Actualités  •  Portraits

"To overcome the challenges, you have to talk about them, relentlessly" - in conversation with Aneta Jajkowska, Senior Director, People and Organisational Partner, EuroNorth at Dassault Systèmes


For International Women's Day, we had the pleasure of sitting down with longtime member Aneta Jajkowska, Senior Director, People and Organisational Partner, EuroNorth at Dassault Systèmes. In this interview, Aneta shared her insights on her journey as a woman leader, the challenges encountered, strategies for promoting gender equality, and how her involvement with the French Chamber has amplified her efforts in supporting women in leadership roles.

Can you introduce yourself briefly and share more about your professional journey?

My name is Aneta Jajkowska and I have led the People Function for Northern European countries at Dassault Systèmes for the last 7 years. I am part of the GEO’s Executive Committee and the Dassault Systèmes People Leadership Team. I have worked in key business partner roles with an international remit for companies like Colt Technology, Microsoft and Unilever. I am a career coach, an active advocate of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging, and passionate about sustainability, leading me to complete a University of Cambridge Business Sustainability Management Course.

What specific challenges have you encountered in your journey as a woman leader in the business world, and how have you navigated or overcome them?

I was fortunate to have received tremendous support in terms of opportunities for development and advancement from the managers and leaders of the organisations I have worked for. This does not mean I have not encountered challenges related to gender bias and stereotyping. Particularly in the world of technology, there is a lack of representation of women in leadership positions and generally across all functions, except for Marketing and Human Resources, where we often have the highest number of women. This affects the company culture; ways of working, communication, language, recognition, informal interactions, decision-making, company values, and innovation.

To overcome the challenges, you have to talk about them, relentlessly. Perhaps it is a cliché, but it is important to challenge the status quo. It is important to identify and address the root causes in the specific team or organisation, while at the same time driving awareness to create a positive impact. Involvement of top leadership is key, management engagement is crucial and allowing employees to bring their ideas to life will contribute to a supportive work environment, resulting in gender equality and inclusion. Together with my colleagues, we have incorporated cognitive bias into our learning curriculum, created a safe space for discussion through ‘LeanIn Circles’, and focus groups for parents and carers, implemented development programs to grow our talent which focus on women and regularly run gender pay gap reviews. It is a continuous improvement journey.  

Looking ahead, what are your aspirations for the continued progress of gender equality and women's empowerment within your organisation and the industries you operate in?

A fully inclusive environment, where gender equality is the norm and everyone feels they can thrive, is what I aspire to. I have observed a movement in technology organisations committing to targets aimed at increasing women's representation at different levels of the organisation. There are now more policies that go beyond creating a more inclusive environment for women and consider men, one example being equal parental, maternity and paternity leave. There are now initiatives to engage the next generations through Women in STEM, Girls In Tech. This to me is fundamental in creating an environment where we have equal representation that mirrors our societies and communities.

What advice would you offer to aspiring female entrepreneurs or professionals, particularly those navigating the business landscape in a new country?

Unleash your inner power! For anyone who wants to spread their wings perhaps in a new country, or a new role, be it professional or business-related, it is imperative to do your due diligence about the country, the business culture, and the competitive landscape. Connect to a network, find a female entrepreneur or professional who has been successful in the field you are interested in, and perhaps over a cup of coffee, you can gain valuable insight and perspective. Statistically, women are good at keeping connected but do not leverage their network to their advantage. Reach out to your existing network or find a new one, and do not shy away from asking for a meeting, an introduction or advice.

How has your membership at the French Chamber contributed to your efforts in promoting gender equality and supporting women in leadership roles?

I have had the opportunity to meet countless incredible women through the French Chamber at various events, and I have learnt a tremendous amount from them; stories have been shared, and challenges discussed that have led us to understand how we can do better.

I am very grateful that I had the chance to take part in a panel discussion focused on Championing Female Leaders in Tech in April 2023. Together with my co-panellists, Victoria Armstrong, Angel Investor, Founder and Advisor, Female Founders Rise and Dale Lovell, SVP Advertising at OpenWeb, we discussed initiatives that can positively influence the creation of more opportunities for women.

It is wonderful to see the number of women representatives at the French Chamber and the opportunities the Chamber creates to bring inspiring women together.


Dassault Systèmes, the 3DEXPERIENCE Company, provides businesses and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. Its world-leading solutions transform the way products are designed, produced, and supported. Dassault Systèmes’ collaborative solutions foster social innovation, expanding possibilities for the virtual world to improve the real world. The group brings value to over 210,000 customers of all sizes, in all industries, in more than 140 countries.

Share this page Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on Linkedin