Who are you? What do you do? What is your background?
I am Delphine, French by origin, lived in the UK for 6 years, and in Australia before that. I picked a wonderful man that I married and I am the lucky mother of two little boys.
I lead the business development team who is selling the range of Veolia solutions to private customers, reducing both cost base and environmental footprint by developing on site waste, water and energy solutions.
I graduated from a French business school in corporate finance, Studied in Sweden and then finished my degree in Melbourne Australia. Post graduation, I joined Veolia in Australia in the finance department. From there, I moved a lot. I first grew my role in Australia and moved between different BUs. Then I went back to France for 18 months to work as the Country CEO chief of staff. I then had the opportunity to move to the UK as a country Strategy Manager, before moving to operation as a Regional Director, and now looking at growing the business further,
What does your average day look like?
There is no average day! The work is rythmed by the bids we developp and the customers we target and meet, the opportunity we encounter.
But I make a point to stay in control and lead the team to an objective. We have a clear plan we are co-developping with the team and the stakeholders on where we want to be, the markets we want to develop, the clients we want to nurture and working on how to get there.
One of the most important aspect of the job, is also the development of the team. My goal is always to ensure each individuals in the team has the opportunity to thrive, shine, become better version of themselves. It is a big part of what success look like for me.
What led you to the utilities industry?
The sustainability challenge. I wanted to work for a company who can have a real impact on global warming, at scale. Our society has a huge challenge to face, and the private sector has a responsability to look for the solutions that will preserve resources, and make them economically viable. We are not there yet, but Veolia has the commitment to drive towards that goal and that is a journey I want to be part of.
What are the values that drive you?
Empathy – This is the one single thing most needed in human relations to make us work efficiently.
Intellectual honesty – No bullshit, you don’t know and that is fine,
Respect – That is basic too.
Positivity – It is a personal choice to look at the positive side of things. But it does unlock far more opportunities.
What do you do when you are not working?
I build a lot of lego towers, play hid and seek and kick the ball. I also make time to exercise, mainly run and swim, because it is the easiest to fit in. I always have a race planned , so I have to train ahead of it!
I love sailing, climbing, hiking and try to fit as much as I can on weekends and holidays.
What/Who inspires you?
The people who have had the confidence to challenge the status quo, at any level. From the explorators who believed their was a world out there to discover to the feminists who got us the right to vote. All people who are in their own big or small way standing up and working hard to make this world better, are for me a deep source of inspiration.
What is one lesson you have learnt in your career so far?
Say yes: we always say we need to learn to say no. That is very true when it comes to prioritising, focusing on delivery etc… But what about learning to say yes! yes to something that has not been done before, a new business model, a new technology, a new way of leading a team, something that might be new to us, but actually proven elsewhere, or saying yes to a new career opportunity. I’d say try to think yes before thinking no.
What advice would you give to other women in the industry?
As women we need extra time and effort to grow our self confidence. Especially in male dominated environement. Exploring you own worth and growing your confidence through action whether it leads to success or failure, is the best we can do to thrive.
In your experience, what can businesses do to attract and retain female talent?
Whether it is about female talent or any talent from “minority” background (and “minority” is actullay different from one company to another) I think the idea is to challenge the dominant culture and the “unwritten script” that leaders would have developped without even noticing (and we all do it to some degree).
If we create a culture based on empathy and respect, we also create an opportunity for everyone to express their potential, and sometimes not where we expected it to come from.