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Our 4 portraits for the week of March 16th - #InternationalDayOfWomenRigths

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For the International Day Of Women Rights that takes place each year on March 8, we are presenting a month-long gallery of portraits of women who make ISAE-SUPAERO. The opportunity to ask them how they perceive the place of women in science and society.

This week, we are honouring :

- Ahlem Mifdaoui, professor at the Department of Complex System Engineering,
- Yara Bores Escudero, Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, and my specialty is Aerospace structures,
- Pauline Delande, Onboard Operations Engineer for Earth observation satellites at the French Space Agency,
- Cécile Latournerie, coordinator for the OSE l’ISAE-SUPAERO program.

SUMMARY

Cécile Latournerie: published on March 22nd

Pauline Delande : published on March 20th

Yara Bores Escudero : published on March 18th

Ahlem Mifdaoui : published on March 16th


Cécile Latournerie

cecile-portraitdefemmes

What position do you hold and what was the decisive factor for you in your career path?

I am the coordinator for the OSE l’ISAE-SUPAERO program, a diversity program for access to higher education for all. I come from a modest, rural background and I am the first member of my family to go to college. I received support and encouragement and was able to make my own choices in my career for my studies and my professional orientations. I always seized the opportunities that came my way. And today I can say that I live my job.

What do you feel is important for the future?

The question of meaning is essential to how I see my personal and professional future: I want to be a player in making change happen. This consists in giving everyone the choice and the keys to succeed in defining their path, independent of their background, their gender, their origins, etc.

What inspires you, who are your models?

I would mention one woman and one book.
My grandmother, a positive, warm, committed woman dedicated her entire life to others. Her actions have always been in line with her convictions and her human values.
Michelle Perrot’s book, “Les femmes ou les silences de l‘histoire” (Women or the Silences of History) nourished my desire and my need to work on the question of women’s place in society.

What would you say are the levers we need to pull to improve the place and share of women in society, the workforce, and the technological sciences?

EN-cecile-portraitdefemmes

For me, the main lever remains education. Self-censorship, stereotypes and representations take shape starting at the earliest age. School plays a key role in this context. It must show models of success, present inspiring personalities, work on building self-confidence, and increase awareness among boys, who are also players in making change happen. It’s up to us to contribute to this on a daily basis.


Pauline-PortraitDeFemmes

Pauline Delande

What position do you hold and what was the decisive factor for you in your career path?

Today, I’m an Onboard Operations Engineer for Earth observation satellites at the French Space Agency (CNES). In short, my mission is to prepare and perform operations in orbit, as well as to investigate and put satellites back into operations in the event of an anomaly. For people around me who aren’t familiar with the space field, I simplify it by telling them that I’m an “emergency doctor for satellites”.

My time at ISAE-SUPAERO studying for an Advanced Masters in Space Systems Engineering (TAS Astro) played a major role in preparing me for this job. Between courses, the student clubs and the mandatory and optional projects, I seized many opportunities to develop new knowledge and skills that are very useful to me now.

What do you feel is important for the future?

As we move forward, I think the most important thing is to follow your desires without being afraid of being ambitious in your projects, trying new things even if you make mistakes, and seizing opportunities when they pop up. I am, of course, highly interested in space, space exploration and manned flight.

Who are the women who have inspired you, who have been role models for you?

Many women inspire me every day. First of all my mother, with her organizing skills and her ability to work on several projects at the same time, and because she also instilled the value of work in me. My other models include my grandmother, my good friends and my women colleagues.
In the aerospace sector, obviously I have been inspired by Claudie Haigneré, the first European woman in space, physician, scientist, astronaut and politician, she has had an exceptional career. Through her involvement in public life, she has contributed – and continues to contribute – to breaking down many stereotypes.

What would you say are the levers we need to pull to improve the place and share of women in society, the workforce, and the technological sciences?

EN-Pauline-PortraitDeFemmes

Education plays a fundamental role. We must deconstruct stereotypes from the youngest age, show little girls that, whatever their ambitions, everything is open to them. We must give them the tools to liberate themselves from sexism. Also, we must not underestimate the conscious and unconscious importance of models and we need to increase media exposure of successful women in highly masculine sectors.


Yara-PortraitDeFemmes

Yara Bores Escudero

What do you do at ISAE-SUPAERO and what was the decisive factor for you in your career path?

I’m finishing my Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, and my specialty is Aerospace structures. I’m about to begin my internship at ATR, the aircraft manufacturer. To get where I am, I have always followed my passion for the aeronautics world and most importantly, I have never ruled out any possibilities. I studied in the United States, I play several sports including basketball and orienteering, I have followed complementary training programs and I decided to do a Master’s abroad, here in Toulouse. These choices are what made me the engineer I am today.

What do you feel is important for the future?

I think it is important to try and learn throughout your lifetime, to make it a kind of continuous education and always keep motivated to explore new opportunities. You should never just make do with what you have, whether professionally or personally, and keep moving forward – especially when you’re a woman.

Who are the women who have inspired you, who you admire?

I don’t have any one particular woman in mind. I admire all women who never give up and who fight for their dreams. They are at the forefront of the change we need in our society.

What would you say are the levers we need to pull to improve the place and share of women in society, the workforce, and their presence in the technological sciences?

EN-Yara-PortraitDeFemmes

Women should receive more recognition in all areas of public life. Women who play an active role in society must be held up as references more. This is an important message that will resonate with girls in orienting their lives and their careers. They will be able to choose their own path without social stigma.


Ahlem-PortraitDeFemme2020

Ahlem Mifdaoui

What position do you hold and what was the decisive factor for you in your career path?

I am a professor at the Department of Complex System Engineering (DISC). I work in embedded system modelling and analysis. I supervise and coordinate the “Embedded Systems” Master program. I studied computer engineering and then moved on to a thesis in embedded networks. My training and the skills I obtained throughout my studies are why I was chosen for the position I now hold.

What do you feel is important for the future?

From a professional point of view, I would say contributing to innovation in the field of communication networks for aerospace applications and participating in enhancing the Institute’s reputation on this topic through collaboration with renowned partners both nationally and internationally. It seems to me that innovation and exchanges are essential for the future.

Who are the women who have inspired you, who have been role models for you?

Marie Curie is a huge source of inspiration for me. A woman with an iron will, who defended her ideas and was able to assert herself in a selective, highly masculine world with brilliance.

What would you say are the levers we need to pull to improve the place and share of women in society, the workforce, and the technological sciences?

EN-Ahlem-PortraitDeFemme2020

Gender equality in various areas (society, work, policy) cannot be achieved so long as the percentage of women in decision-making positions remains low. Drastic policies need to be implemented to impose gender parity in Parliament, in Government, in Works Councils, etc., applying affirmative action rules. The immediate consequences of these policies are equal pay for men and women in the different fields, sending a positive message to girls to pursue their studies to a high level so they can find their real role as a driving force in society.

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