, the foundation that promotes scientific and technical culture, we sponsor an award to the company or institution who actively supports diversity. The Toulouse group participates in events that inspire women to seek leadership roles and take the stage to show their expertise and contribution to the aerospace sector. This year we helped with ELLEactive and the events around the Community of Ariane Cities in Toulouse.

We are also part of an extended network of clubs, groups and associations in the Toulouse area that support our goals and share our values. These include the SNCF au Feminin, Elles Bougent, HEC au Feminin, Femmes ingénieurs, KPMG Women for Business, Women at Accord Generation and many others.

The first speaker to present her exciting career and the choices she made was Julie Saint-Lo, an Air Traffic Controller now working on research projects at ENAC. Julie is truly inspiring and has seized and created many opportunities throughout her career.

We then invited two Directors from ENAC on stage to discuss diversity and how it is handled in the air traffic management and civil aviation circles.

Our Wonder Woman testimony this year came from Grazia Vittadini, Head of Engineering for Airbus Defence & Space. Grazia shared stories from her fascinating background and the various jobs she has held over the years as an engineer in both military and civil aviation and now in the space sector. Her key message: be yourself, don’t be afraid if you are not an expert, and embrace being different. Great advice for us all at any stage of our lives!

Two awards were presented this year…the first to Philippe Pham in charge of digital transformation at Airbus Defence & Space for his consistent support to the diversity networks within Airbus and also to WIA-E Toulouse from the start. The second award was presented to Catherine Goetz, Professor at ENSAM Engineering School in Bordeaux. Her speech was full of passion and humility and pragmatism. We are happy to hear that Catherine has launched a project to create an Aerospace School in Bordeaux. Let’s keep our eyes and ears open as that idea emerges.  And why not create a WIA-E local group in Bordeaux?

The Toulouse committee closed the meeting with a call for new members. Next year Hélène Lemonnier and Claire Oksman will step down. All the members and friends of the Toulouse local group would like to express their appreciation to Hélène and Claire for their commitment, hard work and contribution to our network and cause. They will remain as active members and continue to participate in our events with their efficiency and good humour.

ENAC kindly sponsored a buffet reception at the end of the evening. Very many thanks to ENAC management and Sophie Coppin for their hospitality.

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Vision: A European aerospace sector with a balanced representation of women on all levels.