Anna Fill Interviews
Money Matters - Women and Money with Corinne Albert
The issue of equal pay between men and women has been a hot topic for quite some time now. Once upon a time women would remain disgruntled or indeed ignorant of how their pay levels differed from their male counterparts who were doing the same role. As a consequence of 'not knowing' how could change take place? Now there are movements, organisations and loud voices who are fighting the female corner and saying "No more!".
It isn't just that women are paid less that is of concern, the ramifications extend to their pensions. Less earnings equals smaller pensions and this is one of the significant causes of poverty in later life for women.
It was a pleasure to encounter Corinne Albert, who decided to produce a documentary titled 'Women and Money'. The film touches all those issues women have with money, from psychological to practical matters.
What inspired you to create the documentary 'Women and Money' and who did you work with?
Corinne: I am a member of Professional Women's Network Paris THINK TANK and as always we create surveys, analyse the results, organise workshops and then publish a book. This time instead of a book we decided to make a documentary film by interviewing all those who ran and participated in our workshops.
There has been much news and discussion about gender pay inequality - what do you believe should happen to correct the situation - a change in the law?
Corinne: Women must ask more questions, women must act, and women must talk more about their successes. Men must also take parental leave, the same allocated time as women do when they become fathers, just as they do in Sweden.
Who is the documentary aimed at?
Corinne: At first it was aimed at our PWN members globally in France and Europe. Then we reached out to other educated women, and also men. We produced a French and English version so we could spread the word through our network worldwide. Women must be able to talk about money openly. This will encourage them to act and take more risk, with bigger ambitions and visions.
Do you think companies have to be more transparent with salaries?
Corinne: It really depends at what level you are. I would say yes for those in the early stages of their careers. Then it depends how you are hired by companies and how well you can sell yourself. Know your worth!
What more can women do to raise awareness if they think they are not being paid equally as their male colleagues?
Corinne: Talk with colleagues and ask questions. Don't be afraid to discuss your salary. Be bold and choose a good moment to talk with your employer about a salary increase, whilst still maintaining polite and professional.
Do you think as women we need to address how we value money?
Corinne: Yes indeed!. Each one of us has a different story and our study showed that a majority of women in Europe do not like talking about money, or are willing to share advice tips and tricks with others .
Do you think schools could do more to promote gender pay equality?
Corinne: In France we do need to develop more skills linked to economy. Also we need to be teaching how to plan long term in life with regards to retirement, insurance, health... In france people think it is free, but this cannot continue and we need to bemore self aware.
Tell me a little about yourself and what you do...
Corinne: I have masters degree in Business from ESCP grande ecole in Paris. I have lived in Paris, New York and Asia (Singapore, Beijing, Hong Kong). I have 3 children; a 26 year old boy and 2 girls aged 28 and 30.
I worked in marketing for P&G and L'Oréal, and then became the Marketing Director for Chanel. I continued to travel and experience many exciting roles in both the retail and buying sectors. I then became a partner in a small creative design and architecture firm MB Créations where I still work. I am involved in a business project "mom to mom" related to parents at work.
I took the board role of VP Events with PWN Paris where I oversee major events during the year.
In my spare time I enjoy stone carving.
I am now in the third stage of my career. The kids are away and I have time to do things for myself again and develop projects for my new business. My mother lives part time in Nice and my grandparents also lived in Nice part of their lives and this gives me the opportunity to visit the region often and I hope to share my experiences more and do further business in the south of France.
The Professional Women's Network have organised 6 monthly workshops all featuring various angles of women and money matters. In the first workshop we look at "The Philosophy of Money". You are invited to watch the documentary which is followed by a lively discussion. On the panel is the film co-producer Corinne Albert, Dr Nikki Thomas, Clinical Psychologist & Psychotherapist and Dr Vanessa Beaudoin, Psycho-sociologist & Conference speaker.
The date: on Friday 22nd June starting at 6.30pm, followed by cocktails.
The venue: Splendid Hôtel & Spa, 50 Boulevard Victor Hugo, Nice.