Jaoueb, an executive assistant at Societe Generale for 4 years, tells us about her commitment with the association Capital Filles.
Her commitment started 2 years ago when she attended a fact-finding meeting to learn about the Capital Filles association, which aims to support and advise female high school students about jobs so that they can find work placements. She was quickly convinced by stories from Societe Generale mentors. Her decision to become a mentor was easy, as she benefited from mentoring herself when she was younger, through another association - Nos quartiers ont des talents (an association also supported by the Foundation). Jaoueb wanted to focus her mentoring on young girls as they often suffer from a lack of recognition which means that they leave school more often than boys despite having a higher examination pass rate. Within the Capital Filles association, Jaoueb felt at home and having had problems herself when she was younger, she felt the need to do something for these young people who are experiencing similar problems to hers.
Jaoueb quickly got stuck in to her role as mentor and she now coordinates the Societe Generale Capital Filles mentoring group with two other employees. They recently had a fact-finding day at the Societe Generale head offices in La Défense where 25 young Capital Filles mentees were able to learn about the world of Banking. During the visit to the trading floor, a trader explained banking vocabulary in simple terms and allowed these young girls to be able to clearly understand banking roles. During their visit to a bank branch, the young girls were able to meet a student on a work placement and a customer adviser. In the afternoon, the young girls took part in workshops on marketing, communication, computing, human and legal resources. The young girls then discovered that there are a variety of roles not necessarily linked to finance which work behind the scenes at a bank. The young girls thought that the banking sector was a male-dominated environment, and they were very surprised to see so many women when walking down the Societe Generale Towers’ corridors. Some of them never thought it was possible to work in this kind of environment, thinking it was only open to men.
“Two paths which never would have met”
For Jaoueb, it was wonderful to help a young girl who she never would have met without this programme. When you leave the school system, you don’t meet young high school students every day. For her, meeting her mentee enabled two separate paths to meet. The mentee learns from her mentor, but the mentor also learns from her mentee.
Jaoueb met her mentee for the first time at the end of November 2016 during a day organised by Radio France for the Capital Filles Ile de France beneficiaries. The girl she is mentoring is in her final year of the STMG stream (management science and technology). They try to see each other twice a month (depending on their schedules), either at Societe Generale or at the high school.
Together, they work on her CV, they hold mock interviews and they work on the high school student’s career guidance. They call each other, exchange emails and even send SMS. Her protégé often needs to be reassured, particularly regarding misunderstandings at school. She now comes to see her at Societe Generale so that they can complete the Admission Post Bac portal (a portal where final year students put together a list of different courses they would like to study).
Often when we talk about mentoring, company employees are worried that it may take too much time. Although Jaoueb is highly involved, she confirms that it does not take up too much of her time, it’s just a matter of organisation. From one year to the next, even if the mentee’s profile changes, the mentors help them in roughly the same manner and spend the same amount of time on them as in previous years.
When Jaoueb was mentored, her mentor took time to see her despite the fact that she had an executive position in a human resources department of a large group, so if her mentor found the time, she also has to find it.
“Thanks to Societe Generale, I've been able to help a young girl this year”
Jaoueb didn't hesitate to get involved as a mentor in an association. It is a really rewarding relationship on all fronts: by returning to schools, you return to your childhood, and it is pleasing to see highly motivated young people who get involved in many creative and charitable projects. We discover surprising programmes. It’s Jaoueb’s way of making a contribution.
The mentees are very thankful. Her protégé from last year continues to write to her as she knows that she can always count on Jaoueb.
“We’ve both taken something away from our year together”
To describe her experience, Jaoueb has chosen the word “Interaction” as this meeting is a very rewarding exchange. They each learn from one another and they are both better for it.
Houda and Hervé tell us about being a mentor.