Hélène Sourdeau is the Senior Marketing Manager for Trintech’s EMEA market. She is based out of London, England, and has been with the company for three years. We asked Hélène to participate in our International Women’s Day interviews, and here is what she shared.
What does innovation mean to you and how do you exhibit it in your daily life?
Innovation, the buzzword. The kind of word you love, especially if you work in Marketing like me. Ask 100 people, and you’ll get 100 different answers. I believe innovation is synonymous with creation and a positive mindset. With a positive attitude, some creativity and a bit of madness we can all innovate. On a daily basis, how does it look like for me?
- Pick projects. Select things on my to-do list whether it’s launching a vlog, improving business processes, or preparing for a semi-marathon.
- Get out, disconnect! I notice things, and let my mind connect the dots.
- “It’s always better when we’re together”. Brainstorm.
- Tell myself “nothing is impossible” (my motto).
- Dare, take risks.
- Accept to fall. Learn from it. Don’t repeat.
- Eat apples. Because it’s full of Vitamin C and it keeps the doctor away.
- Make it happen. Stop talking, start building.
Voilà, my 8-step routine.
How do you leverage your perspective as a woman in the tech industry?
When people think of the tech industry, people usually picture a bunch of tech bros in their 20s and 30s wearing jeans and hoodies.
Is this a reality? According to a recent report (Statista Feb. 2020) female employees make up between 28% and 42% of the total workforce at America’s largest tech companies. I believe a diversity of perspective and culture is key within any industry. It is the opportunity to shake things up, but you must 1) Believe in yourself 2) Dare, and, 3) Speak out loud.
I joined Trintech 3 years ago. There were 5 women in the London office. Today as our office has grown, we are just over 15. There is solidarity amongst us, we support each other and look out/after for each other. Overall, we’re good at reaching out, communicating and networking, and I believe we should do more of this.
How have generations of women in your family before you impacted the work you do in your job and/or your community?
My grandmother, Georgette Lebain, was born on March 16, 1921. Even if her family was struggling, they made sure she went to school and university. She became a teacher. In 1939, WWII took over. It changed her life, like millions of others at that time. Georgette was active in the French and Belgian resistance. She never made a big deal of it, even though she was heavily involved in trafficking guns and explosives. Crazy? Hero?
After the war— due to government spending cuts— she had to change her career path, by retraining as an accountant. Throughout her life she always showed dedication, passion and respect. She always said, “treat everyone equal no matter their race, creed or social status.” She was a positive person. I have never met anyone with more determination, yet still kindhearted.
When my grandmother had children, she emphasized education for all of them. My mother, Marie, became a Veterinarian, 80% of her peers were men, one of them was my dad. My mother fought to be recognized by her peers.
I look up to them, and I don’t want to disappoint them; they are my role models. I want them to be proud. Like they did, I want to make a mark every day and make things better. I want their legacy to live on through my children.
Do you identify with any particular woman in history? Why?
I look up to so many women, but two come to my mind right away:
Mother Teresa. A Saint. A Nobel Peace Prize Winner in 1979 and canonized in 2016. A businesswoman also known for being a very hard negotiator. She fought all her life for “the poorest of the poor”. Despite her critics, she fought the system to create her vision and dedicated her life to others. She was a woman who gave all she had and beyond. I will never be a saint, but I always tell myself how lucky I am to be where I am. I am thankful for what I have. It is my responsibility to give, and not just take. Give time, give money, and mostly give love. Aren’t we on earth to “love and be loved”?
Simone Veil. A French lawyer and politician, minister of Health, member of the European Parliament. She was also a wife and a mother of three boys. As we learned in French schools, she was first a Holocaust survivor, one who helped to rebuild France after World War II. Despite her status as a woman in a patriarchal culture, she managed to make a huge change in French society.
Thank you, Hélène, for your commitment to innovation and challenging the status quo!