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Nathalie, Laboratory Manager

Women to push the boundaries of science 

Discover the portrait of Nathalie, Laboratory Manager at the Selongey site. 

On the occasion of the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, which takes place this Saturday, February 11, and which is promoted by the UN, we propose to discover the portrait of a woman scientist, who works within Groupe SEB. With Nathalie, science for women is a story of passion. A taste for discovery. And of limits that are always being pushed further.  

Nathalie, in the laboratory

Almost every day of the week, Nathalie goes to the Selongey site. The same ritual, the same itinerary to reach the Pressure she joined Groupe SEB Cooker laboratory where she works as a Manager. However, the days are never the same. With all the time new experiments, as science requires. Routine, it's simple, she doesn't know, despite the passing years... She has already been with Groupe SEB for 27 years.  

A common history that began in 1996, precisely. "I joined the lab following a spontaneous application... I had just obtained my BTS CIRA (Industrial Control and Automatic Regulation)." During her studies, she learned about industrial measurement, regulation (temperature, flow, level...), but also automation. This was a way of putting her scientific culture into practice and acquiring all the know-how that she is known for today.  

At the time, in addition to the learning, something catched her attention. A detail, a situation very much embedded in History. "The atmosphere was very masculine. To tell you the truth, in my graduating class, there were only 4 girls for 60 boys...." With time, things are changing. In a good way. "I have been able to observe year after year the arrival of women in production and in the design offices in key positions." Eventually, one can even afford to dream. "I hope I will know the day when there will be no need to organize Women's Days. It will mean that gender is no longer an issue, that we are simply Humans. A little utopia doesn't hurt." 

Precisely, isn't utopia one of the great principles of science? To make people dream? To create and invent new realities?

Science, for me, represents the dream of space conquest, and the novels of Isaac Asimov, for example. But it is also great discoveries in all fields.

Great technological and medical advances. And small inventions - more discreet - that change and improve everyday life. "Science is clearly part of our work in the laboratory. Because with our devices, we measure physical phenomena like pressure and temperature in the Cocotte-Minute® we test."

Enough to give birth to little babies. Sesame, Wikook, LagoEasy and Easy up and Clipso Minut ... names that may ring a bell and that represent as many product development projects. Projects that bear the mark of her imprint, always with this desire to change things. When one meets her, when one works with her - on matters of test planning according to emergencies, or on the progress of tests in progress, or in the context of scientific expertise for other teams - this question of curiosity always comes up. To understand how it works, or how it could work.  

But learning also implies questioning oneself, and continuously training oneself, because science makes the world evolve, quickly. Very quickly. "I was supported by the Group and I followed training courses following my appointment as Laboratory Manager."  Training that not only allows her to keep up to date, but also - and perhaps above all - to anticipate the next step to take. "It's up to us, as industrialists, to know how to anticipate thanks to our creativity, our imagination and our curiosity. It is up to us to be a driving force, not a brake." 

It is then not surprising that Nathalie sees Marie Curie as the woman scientist who has inspired her the most in her life. "She is an example of a modern woman, a passionate scientist, a woman, a mother. A physicist who gave hope that one day science would no longer be gendered (...). She had the presence and the tenacity that was needed." Because that is what science is all about and that is why, just like in industry, one is never bored: the limits are made to be pushed back!