In honour of this 110th International Women’s Day, Monte-Carlo Société des Bains de Mer is celebrating our women!
Here, we caught up with Valérie Petit, Head of Leasing for the Group. In keeping with the theme for 8 March 2021, she looks at female leadership by way of “the 3 Es: Empathy, Enthusiasm, and a listening Ear”.
This year, we are celebrating the 110th International Women’s Day. Can you tell us what this day means to you?
Valérie Petit: I am a feminist: I support women’s rights and gender equality. I also support gender alterity, because of the way genders complement one another and the differences between us.
But we are not moving towards gender equality fast enough. I have realised that I myself will never see it, and I hope that my daughters will. Bring on the day that we no longer need International Women’s Day on the calendar!
UN Women has announced that the theme for International Women’s Day (IWD 2021) on 8 March 2021 will be: “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world”. What do you take from that?
V.P: Since the crisis began, the 3 Es of women leaders – Empathy, Enthusiasm, and a listening Ear – have become essential. It’s been a blessing in disguise! These 3 qualities are crucial for any leader in this COVID-19 world, and going forwards from here. They are proof that women can bring things to the table that are of benefit to the world of work.
As a woman, what has been the biggest challenge in your career to date?
V.P: I have been incredibly lucky to love what I do, and I’ve built my career around the opportunities and openings I’ve encountered along the way.
I have worked hard for as long as I can remember, and I’ve been principled, brave, and driven by collective rather than personal gain. I still find it difficult when I have to work with people who don’t share that mindset!
But of course, the biggest challenge – as so many women who want a career will agree – is successfully showing a high degree of commitment to your work without neglecting your personal life and feeling guilty. The key to this is the people around you. So girls, if you want a career, choose your partner wisely!
Who is your female role model, and why?
V.P: I admire the work of Sheryl Sandberg, the COO at Facebook. She’s had an incredible career, and now encourages woman all over the world to be brave, and aspire to positions of influence and power.
I also have to acknowledge the women for whom every day is a fight to feed their family and make ends meet. They are brave, and bold warriors. When you fight every battle on your own, you deserve nothing but the utmost respect.