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Gender diversity at work is a topic that is constantly in development, as we are all looking for ways to impact our society positively and drive change in our work place.
When I first started at Schneider Electric, I was nervous to not only implement what I learned in university into the workplace but also being young, I was nervous and unsure if I would do well. But my nerves were not necessary as I quickly came to enjoy this new job and I’ll tell you why:
Embrace all – Cultural richness in Schneider Electric
Unlike what I experienced at university studying engineering, and at least in Mexico, there is still little visibility for women in this area. That’s why it was impressive to see from my first day at Schneider that there was so much diversity in all teams, including mine own. This was something that gave me a lot of courage and confidence from the very beginning.
It’s not just diversity in gender, but from the first day, I was working with employees of all different ages, cultures, and sexual orientations, which broadens your perspective and enhances the workplace. It is because of Schneider that I was able to meet a great community of people who have impacted my life and I’ve formed bonds and friendships with amazing people.
Development opportunities – it’s your choice!
I have been part of this company for almost three years, which has given me the platform to develop myself both professionally and personally. I realize that I have been fortunate since we all have these same opportunities to grow, without exception. The great thing is that Schneider made this clear to me from the beginning. On the day of my job interview, I had the opportunity to ask the recruiter, “How far can I get to this company?” She responded, “You can go as far as you want to go, the limit is set by you.”
Today I can confirm that this phrase is very much true, and that Schneider has given me a very big opportunity to cross even though I was not an expert by any means. Of course, we all started learning together.
We know that the best way to learn is to practice. For us, it does not matter what your age or gender is, because we never doubt your abilities. You know you will have an amazing network of coworkers who are willing to help you learn.
How Women Rise in Schneider Electric
I was recently introduced to a book called “How women rise”, which talks about the habits that a lot of women experience and can potentially hold us back in the professional field, and how to confront this hidden bias. Let me share with you my top 3 that I recognize and work to challenge in myself:
- Reluctance to claim your achievements: It is sometimes hard to claim credit for your achievements, but you are not the only one! Women tend to see this as a reluctant practice, and of course, it is not! Always know you have the right to feel proud of and praise your wins.
- The perfection trap: If you’re trying to be perfect, every task or encounter feels high stakes. Risk-taking requires being open to failure. To reduce stress, you need to learn how to delegate and prioritize. Just trust your team, and no one is expecting you to be perfect.
- Minimizing: For decades we have been asked what women can do to convey a more powerful leadership presence. And now, it always means putting yourself in the spotlight, as the opposite of minimizing is presence. So that’s a key component to effective leadership.
To sum it up, we embrace and feel proud for all employees and there is room for all points of view. Our ambition is to be the most inclusive and caring company in the world, and we do this by providing equitable opportunities to everyone, everywhere, and by ensuring all employees are uniquely valued and safe to contribute their best. Built on a foundation of trust and respect, our inclusive practices seek out and embrace different perspectives, support flexible ways of working, and protect each person’s individual well-being.
To learn more about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at Schneider Electric, visit our website, www.se.com/diversity.
About the Author
Fernanda Valladares Silva is an Environment Health and Safety Senior Specialist who started her career as a Safety intern in 2018, and then she took responsibility for many different functions during her Advance Development Program career. Leading teams to achieve goals and having a close approach to different sites in Mexico and developing great networking with multicultural teams on Safety department.
Fernanda has a degree as an Industrial Engineer and has developed herself in occupational health and environment regulation and keeps developing herself in the EHS field.