"I joined Airbus in September 2021 and I believe that the compulsory training and awareness-raising for new arrivals is helping to infuse a corporate culture where the role of women and equity will no longer be an issue." Christelle André-Pons, Corporate Information Security Officer 

Christelle André-Pons and Chloé Fuchs both work in cybersecurity, where women are in the minority. For International Women's Day, we sat down with them to discuss their motivation for choosing this particular field and to foster equity in the workplace.

Can you introduce yourself? What is your role at Airbus?
Christelle: I am Corporate Information Security Officer (CISO) for Airbus Helicopters. I am responsible for digital security and for the implementation of security policies as part of the group's cyber security strategy.

Chloé: I joined the Airbus Cybersecurity School in September and alternate between school and working in the office with the Airbus team. I work on an initiative to reinforce the “security mindset”, and I learn about cybersecurity every day, and how to strengthen the protection of Airbus' information systems.

Christelle André-Pons and Chloé Fuchs

What in particular attracted you to this field?
Christelle: I have always worked in IT security; in my current position I enjoy being able to define and implement cybersecurity strategies and identify action plans to limit and reduce the cybersecurity risks for the company. The military component adds a regulatory dimension that reinforces the complexity as well as the legitimacy of our activities.

Chloé: My initial studies did not prepare me to work in IT. I have always been attracted to the field, but I only started working in it at a later stage, after a master's degree in political science. Cybersecurity was a natural choice. I like the idea that it is a field that is constantly evolving, in which technology intelligence is important. Moreover, the activity requires juggling between a high-level strategic vision and concrete actions. I find this particularly interesting.

In your daily life (at work), what do you witness Airbus doing to foster gender equity? 
Christelle: I have worked for various companies since the early 2000s and it seems to me that the overall situation has improved. Mentalities are changing, particularly with the arrival of new generations, who are perhaps less conditioned than older ones with regard to the issue of women's place at work. I joined Airbus in September 2021 and I believe that the compulsory training and awareness-raising for new arrivals is helping to infuse a corporate culture where the role of women and equity will no longer be an issue.

Chloé: I haven't been here very long, but I have seen that the desire for equity at Airbus is reflected in the recruitment process. The awareness and training on equity and ethics when you join the company are positive actions. I hope that one day they will no longer serve any purpose. That will mean that there are just no more questions to be asked and that equity is achieved, not just at Airbus, but in society as a whole.

What can each of us do to contribute to equity within the workplace at Airbus?
Christelle: I try to break down the barriers and not just value those individuals who display and communicate great self-confidence. I also find it important to value those who are less confident, but who are just as efficient. I think it is also important to highlight people who do not put themselves forward, whether they are men or women. This is what I call emotional intelligence. I invite managers to become familiar with this form of intelligence and make the most of it. 

Chloé: It is important to remember that everyone has their own experience and personality. Beyond gender issues, tolerance is for me, the most important element to work on... Airbus does this very well through different initiatives that promote inclusion in the company.

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