Céline Lazorthes: “Gender inequalities still weigh too much on the orientation of girls”

At 40, Céline Lazorthes is the founder of the Leetchi group, which publishes the famous online kitty of the same name, as well as the Mangopay payment solution. After selling her group to Crédit Mutuel in 2015, this daughter of doctors co-created Résilience in 2021, a company dedicated to remote monitoring and support for oncology patients, which allows doctors to provide better care. their cancer. She will be one of the speakers at the Sistemic Forum on May 12 at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

For what reasons, in 2023, will girls continue to turn less towards technical and scientific professions than boys?

CELINE LAZORTHES. Our brains are conditioned from birth by gender inequalities, at 5 years old they are already very entrenched! Girls are told that they must be nice, polite, discreet… and boys that they must be strong, ambitious, and all of this contributes to guiding the choice of studies and professions. This explains, for example, why girls are more often going to turn to careers in care than in IT. These gender inequalities are structural, they are part of our society, so we cannot just tell girls that they must dare and not put up barriers, it is a structural problem that is beyond us.

I do not incriminate anyone: even I who am a deconstructed adult still have gender biases. For example, during a board meeting, I will be the one who offers coffee to everyone! So we have to act on society, to allow girls to free themselves from stereotypes, but also boys – less toxic masculinity, it’s good for everyone. Another step is to work on yourself, to become aware of these biases, and better fight them.

Sista supports tech companies that want to feminize their workforce. At the individual level, what message should be conveyed to encourage girls to pursue technological and scientific professions, which a United Nations study quoted by the Sistemic forum tells us will represent 75% of the professions created here? at 2050?

First of all, it must be said again that the tech and science professions are brilliant professions, with an infinite field of possibilities. The women there are talented and successful, so to a young woman who is tempted by these sectors, I would say not to hesitate. It’s normal to be worried or afraid of being the only girl in promotions of boys, but that shouldn’t stop you.

Then, women also need to be supported, especially by other women, I strongly believe in the positive effects of sorority – in a promotion, we can support each other between girls, even if there are only 2 or 3 of us.

Have you been in this situation of being the only girl in your course of study?

Yes, in prep integrated at EPITA we were 3 girls for a promotion of 300… Then, in master’s degree in IT project management, there were a few more girls, same thing during my master’s degree in Management and new technologies at HEC. But, at the time, that didn’t pose a problem for me, above all I started doing odd jobs very young, in commerce in particular, pushed by my parents, and that brought me a form of ease and self-confidence which was very useful to me afterwards.

Later, when I found myself in a position to raise funds to launch my business, I went there rather naively – it was only after the fact that I realized that women entrepreneurs are welcomed differently, there no doubt about it, it might have been easier if I had been a boy. But that never affected my motivation or my pion for this sector.

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