Client Insights: the LeadHERship journey at Saint-Gobain, by Yaël Ponçon

Client Insights: the LeadHERship Journey at Saint-Gobain, by Yaël Ponçon

Pluribus has been continually delivering the LeadHership programme successfully for Saint-Gobain Mobility since 2022. This 3-day deep dive programme is dedicated specifically to women and offers participants the opportunity to have a unique self-exploratory journey, where they reflect on their own limitations, delve into different forms of leadership archetypes and broaden their view on their own leadership style.

LeadHERship Journey

At Saint-Gobain Mobility, having the best teams in a diverse and inclusive workplace is a MUST! – and has been a priority for many years.

At Mobility, we deeply believe in this, and it’s the core of our LeadHERship program: investing in women is a pillar for more inclusive and high-performing societies. Progress for women benefits us all.

In May 2021, supported by the CEO of the Mobility Business Unit and all the General Managers, we commissioned a group of 10 women from diverse backgrounds to understand the real needs of women at Mobility and how to properly address them. We wanted to grow our vision and bring perspective outside of the HR sphere.

Yaël Ponçon, Human Resources Director BU Mobility in High Performance Solutions at Saint-Gobain

Several ideas emerged from this group, and one of them was a reflection on how to support women with a sustainable empowering approach and giving them the resources and knowledge to enhance their career. The idea of our experiential learning was born – and we then looked for the right partner to create it.

Pluribus comes naturally as the right partner for us. They brought the strong expertise on DE&I and development we were looking for, challenged us to enlarge the boundaries of what we imagined – but were also able to adapt and listen to our organization specificities.

Danielle Doeve & Maija Van Langendonck, Pluribus Associates (Credit: EVDA Photography)

Impact of the training

For 2 years now, all sessions have been huge successes. We bring women from all around the world, with diversity of age, experience, and background, and everytime, they take home new energies, ideas, and connections.

We have received very impressive feedback from the participants. Several women described it as a life-changing experience. We are starting to track the evolution of the women following this training. Many have now evolved in the business with new or enlarged responsibilities; some women who did not identify as Talents now have more visibility; have access to more resources when faced with difficult situations.

A change of culture in Mobility?

At the end of 2024, more than 120 women will have participated in one of the training sessions. It is now a network of women in our business who feel more visible, audible, and connected. By fostering a culture of inclusion, it is helping not only the participants but all the women and the team members who may not completely feel like the insiders. Day after day, training after training, we are developing the cultural transformation thanks to our “LeadHERship” Journey.

Getting the buy-in to deploy this programme 

The idea of bringing together only women for a training sounded very disruptive in the beginning. I had the chance to have the support of the management team, and all the work done by our governance team to support the idea. We started with pilot sessions, and all the very positive feedback helped us to leverage this training. We also involved the local HR at the very beginning, to make sure they knew about the programme, to be able to select women in all the countries to join.

Recommendation of this programme for other organizations

If you wish to go on a transformative, ambitious, and disruptive journey: I will completely recommend you to go with such a programme. Offering training opportunities specifically for women demonstrates our commitment to their professional development and well-being and is promoting in the whole organization a culture of inclusion.

LeadHERship Programme Participants (Credit: EVDA Photography)

The women who joined the Experiential Learning are the ones who can best tell its power… Hear what the participants have to say on their LeadHERship journey:

  • “The experience of participating in this Workshop was one of the best I’ve ever had in my entire career. It is a unique opportunity to look at ourselves as we are and understand how we work, reinforcing our strengths and acting on our weaknesses. In addition, the networking opportunity is incredible and the exchange with the other female leaders is immeasurable. It will certainly be something I will carry with me for my entire career!”

    Programme Participant From Saint-Gobain
  • “For me, all the elements of the LeadHERship Program were impressive: the complicity, the empathy and the trust of the team, the closeness and organization of the facilitators, the exciting agenda and activities, the invitation of the perfect sponsors, the wonderful chateauform and its nature … all the content of this program and the alignment of the good energy was perfect. I take with me a lot of learning and new life goals.”

    Programme Participant From Saint-Gobain
  • “After attending the LeadHERship workshop I almost feel like a new person. There is a renewed sense of confidence which is bringing out a side of me which had been repressed for a very long time.”

    Programme Participant From Saint-Gobain
  • “I want to thank Maija and Danielle for delivering such a life enriching programme and my sponsors at Saint-Gobain for giving me the chance to be part of this fantastic experience.  I have come away from the LeadHERship programme feeling empowered, enlightened, content and excited for my future and whatever it may bring.  I am incredibly grateful to have been part of such an impactful self awareness programme and being given the opportunity to develop, learn and grow in a safe, calm and reflective environment away from everyday life.”

    Programme Participant From Saint-Gobain

We want to thank Yaël Ponçon and the LeadHERship participants for trusting us and for attending the programme!

Interested in finding out more about this kind of leadership programme for women?