The 2020 Fem’Energia Award: women in nuclear

03 December 2020 Human ressources Corporate social responsibility Story

Naval Group's nuclear sector is an independent family of 1,000 employees – men and women – committed to meeting the needs of nuclear propulsion and the energy challenges of the 21st century. A sector that cannot do without the vital contribution made by its range and diversity of talent. Interview with Aline des Cloizeaux, Director of Civil Nuclear Energy and Equipment and President of the association WiN (Women in Nuclear) France which, in partnership with France’s power utility EDF, will award the Fem’Energia prize on 2 December for women passionately engaged in the nuclear sector.

What are Naval Group's activities in the nuclear field?

At Naval Group, the nuclear sector represents an independent family of a thousand employees, of whom 12% are women, working both on innovative projects for civil nuclear power and on naval defence programmes encompassing equipment manufacturing, the construction and maintenance of nuclear-powered vessels for the French Navy, and infrastructure. For its customers in the civil nuclear sector, which include France’s nuclear operators EDF and the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission (CEA), Naval Group provides expertise in equipment manufacturing as well as engineering and project management services for nuclear installations. Our presence in both fields enables us to anticipate technological developments, and to develop and maintain our skills over the long term.

What are those skills?

They represent a whole panoply of trades, spread across our various sites. Mechanical expertise – from R&D and engineering studies through to manufacturing – is based at Naval Group’s site at Nantes-Indret, where the reactors are made, while construction is located at Cherbourg. At the naval bases of Brest and Toulon, where the Services division provides in-service support (ISS) for nuclear-powered vessels and the operation of the Secret Basic Nuclear Installation (SBNI), our teams are specialists in works management, project management, chemistry and radiation protection. Also in Brest, our engineers and technicians are active in the engineering of nuclear installations.

Tell us more about WiN France and the Fem'Energia competition…

WiN France is a national group within the French Nuclear Energy Society (SFEN) and an association of more than 500 members specialising in every field of nuclear technology. Its actions are aimed at highlighting women in the nuclear sector, developing their networks, and promoting the sector to female students. The Fem'Energia competition – which is organised by WiN France in partnership with EDF – provides encouragement and financial support for women to get involved in the nuclear industry. It distinguishes between individual and collective achievements by allowing for team nominations. This year, Naval Group is represented by the women from the SBNI in Toulon: enthusiastic employees, each with her own expertise and personality, who enjoy working together. Complementarity and solidarity are what gives the team its strength!

How does taking part in the Fem'Energia competition fit in with Naval Group's diversity commitments?

No further proof is needed: greater diversity in the industry - and more broadly in all sectors of the economy - is a major driver for performance and social cohesion. And with women making up just 12% of our “nuclear family”, compared to 24% for the France nuclear industry as a whole, there is room for improvement! Naval Group has taken this on board, and is participating in actions to raise awareness of its activities among female high school and university students: visiting schools and colleges to present the trades and career opportunities offered by the group, organising visits to our own sites, and partnering with associations that work to increase the number of women in technical professions. Competitions like Fem'Energia enable the winners to become role models for all these young women.

Next up: the profiles of the SBNI candidates for the 2020 Fem'Energia awards.

Aline des Cloizeaux, WiN France (Woman in Nuclea)