Q&A with Aurelie Bergugnat, Group Chief Data Officer @ Schneider Electric

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Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us, Aurelie! Firstly, please introduce yourself!

I have been working 75% in the US and 25% in Europe & Asia​. I started my journey in the Automotive Industry and joined Schneider Electric 15 years ago. I spent 10 years in Finance Operation, being CFO of a $B2 Division,​ and pursued my career as Chief of Staff of the Executive Committee for Digital Transformation and Performance Management. I now act as Group Chief Data Officer and Senior Vice President of the Data & Performance in Governance organisation since 2019.

I am a graduate in Mechanical Engineering​, I have a Master in Strategic Management ​and a MBA from Columbia University – New York & London Business School.

My drivers​ are definitely to challenge the Status Quo​ and to value Team Performance over Superheroes. On a more personal note, I was born and raised in France​ being both a French and American citizen and I am the Mum of 2 amazing daughters​.

What are you looking forward to at European Women in Technology?

First of all, I seek to connect with others who share similar interests, including meaningful networking and encounters. Likewise, share expertise, but also receive customised and relevant content. And why not experience something new with surprises and novelty.

What can attendees expect from your session?

The core of this session will be all about how to become a “data-centric” organisation. Learn about Schneider Electric’s data democratisation journey through a testimony and tips to scale a data driven approach to a data centric approach.

As well as, apprehend how to create a common data language at the group level to give everyone and at every level of the organisation access to reliable data, strategic assets and business accelerators.

When you think about our theme for 2023, The New Frontier, what excites you about the future in tech, business and/or leadership?

I am really eager about the Open Data Ecosystem in conjunction with trust, and data regulations.

This means on a first hand to cooperate more on a public-private standpoint with a view to defining the founding principles of “global data governance”: This includes a risk-based approach, open standards, rules of use and Data sovereignty of ecosystems. And on a second hand to drive innovation with Data, Business transformations and technologies.

What would you say to your younger self about pursuing a career in tech and the future of women in tech?

Erase everything anybody has ever told you about pursuing a career in technology. Be confident, and do not underestimate your skills. Keep the vision and be stubborn with team ambition. If you have a dream job, learn the skills you need to achieve it. If there is a dream company you want to work for, consider entry-level positions for which you could apply. Be one of those who diversify the pool of job applicants and take the competitive advantage. We need more women in technology to empower the next generation.                                                                                            

What do you see as the biggest challenge currently facing women in technology?

This is a good question! Girls’ ambitions for technology definitely start in lower school. However, there are somehow predefined role models by gender.

At work, there are still some efforts to do for an inclusive workplace, and women are often underrepresented in leadership positions in tech companies. Last but not least, women are reluctant to negotiate assertively, they should not hesitate to speak up.

European Women in Tech is built on community; what advice would you give to our attendees on building your network and furthering your presence?

I would say, make friends who understand your challenges. It’s what makes you confident and strong!

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