Malika, can you tell us about your career? Did you already want to work in science or tech when you were young?
I didn't know when I was a little girl that I would work in IT, however, I was always curious about how technology worked. I scared my parents many times because I was either trying to disassemble the TV or the power plug to understand how it worked, so when I’ve heard about the EPITA School (a famous Technology school in Paris today) I've abandoned my law studies to join this school.
I'm an IT professional, transforming organization using technology innovation. I have been leading internal IT organization since the beginning of my career and have worked for several sectors and large companies such as Leo Pharma, COMPAQ, Baxter Healthcare , Microsoft, or Nissan, always in an international environment. I was Chief Information and Digital Officer of Ipsen Pharma and recently joined BEL Group as the Group Chief Information Officer to lead the technology transformation of the group. IT by Training (EPITA- Paris ), with a business acumen (Bachelor in economy and Master in Business CNAM), and innovation method approach (Blue Ocean Insead) I developed my expertise in digital strategy to increase the impact of technology on business models.
I have been working for startups on e-Health to accelerate their development. I have been a PWN member since more than 10 years and an active member of Femmes Business Angels more recently.
Has the professional world with a strong male majority been difficult or, on the contrary, an opportunity?
I grew up in a feminist family (my father and mother, grand-father too) so I didn't pay any attention to being a female until reality caught up with me catch me up in the enterprise.
What is brilliant in your journey is that you switched from the digital world (see Microsoft) to the world of pharmacy and personal care (see Ipsen) (you feel free to rephrase). Can you explain why you made this change and what it brought you?
I'm a learner and I love ambitious challenges, so when I look for a new job I don’t pay attention first to the industrial domain. I listen to understand if the company has an ambitious transformation plan. This is also the beauty of the CIO and other Technology jobs , we can move to any domain and adjust very quickly.
You just received the Award for the best initiative of the year with the creation of the association FrenchWomenCIO. Can you tell us what the objectives and ambitions of the association are?
I've created this non-profit because I was fed-up hearing that there are no women in IT. So the objective is, firstly, to increase the visibility of women working in IT Departments from CIO to all levels below, by speaking at IT conferences, sharing job opportunities with recruiters and, secondly, to develop our self-marketing and help us to better manage up our career. We have to become visible in order to be role models and share the attractiveness of our jobs.
Our annual congress is taking place on June 12th and will raise the awareness of members and non-members of the network around the theme '' Talents and Trades of Tomorrow '',Digital transformation will touch all trades. What are the two tips that you could give on this topic to our participants?
Raise your profile, be visible for the youngest, because each of us is responsible to do more than their best to attract women in technology as we are missing talents. The job is well paid with nearly no unemployment... and the future is even better.