Virginie Clénet, Project Lead at Orange Innovation: “I preach to show girls that these jobs are accessible to them”

Virginie works for Orange Innovation at the Cesson-Sévigné campus near Rennes. She is a Project Lead within the IT and Services team – here’s more.


Discover the portrait of Virginie, Project Lead at Orange Innovation

La collaboratrice Virginie Clenet


What does your job include?

I work on various applications developed by Orange, where I am both the Project Lead and Product Owner. For these projects, my main role is to coordinate our various teams (around 30 people): developers, designers, architects and also our internal customers working in other countries and other Orange departments. I support the development of new apps and work on improvements and bug fixes.


Can you tell us about your career to date within the Group?

After graduating in Electronic and Industrial Computer Engineering in 2003 from INSA in Rennes, I worked in Brest for two years then moved back to Rennes for my first job with Orange as a contractor. In 2009, I had the chance to take an internal position and, as I was already enjoying my work with Orange, I jumped at the opportunity. Since then, I’ve worked on several projects before working on Orange apps.


What does a typical day look like?

We start with ‘Le daily’, a coordination meeting with our various development teams working on iOS and Android to organize our daily tasks. The rest of the day is never the same as I juggle my three roles: answering questions from countries, analyzing any anomalies that may arise, and working on possible improvements. I can also be brought on board to check and test certain functions or help with demos.


You work in a male environment, how to do you get on with your male colleagues?

Although my line managers are women, there are indeed more men than women in this environment. However, I have never been treated differently. I am taken seriously. Obviously, it would be even better if it there was better female representation within our teams.


What initiatives do you think could be put in place to increase female representation within the sector?

It is necessary to intervene much earlier, within schools, because girls don’t always dare to go into these professions. Engineering courses are heavily dominated by boys. That’s why I take part in events that promote STEM subjects for women. I speak at colleges alongside other working women in technical professions and I share my experience during round tables. I preach to show girls that these jobs are accessible to them and to encourage them. Finally, at the Orange Cesson-Sévigné campus, we offer an internship to female college students at IUT Saint-Malo through a mentoring program.


What do you like best about your job?

I am never bored! I'm still learning, progressing, discovering new things ... it's stimulating. I also like the international aspect of my job, the fact that some of my clients and partners are abroad.


What are the main challenges in your job?

One of my big challenges was building the new Orange TV platform a few years ago. It was a long-term project, coordinating many suppliers. Our everyday challenge is to keep customers and partners happy.


If you had the chance to spend a day in the life of someone else at Orange, who would it be?

Frankly, I don't know! At Orange, we all have the chance to change our role if we want, so I take advantage of that by changing jobs regularly. This means I’ve already experienced various professions within the Group and not get stuck in a routine.