During the Women's Forum Global Meeting 2015, we had the chance to meet and interview Véronique, here is her testimony.
What’s on your mind right now?
I feel inspired by this place (The Women’s Forum). I feel happy.
Describe yourself in one sentence?
It’s difficult... I’m enthusiast, optimist, and curious, I want to break down barriers, my main motivation is to pass on collective memory to future generations.
How would you describe the glass ceiling you had?
One has particularly left its mark on me. It was around 2000. I was a young associate professor in a journalism school. One day, I realized that I was paid less than my male counterparts, for the exact same job.
How did it affect you? How did you feel at the time?
First, I was shocked.
Yet, I wasn’t fully aware of the phenomenon because when I asked for a change, I got from my ‘male’ superiors a response that was condescending and clearly misogynous.
How did you break this glass ceiling?
I asked why I was paid less. From this moment on I told myself I would have more diploma than all of these men. So I went back to university and ended up with actually more diploma than them… and never worked for them again.
Their reaction actually became a positive fuel in my life.
How do you feel about where you are today, after breaking your glass ceiling?
I feel I don’t hit as much glass ceilings as I did at the start of my career. Although I can still observe it in various companies, I don’t in teaching. Actually, aging is a good thing when you’re a teacher. I feel like I’m more judged on my skills and the way I do things than on my gender.
What advice would you give to someone going through this glass ceiling?
Never give up and don’t let it affect you too much. It’s always hard when you realize what’s happening but don’t let it tear you down. You need to deal with a very concrete and pragmatic way, in order to change things. Denial, hiding or fear can’t be an option. It takes strength and courage If you feel like you’ve been threw out just remember there is always a back door.
What are your upcoming projects?
Keep writing books for collective memory. Keep analyzing the problematic of gendered relationships. Analyzing it to find sustainable solutions to it and find a balance.
Tell us about something, like a quote that inspires you?
I’m really inspired by the great women who have been pioneers in their field, even though you always feel small besides them. They are my greatest inspiration.