French Minister Marlène Schiappa in San Francisco
June 22-24, 2018: French Minister Marlène Schiappa promotes gender equality and diversity in San Francisco.
French Minister for gender equality, Marlène Schiappa, made a special trip to San Francisco during Pride Week to promote gender equality in the tech ecosystem and to take part in several LGBTQ Pride events. The visit was an opportunity for the minister to present France’s strong commitment and actions for the defense of parity, equality and fight against all forms of discriminations.
Minister Schiappa met with a panel of women French and American leaders, entrepreneurs, and founders from Silicon Valley to discuss the positive impact of women leadership in the tech industry. They shared views on the challenges women are facing and the need for a culture change and greater parity on boards and in companies. “We need more women role models… we need to make women in tech more visible and value their contribution,” said Minister Schiappa, who presented France’s objectives. “Our goal is to reach 40% of women in the engineering sector, to help better fund early stage companies, to diversify startups beyond the main urban areas” she continued. She also presented various initiatives and policies that have recently been put in place to help women with professional aspirations succeed, such as eliminating the gender pay gap, promoting parental equality, paternity leave…
On the same theme, Minister Schiappa visited Silicon Valley and met with Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and strong advocate of female empowerment, as well as Maxine Williams, Diversity Director. Various issues were addressed including gender, race and ethnicity gaps, and also how to bring new perspectives in a company and motivate women to work in the tech sector. Resources and initiatives to curb those differences were presented starting with a comparative discussion of the French and U.S. legal tools available to companies.
Minister Schiappa’s visit coincided with the 2018 San Francisco Pride, one of the largest LGBTQ gatherings in the world. On this occasion, she met with leaders of the LGBTQ community and participated in highly symbolic events. At the dedication of the 23rd Pink Triangle display at Twin Peaks, she emphasized France’s commitment to protect LGBTQ rights and fight against all discrimination, homophobia and violence, saying “Feminism and LGBTQ rights are at the core of the French diplomacy and we will always support you." Newly-elected Mayor of San Francisco London Breed, California Senator Scott Wiener, Castro Supervisor Rafael Mandelman, as well as several State and city officials from the Bay Area joined the ceremony.
Finally, Minister Schiappa sent a message of support and solidarity from France to the thousands of people attending the festivities at Civic Center Plaza and marched down Market Street with representatives and members of the San Francisco LGBTQ Community Center during the Annual Gay Pride Parade “Generations of Strength” which gathered 240 contingents and nearly one million spectators.