Being a powerful woman… an image that doesn’t always fit our good old gender stereotypes. Power is freedom and it’s the courage to take it. If you’re looking for an example of a woman/independent/worker who is not afraid of this freedom, meet Marie Costers. As CEO of CodaBox, she offers us her view on existing clichés.
Running a business and ensuring a family life, can you have it all? What if, in the end, it was all a question of balance, between determination, desires and choices? Marie Costers, a balancing act at heart, has chosen to combine the elements and not back down from her ambitions. Starting with her studies in mathematics. “The majority of my fellow students have obtained their aggregation, but I wanted to assert myself in a different direction. And when she pushed open the doors for her first interview, she didn’t hesitate: “the warmth, the atmosphere… I knew I was making the right decision by joining this small organization (editor’s note: Integri).” An intuition that has served her 19-year career well.
A singular career path, a voice for all
Becoming a product manager, being in charge of the business plan, gaining freedom of action, quitting, rethinking her career, setting up her own business…, Marie Costers tells us about her trajectory, a singular trajectory that belongs to no one else but that can inspire thousands. “Today, I am independent, I offer my services to companies that the group acquires. If I had just been content with my resources, without going any further, I don’t think I would be where I am today. At work, you have to be able to take initiative and express yourself. If I haven’t been in the same position for three years in a row, it’s because I’ve spoken up,” she says with conviction.
Take the power
Taking a step back, Marie Costers shines a spotlight on a reality that has long dogged her: as a woman, you sometimes have to fight harder and demand just as much as men. “When I first started out, projects were assigned randomly, I sometimes felt shunned, pushed aside because people had preconceived notions, they thought about the consequences of a future marriage or pregnancy. It was like a threat. I had to make myself heard, to ask to be assigned projects. If you don’t push yourself, you stay where you are. When I was able to get a look at the paychecks, I also realized the difference in pay between women and men, for the same job.” At the time, prejudice was flourishing in fertile ground, the train to equality, slowly but surely, is starting to catch up.