Dare, Share, Care!

Danièle Bigey grad­u­at­ed in 1994, major­ing in Com­put­er Engi­neer­ing at UTC-Com­pîeg­ne, and imme­di­ate­ly joined the Renault Auto­mo­bile Group where she held var­i­ous posi­tions. On August 30, 2022, she was invit­ed to give an inau­gur­al lec­ture at the UTC.

What, we ask, was the main theme of her lec­ture? «Dare, Share, Care”, she said. A mantra that her pro­fes­sion­al and per­son­al career illus­trates per­fect­ly. It was dur­ing the pres­i­den­cy of Nico­lae Ceaus­es­cu that she was able to come to France. As her father was a polit­i­cal refugee, the doors to uni­ver­si­ty in Roma­nia were closed to her. «For near­ly three years, my moth­er and I lived mea­gre­ly on what my father sent us and on the odd jobs we could find here and there. It was a hard time, but it gave me a form of willpow­er and resis­tance. So, as I couldn’t go to uni­ver­si­ty and in order not to lose what I had learnt, I forced myself to do a dai­ly pro­gramme of work in maths, physics, learn­ing French…», she explains.

In 1989, she was final­ly “freed” and arrived in France where she enrolled at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Rouen. «It was a cul­ture shock on all lev­els. Whether it was the way of life, the abun­dance or the kind­ness of the peo­ple. With my strength of char­ac­ter, I man­aged to over­come past dif­fi­cul­ties like those expe­ri­enced in France. I remem­ber this peri­od with a lot of emo­tion because it was, for me, a sec­ond birth, a sec­ond chance at life that I didn’t want to waste», she asserts.

With a degree in Sci­ence, Danièle applied for admis­sion to UTC, and was admit­ted on the high qual­i­ty of her appli­ca­tion dossier, reg­is­ter­ing for Com­put­er Engineering.

It was after her end-of-stud­ies project with Vol­vo that her adven­ture at Renault began. It last­ed more than twen­ty years. «At Renault, I first had very oper­a­tional expe­ri­ences in project man­age­ment because I like to bring peo­ple togeth­er but also to have a vision. Dur­ing those years, I worked for busi­ness cus­tomers, as the direct prox­im­i­ty allowed us to see how the cus­tomer would use our prod­uct,» she emphasises.

Might we hear about some spe­cif­ic projects? «For exam­ple, for the Renault Group’s engi­neer­ing depart­ment, we devel­oped the first inter­nal mes­sag­ing sys­tem, which replaced paper dis­tri­b­u­tion. For each project review, the vehi­cle projects required a lot of reports, about ten pages each, to be print­ed out for a num­ber of recip­i­ents, which meant wast­ing paper. With e‑mail, we brought ease of use and con­sid­er­able paper sav­ings. We also worked on a project in the Sales depart­ment. In this case, it is a ques­tion of shar­ing infor­ma­tion and work­ing togeth­er. We have devel­oped a por­tal that brings infor­ma­tion from the var­i­ous mar­ket­ing enti­ties to everyone’s atten­tion,» says Danièle.

Can she cite a char­ac­ter trait that emerged dur­ing the imple­men­ta­tion of all these projects? «I like to get peo­ple to work togeth­er and to make the most of each other’s work. Most of the time, peo­ple tend to stay iso­lat­ed, out of habit or tech­no­log­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions. For exam­ple, the mar­ket­ing depart­ment received the video ads but didn’t know how to share them with all their inter­na­tion­al col­leagues. The intro­duc­tion of the por­tal solved the prob­lem and with one click peo­ple could access all the ads, with­out geo­graph­i­cal lim­i­ta­tions. We first had to solve the prob­lem of the net­work, which was not orig­i­nal­ly designed to sup­port such large files,» she says. After ten years in oper­a­tions, the need to get some per­spec­tive became appar­ent. «I need­ed to have a bet­ter vision and a bet­ter under­stand­ing and knowl­edge of the busi­ness­es I was work­ing for,» she says.

She then decid­ed to take a year and a half of Gen­er­al Man­age­ment MBA train­ing, in the «strat­e­gy» field, at HEC. «Renault offered me to do it part-time, but I need­ed to live this expe­ri­ence to the full and I declined the pro­pos­al. Con­se­quent­ly, I took a leave of absence and immersed myself in this full-time inter­na­tion­al course, bilin­gual in French and Eng­lish. An envi­ron­ment with diverse pro­files, both cul­tur­al­ly and pro­fes­sion­al­ly. It was a joy for me, and the friend­ships I made dur­ing this peri­od are unbound­ed» she says.

At the end of the train­ing, she returned to Renault for a pure­ly strate­gic IT mis­sion. «I was respon­si­ble, at CIO (Chief Infor­ma­tion Offi­cer) lev­el, for coor­di­nat­ing syn­er­gy plans between the infor­ma­tion sys­tems of Renault and Nis­san. This involved iden­ti­fy­ing all the oppor­tu­ni­ties for IS (infor­ma­tion sys­tem) con­ver­gence, cost reduc­tion, shar­ing and imple­ment­ing best prac­tices, etc.,» says Danièle.

She then left the IT depart­ment to join the Qual­i­ty & Cus­tomer Sat­is­fac­tion busi­ness line, where she pilot­ed the dig­i­tal and data trans­for­ma­tion of the new group.

The pan­dem­ic arrived and, like many peo­ple, she won­dered what to do next. She first joined Capgem­i­ni, as Direc­tor of Engage­ment Insights & Data, and then recent­ly Egis, a world leader in civ­il engi­neer­ing, trans­port and con­struc­tion, which is tack­ling the major chal­lenges of our time: cli­mate emer­gency, dig­i­tal rev­o­lu­tion and demo­graph­ic growth. As Group Appli­ca­tions & Data Direc­tor, Danièle hopes to make her mod­est con­tri­bu­tion to a bet­ter world for future generations. 

Le magazine

Avril 2024 - N°62

Faire face aux enjeux environnementaux

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