Interview of Georgiana Mutu, woman and manager at Pitesti plant
Georgiana Mutu ranks among the 24.8% of women present in Groupe Renault’s workforce. After qualifying as an engineer 11 years ago, she began her career with the Group as an intern at the Dacia plant in Pitesti. Her first position was a three-month student internship managing an engine project. At the end of her internship, she joined the quality department of the engine plant as a quality measurement supervisor. She then moved quickly into management, where she occupied a number of positions. Today, she oversees a team of 264 employees of whom 60% are male. Let’s look back at this mother’s career.
Can you tell us about the main stages in your career with Groupe Renault?
I was hired very quickly after completing my internship at the plant. After spending two years in the powertrain quality department as a quality measurement supervisor, I was appointed head of a basic working unit. So I moved into management really quickly. At the age of just 28, I was responsible for 15 people. A real challenge! For the past three years, I have been manager of the production workshop, where I oversee a team of over 260 people.
The number of people you manage has grown with your level of managerial responsibility. Did you follow any specific training for this?
Yes of course. They didn’t just throw me into the arena without any prior support. I took part in a number of courses on management and personal development. I received training to learn how to manage change and how to contribute to it. I now encourage all my team supervisors to follow these training courses. As a woman, I followed special training in female leadership. The course content was particularly rich and it was an opportunity for women to share their experience. Even though being managed by a woman has never been a problem for the people working with me. That said, this training is positive because it helps women to topple a number of stereotypes.
Did you always want to work in the automotive industry?
That was always very clear in my mind. Of the 12 women in my class, I was the only one to opt for the automotive industry, and I’ve never regretted it. It corresponds to my personality. I’m a natural optimist who’s always looking for solutions. I like sharing and cross-cutting work with different teams or business function experts. During my internship, I met a lot of people who were really motivated by their work, highly skilled and very human They all provided me with support. That helped to be sure that I was really making the right decision. Today, I try to convey this same sense of enthusiasm to the people I work with. As a manager, we need to listen to employees and pay attention to small gestures that may have a major impact on the team as a whole.
Do you have an anecdote to share with us?
Yes, when I was an intern at the Pitesti plant, I had to present an engine project. A week before the presentation, a colleague offered to help me by reading through my presentation. Unfortunately, he pressed the wrong keys and completely deleted it. I’d spent over a month on the presentation and I had to do it all again in less than a week. Saying I felt stressed would be an understatement. Quite by chance, three years ago, I became the direct manager of this colleague. When we saw each other, we’d talk about what happened and laugh. I have to say that after that unfortunate episode, I made it a habit to systematically save all my documents.
Groupe Renault: promoting gender equality
In early 2010, Groupe Renault launched the Women@Renault plan to increase the proportion of women at every level of the company. This initiative comprises two complementary strands: human resources and a social network. The first strand, human resources, concerns talent management (recruitment, training, career management). At the end of 2017, women made up 24.8% of the Group workforce, 19.5% of managers (white collars) and 25% of Executive Committee members. The plan measures the extent to which women are represented at all levels of the company. Renault has exceeded its target, with 27% of women occupying key positions within the Group (around 2,000 jobs), versus 25.9% in 2016. It has also increased the proportion of women on the Group’s Board of Directors to 43.7% in 2017 (according to the AFEP-MEDEF Code) compared with 33.3% in 2016. The Group has a number of aids in place to help women develop their skills, such as mentoring programs and special training, to help them fully express their potential and leadership qualities. The second strand of the Women@Renault plan is based on an internal social network. Mixed gender from the start, it is international and spans a full range of categories. Through this network, men and women are able to talk about progress in the gender mix and to analyze best practices. Today, the network has over 5,000 members in 14 countries, of whom 25% are male (compared with 14% in 2014). The network organizes events and actions to promote the gender mix, centrally and in each country.