Valérie Guénon graduated from UTC, majoring in Mechanical engineering (elective specialty-Materials and technological innovation) and is Vice- President Environment Policy at Safran Aircraft Engines products. She is also a member of UTC’s Scientific Advisory Council and the Godmother of the graduation ceremony for the class of 2022, which will take place on November 26.
How does she feel about the choice of UTC? «I am honoured and moved by this choice. It takes me back 40 years. JI see the 18-year-old girl who was admitted to this engineering school, and I see the people who entered it five years ago and who are today in a world of upheaval,» she says.
How do you see your role as a mentor? «During the graduation ceremony, we deliver their diplomas which I hope will be of some use to them in the future and will enable them to cultivate their talents to the full», she assures.
All the more so since «in recent years we have witnessed fundamental upheavals that are revolutionising the way we look at the world, shaking up our base values and questioning the way our companies and societies function», adds Valérie Guénon.
Among these upheavals? «There is, among others, the digital revolution, Societal upheaval, the climate change emergency, etc.,» she says.
The digital revolution? «It has provided extraordinary tools and possibilities for communication, information, design, manufacturing… that did not exist when you were born. Unfortunately, these tools also encourage the propagation of false truths, the questioning of scientifically established facts, and sets of behaviour that are not always exemplary. This forces us to be vigilant,» she says.
Societal upheaval? «One of the great advances in the world of work has been the recognition of discrimination mechanisms — of all kinds -, the identification of phenomena such as harassment or suffering at work, and their consideration in corporate functioning. These phenomena have certainly not disappeared, but they are named, identified and fought. It is up to you to develop a culture of inclusion and benevolence, which is essential for the performance of companies and, above all, for an acceptable functioning of Society,» she stresses.
The climate change emergency? «We are sure that we must take up the challenge of the climate change threat with its predictable geopolitical, economic, social and human repercussions”, she urges.
And Valérie Guénon concludes: «Be open to cultures other than your own, be interested in communication, economics, sociology, arts, politics, languages… whatever you want, as long as it interests you. Do not forget ecology, which has become a requirement that cuts across all disciplines. It is not a question of mastering everything — that is illusory and useless — but of digging a few more furrows of knowledge, which will perhaps give rise to more and better innovative solutions. Cultivate all your talents!”»