In their jobs, they are driving the digital sphere in their day to day tasks. That’s why we decided to go and meet two women who joined the Axione adventure around ten years ago, Vanessa and Magali. Both of them have had the opportunity to make an internal move for career development within the company. Today, one of them is the Manager of the Production Unit in Toussieu, near Lyon. The other one is FTTH Works Coordinator for the Drôme and Ardèche departments.
Find out about their career paths, what inspires them, and their day to lives as women working in the digital world.
1: Your adventure here at Axione: pitch us your career path
I joined Axione in June 2008 in the Public Sector delegation and Axione subsidiary, Axione Limousin, firstly as a communication officer, with a 6 month mission.
Then I had the opportunity to join the ADTIM public initiative network in the departments of the Drôme and the Ardèche as an agency assistant. At the time, there were just 170 of us working at Axione. A small company….compared to now!
I had 3 children, twin boys and a girl; I devoted my time to them, and at the same time worked as an agency assistant with responsibility for communication.
After spending 12 years in the same job, I was looking for a change, the chance to find a new career for myself. I enjoy opening myself up to new experiences, so in January 2020 I became a works coordinator. I joined the deployment team within the Axione Production Unit based in Bourg-lès-Valence to work on the planned deployment of fibre optic of ADTIM FTTH. I wanted to be working as closely as possible to our core activity to understand how a network is rolled out. Finding a new job has given my career a whole new direction.Magali, FTTH Works Coordinator for the Drôme and Ardèche departments
“Finding a new job has given my career a whole new direction.”
For me, I joined the HR department at Axione in 2013. At the time, there were 500 of us working here. In just a few years, I’ve been aware of a dynamic trend and major growth in the number of company employees.Vanessa, Manager of the Production Unit in Toussieu, near Lyon.
As an HR Manager, it was my job to work with this growth and to transmit the Axione corporate culture. So, if I had to define it in just a few words, I’d say that we have a taste for challenge, the drive to push ourselves further and a spirit of teamwork and positivity in our DNA.
In the 8 years I’ve spent in the company, I’ve been able to see how our open-mindedness has been one of our major assets. We make inclusion a priority. For us, it is a point of honour to recruit people who come from different backgrounds, staff who don’t always come from the Telecoms sector, to give them an opportunity to show what they can do. At Axione, drive and motivation are rewarded.
All this dynamism has meant that I have been able to take advantage of functional and geographical mobility to become the Production Unit Manager in Toussieu near Lyon.
“At Axione, drive and motivation are rewarded.“
#2: What do your daily tasks include?
My job right now demands that I split my time between working in the office and the field. As a Works Coordinator, I have to travel from site to site to inform the design office in Lille that we work with about the status of the network. I am also in charge of coordinating the teams in the field.Magali
Our role is to ensure that sub-contractors are well managed so that the different works to be performed are properly rolled out. These include civil engineering, post installation, pulling underground and overhead cables, as well as compliance with safety regulations.Axione’s strength is the team spirit.
There is real solidarity between the different departments, even remotely! What’s more, all these encounters also create the opportunity to progress within the company.
My main task today is to steer all of the Toussieu Production Unit’s services to ensure the roll-out, development and maintenance of radio infrastructure, so making sure that we keep our customers satisfied. To do this, I stay in constant contact with the teams managing activities on the ground and logistics, as well as with the customers (operators and the tower company, for example).Vanessa
This requires me to be an active listener and to be able to take a step back in order to identify the best strategy to use to achieve our aims. Today, we realise that our jobs are more meaningful than ever. We only need to look at the essential character of digital networks. It’s very satisfying to work on a number of different projects and respond to a variety of needs.
For example, we also know how to roll out radio infrastructure effectively in rural areas or in dead areas with zero connectivity, even in high density areas which are already connected. We work in large geographical areas. In fact, the PU employees roll out radio networks in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region and the Bourgogne Franche-Comté Region, so we have a major economic and social impact in the area.Vanessa
#3: What is your view of women’s place at the heart of the digital world?
“As I said earlier, the opportunity we have to meet different kinds of people and work together in teams enables us to grow and enjoy career progression at Axione.
When I joined the company 13 years ago, I would have never believed that one day I would get the opportunity to become a Works Coordinator. In just a few years I’ve seen a great many changes within the company, as well as the feminisation of jobs, both within support services (commerce, finances) and in the field.
As a woman today, in order to succeed in our business sector you need to be brave and not hold yourself back. It is fairly easy to find motivation in our jobs. We share a real collective pride in taking connectivity into towns and villages. These days, we all need to be connected.”
“In our business sector, we owe it to ourselves to be agile so that we can constantly be innovative in the way we organise ourselves at work. To achieve our shared ambition today, we need to have the ability to reassess, to constantly create challenges for ourselves in order to become more efficient and perform even better.
The diversity we find within Axione makes the company culture even richer by providing a new vision of teamwork.
What’s more, several managers have observed that diversity brings with it complementarity a different view of how to manage projects.
As professional women, we need to give ourselves permission to go for the top jobs with big responsibilities, and above all, not to get hung up on pre-conceived ideas about the telecoms sector: you just have to go for it!”
Focus on “Inspiring Woman”
Several years ago, I was lucky enough participate in a seminar led by Virginie Guyot, a woman who impresses me greatly with her unusual career path and the strong messages she sends. She was the first woman to join the Patrouille de France (French Red Arrows) before becoming their leader. Her speech at the conference inspired me. She drew parallels between her job, risk management and stress, the ability to step back in a crisis and the way she managed her teams. Her views on management were relevant and the advice she shared was a good response to our issues and challenges at Axione.Vanessa
Overall, all the women are inspiring with their backgrounds and career paths. However, two colleagues in particular have left their mark on me. Caroline, for her perseverance. Elisa for her investment and her involvement, she was the first female employee in the company! Both of them have been able to make a place for themselves thanks to their skills and their strong personalities. I think they’ll know who they are 😊Magali
#4: What is the day to day life of a woman 2.0 like?
In my opinion, being a connected woman today is about the ability to balance your family and professional lives. At Axione, as women we are lucky enough to receive caring support from our managers and colleagues when we are pregnant, for instance.Magali
That’s important, because it marks a turning point in our lives with lots of changes, and we need to learn to organise ourselves in a different way. I’ve also noticed that our mental workload is important, you need to think of EVERYTHING: never have your private mobile very far away from you in case the school calls you, sometimes follow your TEAMS meetings, alter work arrangements around remote working or working in the field etc.
I also enjoy devoting time to my family, so when I have time off, I completely disconnect from all my screens! It is important to find a balance between these two lives…
I think that more or less everyone is connected to some extent today. I am never without my mobile. I think it makes our day to day lives much easier. For example, even when I have a busy day and I need to have a meeting, I go straight to my mobile apps. In just a minute, I know that the meeting is confirmed, and I can do so at any time. It’s really practical and a time-saver.Vanessa
I am also always connected to the news. With digital technology, we can all access everything really fast. I’d like to share a concrete example to illustrate this idea of immediacy that is part of life today: I’m always doing Google searches on my phone of absolutely everything I see or hear about directly or very spontaneously. I just can’t help myself!