A conversation with Valérie Rivière


Valérie started as a junior in Grant Thornton's accountancy team 25 years ago. About 15 years ago, she took a step back in her career to take care of her family. Her sons and daughter are now 13 and 14 years old. This gave her the space she needed to further her career, which she now does with great passion as Director Accountancy.



How has Grant Thornton helped you in your career journey?

Valérie: "After my studies I started in the accountancy team. I was always guided very well and given an awful lot of freedom to map out my personal path. An atypical path perhaps for our sector because at a certain point I put my career on hold and consciously chose for my family. When my family allowed it, I was given every opportunity to pick up where I left off."

Did you encounter stereotypical resistance? 

Valérie: "I have always experienced a great understanding within the organisation, never resistance. The biggest opposition came from myself. Women often put a lot of pressure on themselves. We have to wear many hats and want to be perfect at everything. But I have learned that it works out in the end: perfection is certainly not always necessary."

As a female leader, what do you do differently from your male colleagues?

Valérie: "I don't believe that there are typical male and female traits. It's always about the individual. And if I had to give a rather female asset, I think women are generally strong in showing empathy. I feel they are better at assessing how people feel."

#InspireInclusion is this year's International Women's Day theme. What does it mean to you?

Valérie: "The stereotypes still exist. Women are more likely to stay at home for the children. We need to ensure that women don't give up afterwards, by giving them every opportunity. And this also applies to men, of course."

What is your advice for the next generation of women in the profession?

Valérie: "Above all, I would like to reassure all women in similar situations. Taking a step back at some point in your career does not mean the end of your career. If you are well surrounded, you will have the opportunity to go for it again at a later point in time. More than that, afterwards you do so with even more maturity. I have definitely found that to be an advantage."

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Want to know what it's like working at Grant Thornton?

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