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3 questions for… Odile Gérard

EMEA Customer Programs Senior Director, Oracle

December 2018

What motivated you to join our European inter-company mentoring program?
As part of my responsibilities in Europe and Asia, and being in charge of our Oracle Women Leadership (OWL) program for Europe, the Middle East and Africa, I promote gender equality at Oracle with a sole objective: to help women fulfil their potential and get promoted in the same way that men do. I’m motivated by sharing my know-how and learning a little more each day by focusing on areas I have less experience in. That’s why I’ve committed to the mentoring program.
Working in different countries, I see how diversity drives progress and success. Different cultures create a wealth of inventiveness and performance.
When Martine invited me to join the inter-company program, I didn’t hesitate. I strive to offer mentors and mentees alike the best development opportunities by offering women the possibility to network.
It’s the networking that mentoring offers that is critical in accelerating careers and developing opportunities for promotion.

What does Oracle do to further gender equality?
One of our objectives is to increase the number of women in the company, especially in a sector where new technologies offer opportunities through innovative sales techniques and stronger commitment to our clients.
With my team we target 3 strategic priorities: development (inhouse mentoring and a range of training programs developed with the IESEG school of management), recruitment (by working on our employer brand internally and externally) and pay parity.
Only 25 to 30% of Oracle’s headcount today are women and we’ve set up several initiatives to move this number: videos that celebrate women doing jobs considered men’s jobs, or women leading original projects; gender-parity at work awareness-raising campaigns; women’s soccer tournaments, etc. The European inter-company mentoring program complements these initiatives perfectly.

What advice would you give managers regarding gender parity?
Making sure you have men and women in your teams is essential for developing efficiency and creativity. Women, who can really drive performance, should be able to count on a network and shouldn’t hesitate to seek advice to take decisions that lead to both job satisfaction and professional development. Teach women to dare more and to take control of their careers.

> Check out Odile Gérard’s LinkedIn profile