Once upon a… woman in industry

If many children’s stories begin with that phrase “Once upon a time”, inviting little girls to dream about princesses and little boys to dream of valiant warriors, seldom do we read of fairy tale careers .. especially in the field of industry…

Why did I choose that title?

By daring to give a passing nod to children’s stories, I am inviting my readers to be curious and am revealing the tone of my book, its humour, its impertinence, and, as is written on the front cover the fact that it is “Guaranteed 100% humblebrag free”.

Why did I put that signature?

Not only because it illustrates the tone of the book perfectly, but also because in one sentence it translates my distinctive and authentic personality which has made me the person I am.

So why this book?

When, in December 2019, it was time for me to retire, I closed the door to the world of industry which I had inhabited for fifty years, asking myself how a woman with a literary background (I had originally intended to teach German) had succeeded in integrating that technical and male-dominated universe; and indeed in thriving there without ever bumping into the famous glass ceiling. I decided to answer that question by writing a book to share with my readers what I had learned from my different experiences and to transmit the principles behind them: up to them to follow them or not. If the book is by no means a fairy tale, neither is it an autobiography, even if I never hesitate to introduce elements of my personal life when the context demands it. On the other hand, I do use a biographical chronological style. Right from Page 1, I invite the reader to take part in my journey of initiation into “the land of men”, the world of industry. Through a series of often humorous anecdotes, the book follows the high points of my so-called atypical career which has taken me from being an executive secretary in a medium-sized company, to managing Human Resources for a big group where I was the first woman to sit on the Board of Directors. The reader will discover step by step all the different hurdles I had to overcome, the skills I had to learn, to get through the different hierarchical levels in my career. The book highlights the importance of human relations, which have always been at the very heart of the challenges I had to meet and of the pleasure I have had in working in this male-dominated environment.

Who is this book for?

First and foremost for women who dream of having a career matching their ambition but who doubt that they are really capable of doing so, particularly in industry. At a time when parity is all important and all our hopes are placed in quotas, I wanted this book to be a testimonial and to show that by daring to be who we really are, with authenticity and kindness, we give ourselves every chance of following not only the career but also the life which resembles us. Since this is not just true for women, this book is also for male readers whoever they may be, and particularly for engineers whose managerial apprenticeship is often painful, with huge pressure on them to get for results. Most of them wish to make their management style more human, but often do not know how. My book will not give them recipes for management, but rather shine a new light on the art of management from my feminine viewpoint. And more generally, the book will also inspire anyone who aims for a new professional project embodying their values as well as authenticity.

Are you tempted to come along?

Then there is only one more step to take, that of buying the book! Whether you prefer paper or digital versions, all you have to do is to click on the link of your favourite bookshop, or else that of L’Harmattan (here). And when you have finished reading, please do not hesitate to give me your feedback by going to the CONTACT page of my website. I will be delighted to read it and continue our exchange should you so desire.

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Dominique Bellos Consulting SAS

Head Office: 26 route de Cirey – FR-21340 NOLAY
Office: 62 rue Caumartin – FR-75009 PARIS
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