Education: Masterís degree in applied economics, University of Paris IX Dauphine
Family: Husband, Dominique; sons: Antoine, 31; Pierre, 28; Benjamin, 21
Jacques Calvet, who hired me, was the most famous CEO in France at the time. I was anxious but everyone around me said, ďYou cannot refuse such a challenge.Ē
What surprised you most when you joined PSA from the French electricity group EDF in 1990?
First, it was the level of competition between carmakers -- we didnít have such competition at the state electricity company. Second, it was the quantity and quality of communications in the sector.
What is your proudest professional accomplishment?
To have worked with three CEOs at PSA as different as Jacques Calvet, Jean-Martin Folz and Christian Streiff. Also, Iím proud of the team that I work with.
What is your proudest personal accomplishment?
Iím proud to have been able to have a balance between a job thatís quite demanding and a family, which is demanding as well.
How do you combine these two aspects of your life?
When my children were still at home, I had no time for myself. All the time outside work was for them.
What is your biggest challenge at work now?
The biggest challenge is to make sure that, at all times, group communications and the communications of our two brands are mutually reinforcing. Itís quite difficult with two different brands competing in the same market.
Another big challenge is to meet Mr. Streiffís ojbective to spend less and communicate more.
1990 -- 2007: Head of corporate communications, PSA/Peugeot-Citroen
1984 -- 1990: Head of media relations, Electricite de France
1978 -- 1984: Project manager, service of nuclear sites and environment, Electricite de France
1973 -- 1978: Researcher, service of economic studies, Electricite de France
It is competence which brings respect. If you are a woman and you are competent, career advancement is not a problem.
What is the best advice you have ever received?
In a difficult world -- and it is difficult as it is male-dominated -- one has to assert oneself but without being pretentious.
What advice do you give young women in the industry today?
I tell them not to be afraid to have children. Itís not a problem. Itís life. We will manage when theyíre away for two or three months. Having children also helps you find the right balance and you see the relativity of things.
Does being a woman help or hurt you in general?
The only thing that matters is making your ideas happen. It is true that women have this quality to be more concerned about their work than men.
What do you do to relax?
We restored our house in the south of France. We love to do very simple things there, like reading and cooking. When I get more time, I have some other ideas.
If you were CEO of a company, what would you do first?
I would focus first on the competence of the teams. The key to success is to mobilize the company on a project where everybody gives their best.