To inaugurate its new afterwork cycle, called “Le Cercle des ECO”, Horizon Press has chosen the celebration of 8 March. An opportunity to take stock of the situation of female representation in the economic fabric, and in particular in the roles of responsibility, but also to decipher the persistent obstacles to the economic development of women. Four outstanding leaders took part in the game: Abla Benslimane, Foreign Affairs Director of Philip Morris Morocco (PMI), Meryem Bouazzaoui, General Manager of BMCE Capital Gestion, Myriam Lahlou Filali, General Manager of Pharma 5 and Lamiae Benmakhlouf, General Manager of Technopark (MITC).
To the question: “What are the real obstacles to female entrepreneurship?” Abla Benslimane indicates that “corporate culture plays an important role, but the multitude of anti-feminine prejudices also slows the rise of women in the labor market,” she points out. “Often a woman thinks she should be more discreet at work, that she shouldn’t complain or impose her point of view on her.” Furthermore, the issue of equality is not a luxury, nor a specific priority of large structures, defends the CEO of Pharma5.
He bases his observation on his own professional experience, since having worked within the LVMH group in France, he stresses that “even under other skies you feel this inferiority. For us, what strikes me most is that when the time comes to evolve, women feel guilty because they run the risk of taking the place of the man, the head of the family, and therefore of being forced to a load of greater responsibilities. heavy, “says Lahlou Filali.
He also considers it an aberration that women are often regarded as “additional wages”, which makes them more easily “expendable” when the decision to get rid of a co-worker is imposed. For the leader of the pharmaceutical industry, it all depends on the values passed on to children in their educational process. “Successful women very often admit that they had a father who trusted them,” says the leader. This is what allows us to overcome this “very deep-rooted and very old prejudice, according to which a man is made to be a leader and that secondary roles correspond more to female profiles”, believes Meryem Bouazzaoui.
On the ground, however, it is not the potential that is lacking. “We carry out multiple field visits to universities and immersion in our offices and, on this basis, we are faced with a majority of female audiences, promotion majors, who are interested in the challenge of entrepreneurship, but unfortunately I am not interested in finding on the ground, “laments Lamiae Benmakhlouf. This shows the extent of the social and cultural restraints that still hinder the economic development of women but which we must strive to remove in order to develop in them the audacity to undertake.
“The New Development Model needs all the vital forces of the country, and not just its men. This, above all because we are at a good point, where the presence of women in the technological and scientific fields is very strong ”, launches the DG of Technopark (MITC). Real work must be done on the transversal skills of women and girls, starting from school, so that they can develop their spirit of initiative and their professional audacity, insists Myriam Lahlou Filali.
To the list of obstacles listed, we add that of the narrow margin faced by most women when it comes to networking or trying to develop a client base. Often family ties or what will be said do not allow the woman to make professional appointments outside working hours, or away from the office. Moreover, the fact that the woman takes the step to offer this type of interview is often still surprising, the four guests of the “Circolo dell’ECO” underline with the same voice.
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