International Women's Day is an opportunity for women around the world to reflect on the role they play in modern society, and particularly in the rapidly-changing world of work.
At Franco-British CX company CXB HUB, two of the major female players at the firm have been assessing their own position within the workplace, and considering how companies in their field can adapt, and female workers can leverage their current position to build a strong career.
Claire Bonniol is the co-founder and CEO of the firm, and Isabelle Rongier is the Partner in France of the business which, since its founding in 2017, has continued to break new ground, develop new partnerships and expand into new territories. These two women have been at the very forefront of these developments, helping push the company forward from its inception.
“I have led several projects on social innovation, and my strong belief is that customer-facing jobs are a major area of growth for women,” says Claire, recognising the ratio of female-to-male workers in this sector is skewed towards women. However, the reasoning for this large female workforce is largely a result of the socially-accepted ideal that women take more gaps from their own professional lives, resulting in finding themselves in more part-time jobs and with less in their monthly pay-packet.
Despite the often temporary nature of customer-facing work, Claire suggests women in these roles consider how they can be leveraged for higher employability, citing the transferable skills which such jobs provide. She also notes that companies would be well-advised to see more value in customer-facing work, and reward it accordingly in both status and wages. While automation is taking hold of many industries, robotics can never replace the benefits of human kindness and great hospitality, yet many businesses ignore this critical facet from a strategic viewpoint.
There are practical steps which women can take in order to feel more valued in the workplace, and reap the rewards of their newfound integration within companies of all sizes and scales.
“It's important for women to recognise their own skills, and dare to negotiate what they believe they deserve,” notes Isabelle. “There is no use imitating men, particularly in their approach to power. Be confident and assertive, and above all make yourself visible.”
Female leadership is on the rise in diverse sectors like finance, sale and IT, yet both of these female leaders suggest that customer experience is a fertile breeding ground for nurturing female leaders at all levels. It's a key area where a holistic approach is preferable, and the companies which learn how to support this diversity are sure to reap considerable rewards in the years to come.
Claire Bonniol & Isabelle Rongier