Jehanne Savi has built a career in the telecommunications industry, where she now heads the IT Delivery division for France within the Group IT executive committee for France Telecom Group. She holds a degree in telecommunications management and a PhD. She is one of the first WiL members who supported the concept of a mentoring program for young women and has agreed to share her views on the benefits it brings to organizations and what societal issues can be worked out through mentoring.
From a business perspective, Jehanne considers that an organization whose leaders support diversity frameworks can derive considerable economic benefits. In the short term, programs such as mentoring allow business leaders to assess the skills held by young people as well as to guide them on the path to becoming competitive junior-level management. In the long run, such initiatives attract, through a snowball effect, performance-driven talent and foster reliable customer-oriented operation. Ultimately, it contributes to the company’s cooperation and collective intelligence.
As the latest She Figures of the EU Commission show, there is a need for skilled people in technical fields. One solution is to attract more young women to follow technical studies. “Without doubt, such actions need to start early in the education of young girls, but we are also responsible to showing to young people in general what a technical career really means. Once you enter a company, you will dedicate your time to various issues, on the marketing, economic or even the legal side” says Jehanne. Showing all the sides of a technical career, through a mentor - mentee relationship, increases the chances of reversing the current trend in downsized skills.
“From a personal view, my mentor has strongly influenced me to reach the level of self-confidence I needed for developing my career” explains Jehanne. As a recently released study of the Research Institute LH2 and Equilibres network shows, 55% of women in management positions in France are not optimistic about their career evolution mostly because of the chances they are offered. Mentoring programs are meant to dispel such attitudes and to raise motivation and performance levels. They should therefore lead to a higher number of self-confident women in top positions who have understood early in their career how to develop professionally in diverse roles, companies and sectors, by leveraging their technical background.