Dassault Systemes Visit

On Friday, April 21st, the Fellows visited the Dassault Systemes corporate headquarters in Waltham, MA. The Fellows got to meet with members of the Dassault team and discuss their workplace policies, culture, advancement of women, diversity initiatives, and more.

Fellows, please share one important initiative that the company has in place to alleviate gender issues. Also discuss how visiting a company in person gave you a different perspective on the topics we have discussed so far.

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5 thoughts on “Dassault Systemes Visit

  1. Getting to see the Dassault building was awesome. I loved how sustainable it is and I especially loved getting to try out the 3D technologies room.

    As for gender equality initiatives, there were a number that Debbie described to us. To me, I was most interested in their involvement with Rwanda and supporting girls in school there. I think this is a great way to share the ideas of gender equality throughout Dassault employees while also helping girls tremendously in another country.

    Overall, it seems apparent that employees at Dassault are aware of these gender issues. Through the presentation, I could see that the company leaders are supporting the women in their company and the gender equality initiatives. However, even with leadership support, transforming the corporate pipeline is still extremely difficult. Like Debbie said, it took the United States a great amount of time just to give women the right to vote. Therefore, reaching total women’s equality is bound to be a long process, but the fact that we are making small steps is encouraging!

    -Holly

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  2. The Dassault Systemes visit was a very good experience for myself and the other student fellows. I really enjoyed the building and the technology that they showed us. The conversation around the topics of gender equality, women in STEM, and the wage gap were all engaging, and the people at Dassault were excited and enthusiastic about the advances the women’s group has made for females within the company.

    The most important initiative that they spoke to us about was the fact that they see a gap in the amount of women applying to jobs in the STEM fields. I asked them if they had any programs in place to help or show younger women that jobs in STEM are for everyone and that if they have an interest in working in any of those technical fields, that they should not be discouraged from doing so. The women then shared their programs that they currently have in place. As of now they sponsor about 80 young women in a technical school in Rwanda to help them stay on track to work in the STEM field. Dassault also goes to local high schools and middle schools in the area to speak to the female students about their interests in STEM. Rekha Kamat (Manager) also mentioned that they want to begin going to speak to even younger girls in elementary schools because that is usually the age that females get the idea that they should not be working in science fields. Dassault is trying to change the mindset for younger women that STEM is certainly an option for them.

    It was refreshing to hear that Dassault is working diligently to bring more women into their company and also to get more women in STEM in general.

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  3. One important initiative that the company has in place is its Women’s Initiative (WIN) program. The goal of this program is to support women at Dassault in achieving personal and professional growth. Debbie Dean, who leads this program, spoke about how there are toastmasters meetings at which attendees can practice skills like public speaking. My biggest takeaway regarding WIN is its focus on teaching women three main goals: self management, management of others, and portraying oneself as a leader so that one is treated as such. It is promising to see how much momentum and support the program has gained, and I hope to see this trend extend to all companies in the near future.

    As a CWB Fellow, it is easy to forget that the rest of the world has yet to be entirely exposed to the facts and figures of gender inequity. We have learned so much this semester, and it takes a minute for me to remember that most people do not have such an in-depth knowledge in this subject area. However, Dassault proved that there are people in the “real world” that understand the importance of gender equity. Visiting the company in person made me excited to see the progress that is sure to happen in the coming years.

    I also appreciated being able to gain new insight about the value of patience. The WIN program did not transpire and become successful overnight. Instead, it took time to build and implement, and even more time to see results. The bottom line: change takes time, especially in large organizations, and having the ability to wait long enough to see it diffuse throughout is key. I think this persistence and patience is vital to any gender equity initiatives, and I will keep this in mind moving forward.

    – Dana Zappone

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  4. monicare97

    Visiting Dassault Systemes gave me and the other fellows an opportunity to experience the company’s culture with a more hands-on approach. We were able to interact with employees and ask questions about their experiences at Dassault and in the headquarters. I believe that having visited the headquarters led me to believe that Dassault is a very open and transparent corporation that values employee collaboration.

    One of the key initiatives that I really liked hearing about was the Zimbabwe scholarships. I believe education is pivotal to the evolution of our world today, so I really liked that Dassault is committed to providing education to a community who greatly benefits from it. I also really enjoyed hearing about briefly about the initiative Dassault employees are having of going to Middle Schools and High Schools to talk to the students and encourage them to continue pursuing their drive of completing a STEM Major. This encourages them to embrace what they want to do in the future and empowers them to continue dreaming. This was really empowering to hear as I continue in my pursuit for an Economics-Finance major.

    -Monica Redondo Moro

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  5. I’ve always been wary of companies that advertise such strong cultures of social equity. Obviously, a company is going to brand itself to potential employees in the best way possible, and sometimes, that means stretching the truth. I imagined that most companies had a few people that care about these initiatives and that they stood alone, not making a difference in the company overall. However, visiting Dassault Systemes in person changed that image for me. It may be true that a smaller portion of the employees are dedicating much more time to these initiatives than others, but that small group actually has had a huge impact on the overall company, all the way up to the C-suite. Now, I feel like I can be more trusting of companies who boast accepting, supportive cultures; and, if the culture is not what I expected, I now have hope that I, even alone, can do something to elevate it.

    I am really impressed by the initiatives the company has in place to alleviate gender issues. They range from simple, close-to-home efforts, such as screening documentaries which expose the disparity between gender in society at schools like my own, to more complex, long-term efforts, such as helping young girls in Rwanda attend secondary school and even college. I aspire to end up in a company that pays this much attention to the world when I graduate.

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