Isabelle Kocher director of the CAC 40

In a long article published in May 2019 in Le Parisien, Isabelle Kocher, the “boss” of Engie, shared her ideas for feminizing technical professions and better managing her schedule … Challenges that many managers also face company.
Isabelle Kocher is the only woman to manage a CAC 40 company. A position she obtained after a Homeric fight at the head of the ex-GDF Suez, against the background of a change in group statutes and succession of its emblematic president Gérard Mestrallet.
She admits that she did not measure at the time what her appointment represented. As proof, the many letters she received at the time and this recurring question “so how is a woman boss?”

“I see a lot of women going up. At Engie, we are doing it with a fairly serious program: detection, training, coaching … Our boss of the Renewables World unit is a woman, that of Hydrogen too … Women do not are not only in support functions, but on all terrains. ”

Mother of a large family and patron of a large group, how does Isabelle Kocher manage the two?

We remain one and the same person she answers. I have the impression that young women are used to juggling very early. I cannot oppose maternity and professional responsibilities. But we can say the same of men. We must accept this combination which allows a full life. This brings to the essential.
Isabelle Kocher admits to hating endless meetings, especially late at night. Today it is normal to talk about family constraints and to say: be careful, I would like the meeting not to start before this time because I have to drop my children off at school. The boss of Engie wants meetings not to start before 9 a.m. and not after 6 p.m.

In a group like Engie, can we stay connected to the field?

For Isabelle Kocher, it is essential to travel regularly, to meet employees in the field. Before the group made the decision to move to zero carbon, it spent almost a full year traveling around the world, listening, absorbing, feeling what was possible, not possible, to measure the pulse of the company.

How about parity?

In France, Engie went from 3 to 5% of apprentices between 2015 and 2018. By 2022, the figure should double. Isabelle Kocher recalls that learning is a very good way to help young women to integrate into working life and in good conditions. She is convinced that with 10% of apprentices, this will contribute to having more women, to catch them as soon as possible, to facilitate their access to the group’s professions through the sectors. Young technicians break the totally false image of Epinal, technical trades with safety shoes…

The ecological transition Isabelle Kocher is convinced of this. “When I hear the specialists, there are reasons to believe it”

For her it is a real challenge! The progress of batteries, hydrogen, the increase in storage capacities… so many encouraging examples
When I listen to the specialists and look at what is being prepared in the laboratories, there are reasons to believe it. The international community is not going at the right speed, fortunately, businesses and local communities are taking the leadership to launch concrete actions.