International Women's Day: gender balance and Veolia, a performance and innovation lever

On International Women's Day 2016, Veolia is analysing the progress it has made in terms of gender equality within the Group and setting its goals for 2020.


Veolia, Women, International Women's Day


Gender balance is an issue affecting performance, credibility, and fairness within Veolia. We have two objectives: to develop the feminization of governance and management and to advance gender balance in operational jobs. Between 2011 and 2015, the feminization rate for the Top 300 managers in the Group increased by 80%, from 10% to 18.7%.
Jean-Marie Lambert
Senior Executive Vice President Human Resources of Group
We need the best possible gender balance in order to foster innovation. A good gender balance provides a more harmonious blend of visions, ideas, and thoughts. The Group’s training and mentoring programmes encourage women and help them develop. We want to increase the visibility of our women employees by developing their talents.
Samantha Bowles
Deputy Director of Human Resources

Today Veolia is launching a gender balance network, with membership on a voluntary basis, for all those who wish to be involved in promoting gender equality within the Group. Estelle Brachlianoff, Senior Executive Vice President UK & Ireland and Régis Calmels, Senior Executive Vice President of Asia, both members of Veolia’s Executive Committee, are the network’s first sponsors. A new intranet site will inform all employees about gender balance issues within Veolia; it will discuss actions and co-build new projects.

Veolia’s gender balance objectives

  • Objective 2020: 25% women in the Top 300
  • ​Objective 2020: 30% women managers (in relation to 25.3% at the end of 2015 and 23.1% in 2011)
  • Objective 2017: 40% women on the board of directors (33.3% at the end of 2015 and 11% in 2011)

Veolia’s initiatives promoting women’s rights:

- Developed by Veolia in North America, the UK and Ireland, "Women in Leadership" is a nine-month coaching program which, since 2012, has supported around one hundred women employees in their career development. It helps improve the confidence these women have in their skills and encourages them to move into responsible positions.

- In France, women ambassadors in the Recycling & Waste recovery business have to fight the stereotypes attached to so-called male trades and share their experience with secondary school students. This initiative will continue to expand in France and then spread to include other European countries through the partnership with the association " Elles Bougent".

- In India, Veolia has organized a women's rights awareness campaign with the support of Shakti Shalini - an NGO for women victims of domestic violence - and Kamalini - an NGO that prepares young women from disadvantaged backgrounds to become financially independent.

- In the Middle East, every day for a week, a new portrait of one of Veolia’s female employees, illustrating the Group's mission of "resourcing the world", will be published on the home page of the local website.

- In the Limay centre (France) Veolia Research and Innovation[1], where women represent 49% of the workforce at every level of the hierarchy, are hosting Chairman and CEO Antoine Frérot and a delegation of women employees from many countries for a day of discussions on the topic of "diversity, a source of innovation for Veolia."