The moral, social and solidarity contract at CBOne

"Les Êtres Humains naissent et demeurent libres et égaux en droits ". 

Declaration of the Rights of the Human Being and of the Citizen of 1789, at the beginning of the French revolution

It is in the light of this beautiful idea, revolutionary in many ways, that we wish to introduce the moral, social and solidarity contract of CBOne.

This article discusses the issue of gender-streaming at CBOne, the question being how we actually contribute to it in a positive manner. The objective is to rebalance the proportion of women and men in technical professions, based on the observation that women are currently under-represented. While our model excludes positive discrimination (difficult in a small company), the application of the following set of rules led to a smooth and natural transition towards effective gender equity, that was achieved as of 2018. In 2021, female researchers covered 56% of the total work.

 

CBOne is a small company, a small commando that bravely faces the realities of the field every day. Like in Alexandre Dumas' musketeers, the skills of each individual count as much as the cohesion of the group. It makes little sense to propose a single, generalized text of rights and duties in the image of large companies. The main lines that guide our choices when recruiting, and which are found in our contract model, are the following. 

 

For equal opportunities and gender equity

CBOne respects the law in its selection procedures. These laws are supposed to be known but let's go through these again.

CBOne supports the principle of equal opportunities. Gender, in the broadest sense, is therefore not a selection criterion. The same applies to other factors such as nationality, social origin, social status, facial features, health in the broad sense, geopolitical origin, family situation, age, religion, sexuality or political inclination.

Here are CBOne's statistics. Over its first 10 years of existence, CBOne has recruited 5 women for 13 men, all in technical positions, i.e. a proportion of 28% women compared to 72% men. On the other hand, employment contracts have tended to favour women, since they represent 64% of the volume of hours worked, compared to 36% for men.

Similarly, anyone wishing to present their work at a conference or otherwise is invited to do so. This gives our female employees greater visibility and helps to normalise the notion of gender equity in our professions. Vanessa Mossbrugger won the 2015 Schmiedl Research Prize for the MethaNull project and therefore contributed to a better visibility of women in technical fields. 

 

For the valorisation of the degree.

This, at CBOne, is the decisive selection factor. In 10 years, 18 people have worked at CBOne in different roles, ranging from short contracts to permanent contracts. Of these 18 people, 10 were recruited following Fabrice Giuliani's combustion and fuels courses.

A large part of our work is research and development. We are therefore looking for profiles with a solid background in mechanical engineering, energetics, aviation, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and more specifically in continuous flow machines, such as gas turbines. Experience in the business world and knowledge of economic issues are appreciated. A PhD or specialised expertise in one of the above areas is an advantage. Foreign languages, autonomy, the ability to act independently in the field, and an inventive and pioneering mind are valued soft skills

 

Sharing the fruits of success

The moral, social and solidarity-based contract between employer and employee requires loyalty and a deep commitment from both parties, with a requirement for flawless quality and the timely completion of work. Most often, these are short-term assignments, but the impact will be very rewarding for both parties (salary of course, but also curriculum stories, publications, key connexions...). If this relationship of trust and efficiency is renewed and economically self-supported, then the job becomes a permanent position.

The same kind of relationship is required between employees. The game must be collective above all. The notion of fair competition is accepted (in the sporting sense of the term, and without being encouraged) because it pushes everyone to give their best. 

 

CBOne supports actively the flexibilisation of work

This is perhaps the only positive aspect of the corona crisis: we have learned to work differently. We have learned to communicate differently, and to work remotely.

As long as the moral, social and solidarity contract is respected, systematisms such as compulsory attendance at the workplace can be revised in favour of a home-office work quota. We still do not believe that counting hours is an effective evaluation of work. This way of proceeding ignores the real rhythms of work. By indoctrinating a bureaucratic systematism, it can kill fruitful moments or extinguish the flame of motivation. It can encourage a false routine. We have experimented with a new way of working over the last two years, trusting our employees, seeing them more satisfied in the end with their work-like-balance. We therefore intend to continue in this direction, with even more "liberal content" for those who wishes it.

 

A work ethic

The moral, social and solidarity contract at CBOne implies an honest and frank relationship, in good and bad times. Even in the event of a conflict, usually a disagreement about a way of doing things or a question of resource allocation, the emphasis is on diplomacy, damage control and the desire to do things right.

In addition to sustaining the company, our good reputation is due to this collective commitment, motivation and righteousness of each individual in our ability to make valuable contributions to the business and academic world and especially to the environment. 

 

 

On a more personal note, I have had the good fortune and honour of meeting some wonderful people over the last decade. To those who have made and are making CBOne: a big thank you.

In Graz, 20.02.2022 Fabrice Giuliani