First launched four years ago, with the remit of bringing the Audencia alumni community closer still, The Mag has continued to gain in popularity. Let’s press rewind on an editorial adventure with this 20th issue dedicated, as was the case for its distant predecessor in our n°1 issue, to the position of women in society.
A year after the launch of our Together platform, the collaborative website connecting all alumni, students, faculty and staff at Audencia, in March 2018 it was The Mag’s turn to make its entrance.
“The idea was to have a news magazine for alumni in which to share one another’s news, shine a light on the various courses and keep abreast of developments at the school,” explains Séverine Richou who joined the Audencia Alumni team just before the n°1 issue was released. “Yet it’s also a tool for students who are curious about gaining a greater insight into the potential career options their degree can open up to them.”
Since that time, your magazine, now circulated to over 21,000 members of the Audencia community, has gradually built up quite a following, notably thanks to the tremendous rise in social media that has helped support its circulation. The diverse range of subject matter addressed in each issue has also added to the magazine’s success: the place of women in society, innovation, sport, food, and more, not forgetting China of course (n°16, March 2021), that made quite a splash with a total readership of more than 4,000!
Nushad Merchant, one of the team of six responsible for the development of the Alumni network, also joined the team in 2018. A graduate of the MSc IM in 2016, he has both an in-house as well as an external perspective on the magazine.
“Alongside the articles and interviews devoted to alumni, The Mag now places great emphasis on topics dedicated to the school and its students. This is a good balance helping to build bridges between the various parts of the Audencia community, and to reflect its breadth and diversity. The Mag has become an essential tool for empowering community participation, and not just our francophone members since it is available in English too.”
For this 20th issue, The Mag’s editorial team has chosen, once again, to put women centre stage, as indeed we did in our very first issue.
“This is something we feel very strongly about,” Nushad adds. “Over the past four years the lines have shifted on the issue of feminism. We felt it was important to talk about this again.”
Wishing all the women and men out there a great read!
Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor
“Feminism washing”, or the art of adopting pro-women communication that doesn’t necessarily chime with one’s real actions on women’s rights, is invading our advertising screens and calling into question the deep desire of companies to use their influence to change the world.
“What’s the difference between a Dior feminist slogan T-shirt and a Barbie doll based on Frida Kahlo? There isn’t any! They are both marketing ploys, not feminism,” accuses French journalist Léa Lejeune in her essay on feminism washing*. She coined this term, inspired by the term greenwashing, to call out the practices of businesses who appropriate the feminist cause in order to cash in.
The current trend of charming customers, even pulling the wool over the eyes of a generation of more militant women, without having the accompanying values, production methods or even the corporate management to match, would appear to have become the big brands’ new sport of choice. The risk here is the absence of any significant change and maybe even the perpetuation of biases, stereotypes and other common misconceptions with complete impunity.
Ultimately, Léa Lejeune is urging us to question these practices, to look behind the smokescreen in matters of gender equality, diversity or environmental protection, and grasp the underside of these practices. Exactly where, and by whom, was my feminist slogan T-shirt made? And that firm swapping its logo’s colour palette on 8 March to make a militant stand, just how committed is it to equal pay and combatting sexism in its HR practices all year round? How transparent are their action plans in support of equality and with regard to performance measurement indicators in particular?
Critical thinking should be practised at all times and in all places, even whilst viewing our on-screen series, where, since 2010, we’re happy to now see an increasing number of female characters in more complete, more subtle, more empowering roles. And yet, here again, the journalist Jennifer Padjemi urges us not to fail to see the lack of alignment between what is and isn’t shown on our screen, thereby gaining a deeper insight into these images for. With 80% of showrunners being men, the industry struggles to move away from gender stereotypes and clichés, and an altogether biased view of the male-female relationship.
Féminisme Washing, Quand les entreprises récupèrent la cause des femmes (Feminism Washing, When companies pick up the cause of women) Léa Lejeune, published by Editions du Seuil
Florence Alix-Gravellier, Editor
Fallen victim to domestic violence as a teenager, 22-year-old Capucine Coudrier decided to speak out. This SciencesCom student is the creator behind the Ovaires the Rainbow podcast which gives voice to women. Its aim is to spread hope as they share their stories.
What prompted you to launch your own media?
My commitment to the feminist cause goes back quite a few years now, even before being subjected to domestic violence myself. Seeing that women are not given much of a voice in the media, and even less so on the subjects that involve them, I wanted to make my own small contribution. I thought about a podcast, an intimate format that allows you to bear someone’s testimony without distorting it and also reach a lot of people. Initially, I hadn’t planned on sharing my own personal story, even though there’s a clear link. The biggest hurdle was to testify on domestic violence. One feels shame, and you aren’t always believed. Yet this affects a great deal of individuals.
Is your voice even more powerful given that you were subjected to this violence at such a young age?
At the time of the #MeToo movement, I was in secondary school. I found the testimonies of these women who were speaking out very inspiring. We never talk about the fact that such domestic violence can also occur in adolescence. If I’d had a female role model I could have related to, this would have really helped me. That’s why I am speaking out now. It’s not for pleasure but out of necessity. I get feedback from young women who get in contact to thank me saying this helps them to understand what they themselves are going through. I get to see the concrete impact my approach has.
How do you get the stories out there?
In the media, when the opportunity presents itself, but also in the school setting, from junior high to institutions of higher education, where I speak to raise awareness on the question of toxic relationships in couples and domestic violence. My podcast also allows me to bring up these subjects by means of testimonies and interviews of figures committed to the women’s cause. I’m gradually opening it up to other themes, by also giving voice to women entrepreneurs or authors, for example.
Would you say the women’s cause has moved on in recent years?
For a few years now, we’ve finally begun to give more credibility to what women are saying when they testify to their condition, on the subject of domestic violence in particular. Yet there’s still a long way to go, especially if the number of damaging comments on social media with regard to women telling their stories is anything to go by.
Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor
A graduate of Audencia’s Grande Ecole programme in 2019, Eléonore Ardelanot has ventured into the production of a documentary that looks into the place of women in the Rio carnival. This long-term project is a reflection of her commitment to the feminist cause.
How did you come up with the idea for this documentary?
It was back in 2018, while on a university exchange programme in Rio and where I also learned Portuguese, that I first discovered these women-only samba groups. There is a militant feminist culture in Brazil, part of which is underpinned by samba. In the traditional carnival, the women are mainly dancers but rarely musicians. In setting up these samba dance troupes, they manage to occupy a position that is by no means a given. I have met some very inspiring women in this business, who radiate a communicative energy that I would really love to share with others. Following my studies, I went back out there with the aim of making a documentary. I produced a 12-minute film, “Rio est une femme” (“Rio is a woman”), that is currently doing the rounds at various festivals and has even won a few awards. I’m now looking for funding to dig deeper into the subject in a 52-minute documentary, with a real film crew this time, all women of course.
Why is it important to you that this remains an all-women crew?
I have been committed to the feminist cause since around 2017, which corresponds to the time of the #MeToo movement. But not only this. In Nantes, I was part of a militant group, fighting against homophobia and defending the rights of people in the LGBTQIA+ community. As far as the filming is concerned, it’s about keeping things relevant throughout the entire creative process. The woman producer I collaborate with is herself firmly committed to the cause. The idea is also to show that the audiovisual industry can indeed operate with an all-women crew.
What will your next film be about?
Once again, I’d like to address the place of women in the Rio carnival, by angling it more towards the feminist processions. It’s important to note that gender and sexual violence goes up by 25 % during the carnival in Brazil. Hidden away and rather taboo, the feminist processions allow women to feel safer, by creating spaces where they can feel completely free from the fear of being grabbed at or made to feel uncomfortable by the all-too-often sexualised ogling they receive from men. These parades also enable women to regain confidence in themselves, by promoting a positive body image.
Guy Pierre Chomette, Editor
Why is sexuality so taboo? She’s been asking herself this question since her teenage years, and so Marie Comacle (GE 17) decided to respond by creating Puissante – meaning Powerful – her very own female wellness brand.
Marie, trained as an engineer-manager at Audencia-ICAM, embarked on her entrepreneurial adventure at the start of 2021, following a short run working in the consulting industry and at JobTeaser, where it wasn’t long before she thought: “I didn’t do six years’ study to wind up doing that!” The tone was set and Marie certainly isn’t one for settling for less.
And so, with Puissante, she is intent on changing the world, first by shattering the taboos that weigh down on sexuality and female masturbation, and by reinventing the concept of vibrators. A fresh look, and a new way of communicating too, to help integrate the subject matter into the world of wellness more so than the world of SexTech, too often reduced to the porn industry, a subject of unease and censorship.
“It was high time for women to take up the issue and approach it from a different angle,” Marie explains. “Having a vibrator is all about taking time for yourself, about getting to know yourself and self-discovery. Sexual wellbeing is an integral part of one’s overall wellness and helps to build self-confidence. Moreover, there is a real change in women who learn to know themselves a little later in life.”
What’s more, the idea is catching on, albeit with a few challenges along the way, and it might take a little time, but the sharp rise in social media accounts, content and commentaries demonstrates that people are speaking more freely. There was immediate success for Coco, the vibrator launched via a Ulule campaign: over 2,600 pre-orders – when initially 600 would have sufficed – and a project as part of the platform’s most funded 40%. Just the ticket to allow for more serenity to get past the many obstacles, bank refusals and dubitative remarks from one’s inner circle along the way.
“We were on a TV show, featured in a FemTech programme on Station F, and we’ve also collaborated with some crazy companies that we’d never have imagined possible. Over 20,000 Coco vibrators have now been sent out all over the world and within the space of two years, we have gone from a staff of two, then to five, and very soon there’ll be seven of us, so you bet I’m confident the future’s looking rosy,” Marie concludes.
This is also an engaged brand – €1 from each Puissante order goes towards the Red Orchids society fighting against excision – this small Vannes-based business is now looking to the future, adding some new products to complete its range, and is also opening up to other facets of wellbeing and support for women.
Florence Alix-Gravellier, Editor
Year on year, the association “They Act for Women” enables two students to build an engaged and innovative project in support of women’s rights. In 2022, two representatives from Audencia – Elise Mehaddi and Elsa Prévost – took up this challenge with “Les Routes du Savoir” (The Roads to Knowledge). They tell us their story.
In 2019, six weeks carrying out missions in Peru for Elsa, and in Madagascar for Elise, as part of Audencia’s humanitarian organisation “Un Autre Monde”. The two students on the Grande École Programme both cemented their appetite for rolling up their sleeves during these first on-the-ground experiences. It was therefore only natural for them to have responded to the call to take part in a challenge of major scope: to fight against young girls dropping out of school in various countries across the world.
“Our project, called “Les Routes du Savoir”, was set up after our encounter with Emeline Dukic, the founder of the association They Act For Women,” Elsa explains. “We found her to be a true source of inspiration. We very quickly joined her organisation and built this adventure together.”
On 12 July this year, the young women are all set to head out on an 8-month trek across Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, and South Africa) and South America (Bolivia, Brazil, and Chili). Their aim: to support NGOs in their fight to combat the main causes of girls dropping out of school: period poverty, sexual violence, and early pregnancies.
“We are going to provide them with tools and our communication skills to help them feel empowered about their actions and bring to the fore their own initiatives. In particular, we will be able to make reports and interview the beneficiaries, set up an internet website or even help develop their social media networks.”
The stakes are high
“This answers a real need for NGOs, that have limited available resources to communicate on their actions. It is nevertheless crucial for them to get the message across of who they are, sure up financial support or else set up fundraising appeals.”
While Elise and Elsa have carefully prepared their trip by contacting the organisations that are active in the local area, they are still waiting on a few responses from calls for projects and also need to top up their funding. “We’ve also submitted our project on a donation platform.”
So, if you’d like to support them head here Participate
Jordi Soudé (SciencesCom 07), Editor
Some 12,000 books, 38 databases, and around a hundred journals and periodicals are all available at the Knowledge Hub, the resources centre present on all 3 of Audencia’s campuses in Nantes. We meet with Anne Mener, in charge of the centre.
“First and foremost, it is our mission to support the success of our students, making them aware of documentary research. We realise there is a genuine need for this, especially when it comes to professional thesis writing, since many students still have the “Google reflex” not necessarily differentiating between a blog post and a scientific document,” Anne Mener explains. Run by a team of 9, the Knowledge Hub is thus a true reference point for the students. “We also help the Bachelors from City Campus to find information on companies when seeking to find internships or to help with their marketing projects.”
In collaboration with Audencia’s educational team, the Knowledge Hub takes part in meetings with the different departments and our faculty members benefit from tailored support for their teaching and learning projects: identifying tools, information and bibliographic research, and more.
“Broadly speaking, we work on ensuring responsible data, that is a strategic focus here at the School: how can we pick up on fake news and counter misinformation? There are a great many initiatives underway, including workshops held at our Mediacampus, the development of funds with books tackling these issues, etc.”
Therefore, the entire Audencia community stands to benefit from this recently upgraded tool: an upgrade carried out in 2019 on the Atlantic Campus, enabling us to increase the number of places available and be in a position to now provide 225 work stations for students. However, the Knowledge Hub also wishes to be a library for “off-site events”.
“We are in attendance during the major events happening at Audencia, for instance for the “Be a Boss Tour”, where we provided several books examining the obstacles and (self) censorship encountered by women when they seek to voice their professional intentions.”
From this September, the Knowledge Hub will also be enabling published alumni to come along and present their publication and meet with their readers.
Jordi Soudé (SciencesCom 07), Editor
This Audencian summer, we’re excited to be able to gather together for some of the year’s finest events.
Our summer series of Audencia Alumni got off to a great start on 21 May in Paris, when the Volunteers Academy brought its ambassadors together. On the agenda for the 40 graduates in attendance from across the various programmes, class years and clubs, was a time of sharing with Christophe Germain, a presentation of Audencia Alumni for the new kids on the block, lots of joyful sharing and a series of workshops aimed at swapping best practices, ideas and projects with the community in mind. An added bonus was the big reveal of the new logo for the Volunteers Academy.
On Thursday 30 June, Lionel Naccache, neurologist at the Pitié-Salpétrière Hospital, will be hosting a very special conference for Audencia alumni on the occasion of this now traditional summer evening event. Over 200 alumni will be meeting in central Paris and stepping out of their everyday lives to join in the celebrations of all that’s been achieved and to take pride in being part of the Audencia Alumni community, in this spirit of transmission between long-established and newly graduated alumni that makes for such a powerful network.
The Golf Trophy Audencia is undergoing a revamp in 2022: a new name, a dedicated website and a new concept. Thanks to the commitment of two of its sponsors (CIC Ouest and D-Vine), the trophy will now take place across various golf courses all over the globe: Nantes, Paris, and Singapore on 8th July, Chengdu on 9th, and Geneva on 10th. In total, almost 100 participants will be competing in the new 3-person scramble format and across 18 holes for the positive-impact, multi-network trophy: a collective donation will be made to the Audencia Foundation in support of students in difficulty.
On 17 September, the summer series will feature the traditional Audencia - La Baule Triathlon in which 22 Audencia Alumni teams will be taking part. Amongst them will be two groups of six, teams formed in tribute to Hervé Gaudillat (EMBA 13) and Nour, the daughter of Gaël Lamant (GE 96), both of whom passed away from cancer at the end of 2021. The teams led by Michaël Thoby and Gaël will have a dual mission: to raise awareness on the illness as well as fundraising for l’association Nourette (The Nourette Association).
All our Audencia Alumni participants and their supporters will then join together for the After Triath’, for a fun time of sharing together, where they may well bump into Léa Porterie, a student on the Grande Ecole Programme, back with us again after her exchange programme in Boston, where she put in a great performance at the marathon, taking just 3 hours 28 minutes to complete the race. Way to go Léa!
Florence Alix-Gravellier, Editor
Founded in Nantes, the Jho brand of organic and eco-responsible feminine hygiene products is feminist and proud of it. A positioning that finds expression in a variety of ways. We speak to its co-founder Coline Mazeyrat (GE 11, Specialisation in product marketing).
"The whole thing started when a scandal revealed the presence of toxic substances in tampons and sanitary towels, and yet was in contact with the most permeable and fragile part of a woman’s body,” begins Coline, pointing to a lack of transparency on behalf of the brands.
Just and honest
And so was born the Jho brand, which stands for “just and honest”.
"This was in September 2017 and the company actually came out of the Imagination Machine’s startup studio. The original idea was to sell organic tampons on subscription. We certainly had our work cut out back then,” Coline remembers, now aged 34, who went into partnership with Dorothée. She adds: “For three months we remained part of the startup incubator. Then, in November, the Jho brand was launched, a universe created, and a manufacturer chosen, etc. In April 2018, our very first deliveries were packed off from the warehouse.”
Now located in the district of la Madeleine in Nantes, the company has built up a staff of around 15 workers and provides menstrual protection, period panties (from size 34 to 56), and wellness products that are available on their internet website (some 70,000 customers) and also, since late 2021, in 250 retail outlets (Carrefour Market, Monoprix, Franprix, and more) nationwide. Their ambition? “To be an honourable brand taking care of women during all the intimate stages of their life, from their very first periods right through to the menopause.” These subjects remain taboo. This is an organic and eco-friendly range (organic cotton, bioplastic etc.), and so healthier and better both for women and the environment.
Walking the walk of feminism
A clear signal of their commitment to the feminist cause, this duo of women entrepreneurs donates 1.7% of their turnover to supporting women in highly precarious or in survival situations, through 5 organisations: Cavoequiva (in Abidjan), the w4 NGO (in Cameroun), Gynécologie sans Frontières (Gynaecology without Borders in Nantes), Acars (in Saint-Etienne) and the Ravinala organisation (in Madagascar). Their level of support is estimated to have reached upwards of 130,000 euros!
The two founders also endeavour to ensure a healthy work-life balance for their staff and they advocate a gender-neutral stance.
“For instance, the first period kit is equally aimed at dads,” explains Coline.
Regarding the subject of period poverty, people don’t seem to care at all whereas this is thought to affect 1.7 to 2 million women in France.
“This is a real issue and a subject that Jho is tackling by offering attractive prices to universities and CROUS (student-services centres) for the distribution of period protection.”
Florence Falvy, Editor
From 17 March to 23 April, over 30 days of activities to showcase our international alumni communities, spanning some 30 stopping points located in all four corners of the globe. In just four years after its launch, Audencia Around the World has now become one of our veritable flagship events. Here’s a look back at this year’s edition which certainly proved a real hit!
Our Around the World event has once again taken up the gauntlet: to bring together alumni communities spread across the entire globe, from Tokyo to Boston, as well as Barcelona, Amsterdam, Melbourne and indeed Algiers. The kick-off for these activities was given in New York on 17 March. This then paved the way for a further 29 other activities happening right up to 23 April, with the last of these taking place in Luxembourg. And yet again, the event generated an incredible turnout, with upwards of 400 people coming along to get involved.
Focus on the highlights
This year, ecology has proved an especially central theme. This is evidenced by the Pan-American compost challenge in New York (held on 17 March) and the climate fresco in Madrid (held on 25 March) led by alumni members Kevin Hamon (GE 19) and Ségolène Daval-Frérot (GE 16).
On 22 March, an online escape game gathered students in Hong Kong under the leadership of alumni ambassador Emma Cardon (MSc SCPM 15 and GE 16). This gathering was also attended by alumni from Azerbaijan now posted in places such as Baku, Dubai, and Geneva. Another high point: the presentation of our Go Netherlands! guide in Amsterdam, 9 days later.
Audencia Around the World was also marked by a series of individual sporting exploits across the globe. The first of these took place on 18 March in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, with a river clean-up, run by Rithy Huot (MSc IM 12). On 9 April, over in Vietnam now, where Dinh Nguyen (MBA 11), in Vung Tau, and Le Minh Hieu (MBA 09), in Hue, took part in some “extreme” (marathon/ironman) sports. Alternatively, in Boston (on 18 April) where our student Léa Porterie (on the Grande Ecole programme) ran a marathon.
Group sporting activities also featured highly on this year’s series of events organised in Chengdu, Barcelona, Tokyo and Dubai. As for our San Francisco chapter of alumni, on 26 March they took to their saddles for a cycle challenge, putting Audencia well and truly on the map as they rode around the course.
And finally, for the thrill-seekers amongst you, an altogether daring and head-spinning challenge that took place in Toronto on 17 April at the top of the CN Tower (the tallest tower in the Western Hemisphere). Thrown into the mix was the added bonus of a breathtaking view from its observation deck, rising to a height of 365 metres, as well as… a guaranteed adrenaline rush! So now you see how this 4th edition of Around The World has come out on top.
Florence Falvy, Editor
A journey which has taken him from Saint-Nazaire to Tokyo, Antoine Devaux Landragin (Bachelor 01) revisits his career path to date from his Bachelor’s degree at Audencia to becoming General Director of Hachette Collections Japan.
With hindsight, Antoine tells us that without needing to plan anything out, his career had automatically gone in the right direction. He had set his sights on an international career and, with this in mind, chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree at Audencia, seizing the opportunity of a lifetime seventeen years ago now, and since then he’s never looked back.
“I love discovering and this sense of feeling unsettled, of continual self-questioning, that comes with living abroad, in a country and a culture that never ceases to challenge me day in, day out," he explains. “I’m not one for routines.”
In Japan, where English remains little used and where professional practices are very codified, he’s certainly got what he bargained for. “I arrived at the end of 2004,” he declares, “without knowing the language or indeed the country. I’d only been here once prior to that, but I had no hesitations when they offered me the job.”
When he moved to Tokyo, Antoine was already very familiar with Hachette Collections that had recruited him to be their Head of Product Collections, in Paris, after he had accompanied the creation of the brand’s London branch for his end-of-studies internship. It wasn’t long before the opportunity to head off again presented itself, when the company that provides cultural products in thematic series assorted with collectible items, set up its Japanese branch.
Head of product marketing, Antoine took part in defining the brand awareness strategy to promote and develop the brand without detracting from its values.
“Initially, many thought we wouldn’t be able to pull it off. Japan is a very complex country, where you need to respect customs while still maintaining your identity to command respect. This is no easy thing and many companies fail to succeed here.”
Chief Marketing Director of Sales in 2014, Antoine took up his post of General Director of Hachette Collections Japan in July, 2019.
“Japan is now the company’s top international subsidiary in terms of sales, we are joint-leaders in the largest global market for our products, so everything’s looking pretty rosy. However, you can’t rest on your laurels, particularly over here.”
So then, as long as nothing is being taken for granted, for Antoine, everything’s mighty fine. This is just the ticket to regularly bring new spice to this adventure, in a country that continues to fascinate him every day.
Florence Alix-Gravellier, Editor
Come to the aid of Ukrainian and Russian students who are victims of the war in Ukraine and help support students facing sudden financial hardship: this is now the Solidarity Fund’s mandate as it enters its third year of existence.
Just as we seemed to be coming out the other side of the Covid-19 pandemic, a new dramatic emergency situation has hit the headlines: the war in Ukraine. The School and the Audencia Foundation were quick to respond by committing to allocate €100,000 to cover bursaries and scholarships towards living expenses for Ukrainian and Russian students, as well as teacher-researchers in difficulty.
Meanwhile the Solidarity Fund, launched in 2020 during the pandemic, is also adapting. Of the €50,000 gifted donations we hope to receive this year, €30,000 will go into the emergency fund, favouring Ukrainian and Russian students and teacher-researchers, and €20,000 towards supporting students encountering financial hardship.
"The Solidarity Fund is called to endure beyond emergency situations such as the pandemic or the war in Ukraine," Lucie Ackermann, responsible for awarding Solidarity Fund grants, explains to the Student Services Directorate. “This is why, alongside emergency situations, unforeseen situations that may, at times, destabilise a student and jeopardise the pursuit of their studies are henceforth taken fully into consideration by the Solidarity Fund.”
A great many unforeseen circumstances can arise during the course of one’s educational path. A sudden loss of income following the death of a parent, an accident, losing a job that previously enabled you to cover everyday living expenses, and more. A number of students end up in a very precarious situation indeed and may then decide to alter their path, to give up an internship in Paris no longer able to afford the rent, or to put on hold or even abandon their studies. In this context, ensuring the pursuit of studies under the best possible conditions has become one of the Solidarity Fund’s major challenges.
“These financial bursaries awarded by the Solidarity Fund are different to other types of grants,” Lucie adds, “like the social grants, assigned on predefined criteria and not in the event of an unforeseen situation. They complement an overall aid package to students put forward by Audencia.”
For the past couple of years, the Audencia community has continued to show incredible generosity. In 2021, over 530 alumni and friends of Audencia helped support its Foundation. There has been a rise of more than 50% in the number of donors.
Let’s grow this chain of solidarity together!
Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor
Signed for a renewable four-year term, chair partnerships allow Audencia-stamped research to endure and stand the test of time.
A case in point is the Banque CIC Ouest which has renewed its support for the Family & Entrepreneurship Society chair of which it has been a sponsor since 2013. The vast majority of partnering companies reaffirm their confidence in the School, enabling the chairs to forge ahead with their work. Here are two prime examples with KPMG and the REALITES Group, who have recently committed to sponsoring for another four years.
Since 2014, KPMG has been a major sponsor of the Positive Impact chair (formerly the CSR chair), and is renewing its partnership for a second time. The leader in auditing and consulting thus supports teaching and research projects that have a positive impact on businesses and society. Their aim is to make social and environmental engagement a lever for innovation and performance. Conducting new studies into gender equality and gender stereotypes features highly on the agenda.
“We are delighted to be renewing our collaboration with Audencia’s Positive Impact chair,” says Laurent Geoffroy, a member of the Management Board and Human Resources Director at KPMG France. "Supporting the chair’s various projects, is all about picking up on new opportunities for innovation, growth and responsible value creation, and thereby supporting the positive transformation of our ecosystem."
As regards the "REALITES – Bringing Territorial Intelligence to Life” chair, established in 2018, their sponsorship is also being extended for another four-year term. The chair’s goal is to create and share knowledge on the development of important urban projects.
For Yoann Choin-Joubert, CEO of REALITES, “It is paramount that our collaboration with Audencia becomes a long-lasting partnership. We are facing profound and constant changes that require in-depth understanding and analysis to ensure we’re in a position to take full advantage. As a territorial planner and mission-based company, we are aware of the impact we have on the town, on how we live and the way of life. We need to build up knowledge and expertise on a daily basis, to compare our convictions and our experiences. Collaborating with Audencia and its researchers, is all about creating a place for reflection, debate, work and influence. It’s about breaking down the walls between the corporate world and the academic world. It’s about having a shared vision: intelligent territory, is the territory that refuses to stand still, one that transforms and is far-sighted.”
Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor
There are 1001 ways to embark on the path of feminism. Two Audencia alumni, Mélanie Jourde and Alexina Pocholle (GE 21), are doing so through their entrepreneurial project called Double A Paris. An “engaged” lingerie brand for smaller busts yet a brand that has big dreams…
Mélanie and Alexina, both 24 years of age, first met whilst studying at Audencia.
“Alexina who is herself small busted couldn’t find a bra. While she didn’t have any hang-ups about this, she was frustrated to find that the brands were failing to represent her. Thus, having specialised in entrepreneurship, she decided to work on her project for a three-month period,” explains Mélanie who joined her on this entrepreneurial adventure.
This is how Double A Paris was born, a lingerie brand designed for small chests offering a range from AA to B cup bras. Just the ticket to make you feel like a woman and sexy when you so desire, whereas the “no-bra” practice, that consists in wearing a bra less frequently or indeed not at all, gives hardly any incentive for brands to invest in this niche market despite there being “a genuine need”.
Step by step
Following a market study and the writing up of a business plan at the end of 2020, Double A Paris made its business debut in the following year. The registration of their trademark, brand presence on social media (Instagram etc.), product development (8 months’ work) collaboration with a stylist, and a crowdfunding campaign, from 7 March to 1st April, enabling them to raise the sum of €15,000 (of which €8,000 were ploughed into production) and to register more than 200 pre-orders... For the past six months, the women duo, set up in Paris, have been putting 100% of their time and effort into this project of theirs. What’s more, as of April this year, the very-first collection (4 separate items or 2 sets) is up on the brand’s website. The garments are made in Porto (Portugal), the lacework is crafted in Italy, the tulle is recycled and woven in Spain and the fabrics are OEKO-TEX® certified (safe on health and the environment). As for the packaging, it is designed with recyclability in mind.
“A great reception”
It’s got off to a very promising start, if what Mélanie tells us is anything to go by.
“For a year now, we have been receiving a great many messages on social media from women who are thrilled to see such a brand emerging that allows them to let go of their hang-ups and be more accepting of their bodies. Double A Paris has been enjoying a great reception that has certainly lived up to our expectations. It’s very moving to see how our product is helping women.”
The second collection (6 garments: 2 sets, a corset and a high-waisted tanga) is due out at the end of the year and has a commitment to prioritising recycled fabrics. Now it’s up to the two young entrepreneurs to secure funding (bank loans and loans of honour).
Florence Falvy, Editor
How best to broach the subject of gender equality in the workplace? How can we move toward greater equity? There’s no getting away from these issues that alumni encounter on a daily basis. Three of them join us to share their own experiences on the matter.
Changing the way we recruit
“More and more concrete work is being carried out to recruit female talent, based on skills rather than a qualification. We work in particular with organisations and job centres, to be in contact with women – young and not quite so young – who are seeking a career change, or to retrain etc. Our company uses training courses combined with work experience, all aimed at having a greater ratio of women amongst our new recruits.”
“We have our own specific way of supporting women who join the company, particularly those in the technical trades. The aim: to make sure they feel included and to form teams made up of 2 to 3 women to help foster "sorority”. We are also encouraging more and more “godmother mentoring”, or mentorships, so as to share any problems that may arise and come up with solutions."
Championing "role models”
"I remain convinced that bringing female employees’ voices and journeys to the fore is vital. Through talks and meetings that we set up on a regular basis, women with different career profiles – CEO, supply chain director – get to share their experiences. They are “role models” that we put front and centre to promote vocations.”
Creating a caring environment
“Overall, we are stepping up practices that foster inclusion. At a factory plant, it isn’t uncommon to hear inappropriate and sexist remarks. Therefore, it’s necessary to get the message across to the teams so that everyone is able to grasp the consequences of this type of banter. By bringing teams together, by talking about what’s happening, we manage to change mentalities and create more of a caring environment."
Inclusion and diversity
"We are endeavouring to hire an increasing number of women and we are making this happen. Yet, one of our major challenges is retaining them. We are testing out a great deal of measures, one of which is the setting up of an “inclusion and diversity” board that gathers together sixty or so voluntary staff members. This deals mainly with issues related to gender equality. Supported by quantified figures and objective data, it is driving us forward and helping to improve our practices.”
Mentorship that helps build confidence
“Women to women mentoring helps to take the brakes off and to create new ambitions. This is an initiative that doesn’t just come from HR but is multidisciplinary. The idea here is to mix up the hierarchical levels and departments, to promote exchanges between more seasoned female staff and women employees who are seeking to take their career to the next level, and particularly with a view to accessing managerial posts.”
Jordi Soudé (SciencesCom 07), Editor
A number of our Audencia alumni have changed post in recent months. Congratulations to each and every one of them on these wonderful new appointments:
Julien Bordet (MBA 09) has been appointed CEO at Progicar
Dorothée Chatain (GE 08) has been appointed Partner at 21 Invest France
Victor Coqblin (GE 14) has been appointed Executive Director, Belux & Monaco at Kepler Cheuvreux Solutions
Corentin De Gastines (GE 16) has been appointed Chief Business Officer at Xenothera
Hélène Delaunay Burger (GE 01) has been appointed Corporate Vice President at Groupe REALITES
Gwenola Donet (GE 02) has been appointed President of JLL Expertise – France
Géraldine Grossiord (GE 09) has been appointed Investment Director at Crédit Agricole Regions Investment (Carvest)
Guillaume Gruau (Bachelor 09) has been appointed Director of Services and Digital Transformation at Gruau
François-Xavier Heulle (GE 88) has been appointed Deputy Director General of Human Resources at the National Federation of Crédit Agricole
Guillaume Loeuille (GE 02) has been appointed BPCE Compliance Manager, Global Financial Services at BPCE
Stéphane Michel (GE 84) has been appointed Managing Director at Cérèsia
Nathalie Mikaeloff (GE 00) has been appointed Group Director of Marketing and Communications at Scor
Dounia Pochard El Hasnaoui (GE 07) has been appointed Chief Financial Officer Digital Global at Atos
Guénolé Queau (GE 10) has been appointed Director of Development at Arkéa Corporate and Institutional Bank (the National Confederation of Crédit Mutuel)
Guillaume Ravel D'Estienne (GE 14) has been appointed Operations Director at Merci Raymond
Yannick Rolland (GE 99) has been appointed Deputy General Manager at Aleph
Cécile Sartori (GE 99) has been appointed Press Market Manager at La Poste (the Caisse des dépôts Group)
Vincent Tornamorell (GE 03) has been appointed Corporate and Institutional Director, Mediterranean region at LCL
Stéphane Vanbergue (GE 97) has been appointed Partner and co-founder in charge of private equity, Deputy Managing Director at Eight Advisory
Coraline Vialette (GE 09) has been appointed Marketing Manager France at Tonies France
A number of Audencians have launched their own business over recent months:
Laurane Bourgoint (GE 11) is Founder of Les Dessous de Versailles
Kiumars augustinus Farhur (Euro-MBA 19) is Co-Founder of BI Revolution
We wish them all the very best for continued success in their professional journey!
If you too are changing post or launching your own business venture, please drop us a line here at firstname.lastname@example.org
Séverine Richou, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni team
A huge thank you for taking the time to read our 20th edition of The Mag, which is both of symbolic importance and also of special meaning to us!
Mirroring the significant theme that was chosen to launch the first-ever issue of The Mag, the subject of feminism remains a central topic, both in society as well as within the values held by the school.
We would like to extend our warm thanks to all those who have shared their stories and contributed towards this 20th edition!
We sincerely hope this issue has been as interesting for you to read as it has for us to put together.
Looking forward to seeing you back here in September for the 21st edition of The Mag which will focus on another flagship subject and will convey strong values.
Any ideas or suggestions regarding The Mag? If so, then feel free to drop us a line here at email@example.com
Be seeing you real soon!
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