Women & Ambition Think-Tank: portraits

15 May 2017

The Women & Ambition Think-Tank offers you this month two portraits:

- Corinne Granger, known by many of us among other things as the organizer of the 2016 « Unlock your ambition » Best Of,

- one of the youngest members of our network.

Both have an international experience and we love their invigorating optimism and entrepreneurial mindset that make us want to follow in their footsteps.

Ambition starts early and thrives throughout our careers: an accelerator of self-development!

Find all our portraits on our blog: http://pwn-women- ambition.webnode.fr/blog/    

The Women & Ambition Think-Tank team: Patricia Wyckhuys, leader and Lucile Gubler, Isabelle Monset, Magali Baton, Romaine Johnstone

Corinne Granger (58)

Ambition is:
« Achieving your own objectives that allow you to blossom through your work, your family or any other matter ».
A successful life is:
Succeeding at what you want to do,
Passing down your fundamental values to your children and your friends,
Keeping on focusing on who you are, protecting yourself from social and family pressures.
My motto is:
« Act, be attentive, stay on course, do not let others decide for you ».

Mini biography
Military brat, my family was rather modest. Precocious child, I rapidly grew interest in sciences, especially at first with mathematics. In the end, I decided to pursue medical studies despite the negative social pressure (« be a nurse ») and at last with my parents’ support. Then within 8 years, before even obtaining my medical degree, it has been one thing after another: studying, getting married, having 2 children, divorcing.
My career is unusual and dense. For each milestone, the « and why not? » question is a key propelling me into new positions, new experiences: expatriation, International, boards of directors, executive committee… I innovate and I am often a pioneer. The strong belief that « If I want, I can » is my guide. As driven by a survival instinct, I’ve also taken advantage of two salutary transition periods to keep in touch with who I am without letting social pressure take over.
If my career has often taken me away temporarily from my children, we always have been close morally. « I feel like a woman thanks to them ». My parents have been the geographical anchor point when the four of us, as grown-ups, were living around the world.

Transmitted values:
Family love
Artistic culture

3 emblematic women:
Christine Lagarde: cleverness and subtlety
Michèle Alliot-Marie: a woman in a men’s world, moreover military
Marie Curie:  a model of a bright and committed woman scientist

3 tips to women starting their career:
Be passionate, keep the desire to go on learning and know what you must learn
Don’t spend your time listening to the noise around you and ban the dos and don’ts
Dare to take risks and be true to yourself

My vision would be to work and live with bigger mobility and flexibility thanks to new digital tools, available knowledge, the development of a better critical mind to be able to sort out information. Optimistically, I imagine women’s progress, women who carry strong values of solidarity, also men who endeavor to better understand, a better management of the family organization. All this with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.

* * * * *

 Jessica Wheaton (26)

Ambition is:
« If healthy, it is professional and personal self-fulfillment, a deeply anchored driver that prompts us to surpass ourselves. »
A successful life is:
Taking actions, trying your luck, succeeding without belittling. Surprises, no humdrum routine. Keep yourself in action!
My motto is:
« Smile at life! Everything will be all right in the end! »

Mini biography
Franco-British with an international life, political science and international relations serving a better world are my driver.
My higher education has been dense, punctuated with nice success and has given me the opportunity to travel. I have developed that pleasure of discovering other cultures, approaching people and feeling comfortable with it.
My first job is an opportunity I seized. Even if this start might seem a little bit confusing, this first permanent contract is a milestone for me: financial independence! Despite some disappointments, « I’m still trying to find myself » and preserve my dream to work for the OECD, the United Nations or the AFD, France’s national institution working for development: international relations within an organization working for issues dear to me!
With friends around the world, settling down in Paris because of a life as a couple and a job can be difficult at times.

Transmitted values:

3 emblematic women:
Beyoncé (a feminist with an amazing career, “You have the same number of hours in a day as Beyoncé”)
Angela Merkel (a difficult legacy, East German, a female ruler among men, behavior over time)
Léa Salamé (young, political journalist, pertinent)

3 tips to women starting their career:
« Learn and speak many languages »
« Travel to use them, to open your mind and to discover other cultures »
« Do something you like, do not put up with work »

Digitization, social networks …: so many positive tools if well used and well measured out! No boundary between professional and personal life: constant vigilance is crucial. The dematerialization of office space to the advantage of spatial flexibility. Public and user-friendly online tools demystify some knowledge: we become multi-skilled and more self-sufficient.

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