Hélène Darras, Head of technical department Nijhuis Saur Industries France

Leave knots for ropes rather than for your brain and dare!

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Leave knots for ropes rather than for your brain and dare!
  • Can you describe your job and your daily missions?

My mission involves coordinating all activities within the Technical Directorate of NSIF. Since the TD interfaces with all operational departments (construction, sales, operations), we are involved in both design/construction and providing support for operations, as well as specializing our teams in industrial matrices.

  • What are the values that drive you on a daily basis in your profession?

Respect (for others and our environment). Participating humbly in team development and the professional growth of each individual. Building.

  • What message do you want to send on the occasion of International Women's Day?

Leave knots for ropes rather than for your brain and dare! You have nothing to lose because every adventure is a new and lasting learning experience.

  • Affirming your place as a woman at sea or in a company, what does that inspire you?

Both situations are quite similar. In both cases, it's about leading a cohesive team towards a common goal, in the best conditions of safety and progress, while disregarding stereotypes and apprehensions. In my family, there's a common saying that goes, "To get through life, you must know how to swim": that sums it up!

  • The main issues for greater parity between men and women in your workplace?

I've never really paid attention to gender parity or lack thereof in my workplace. I've been shocked in the past by inappropriate behavior or remarks, because it's not in my DNA. But that's not what guides my decisions. What truly builds a team is primarily the skills and commitment of each individual, regardless of gender. And we have wonderful women and men at NSI!

  • What motivates you to work for the preservation of the resource?

The principle of "polluter pays". Strangely enough, this is what led me to my current profession. I couldn't understand how, rationally, a government could impose a burden on an industry if it hadn't had the technical and economic possibility NOT to pollute its environment at the same time. So, I decided to work on finding technical and economic solutions for water treatment. You can't simultaneously impose both the means and the result. However, you can provide means to achieve a result. That's what my teams do every day, with a lot of energy and commitment, and I'm very proud of it!