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Hélène Cordova - Founder of CONSEQUALLY SAS

Class of 1997 - Engineering Programme (Civil Engineering specialisation)

Published on April 25, 2024 Updated on April 25, 2024

Hélène Cordova

Hélène Cordova

Why did you choose Centrale Nantes?

"I came to Centrale Nantes for two or three main reasons. The first, which was important for me, was to go to a school that wasn't in the Paris region, because I needed to spread my wings and move away from home. My second motivation was that it was a general engineering school and I didn't have a definite career plan, so I wanted to be able to work in any sector. I chose to become an engineer because it was a course that allowed me to do what I wanted. I didn't have a very precise choice, I was interested in all sorts of things. The third reason was that there was a civil engineering specialisation and civil engineering was something that appealed to me. I was drawn to construction and bridges."

What did you learn at Centrale Nantes?

"I learnt to take an interest in all subjects and to understand all subjects and to work through them, or to find people who can deal with them better than I can. It's this ability to analyse data in different dimensions that I learnt at school, both during classes and through all the associative activity that goes on around it, which was intense for me. And I made friends there."

What has been your career experience as a woman and Centrale Nantes graduate in the construction industry?

"I didn't think about being a woman at the time, at least not when I was 20. I knew that I was in a profession where there weren't many women, but that didn't scare me, stop me or worry me. It was only later, as my career developed, and especially in recent years, that the subject resurfaced, somewhat more so.  In other words, little by little, I came to realise that there were inequalities that tended to be largely unspoken and unseen and which made me wonder about the sector's capacity to welcome and promote women into operational positions, particularly on construction sites, and above all into management positions. So at some point I asked myself, ‘What's it like elsewhere?"

"I did a career assessment, which led me to go and see what was going on elsewhere, and to take a further course, an advanced executive master's programme, at SciencesPo on the challenges facing managers today. I was particularly interested in social issues. I decided to do my thesis on women in construction, in the public works sector. I decided to leave my company and set up my own."

"I'm now an entrepreneur. I support companies in the construction and mobility sectors in their efforts to achieve professional equality, starting with the issue of gender equality but also covering all forms of diversity and combating discrimination. I chose the construction sector because it's a sector in which I feel legitimate, in which I can understand the core business and tackle issues in an unfettered and neutral way."

[Translated from French]
Published on April 25, 2024 Updated on April 25, 2024