The appointment in July 2005 of a woman, Laurence Parisot, to head the Medef, le Mouvement des Entreprises de France, the country’s leading employers’ association, was a minor revolution. Her election is the “symbol of a modernity and boldness that was not necessarily expected of France’s employers”, declared her predecessor, Ernest-Antoine Seillière; and Laurence Parisot is already flaunting her difference by her style: T-shirt and trousers, short hair, no make-up, we are a long way from the traditional “suit, tie and cigar” associated with the boss. But it is above all in her attitude that she is breaking new ground. “I define myself as a liberal,” she goes so far as to declare, when “this word has become a swearword in France”, as one boss has whispered.
Laurence Parisot – France
But Laurence Parisot is setting out “to prove that liberal does not mean antisocial” and to do it by “explaining the economy to the French”. Her credo: “When business wins, everyone wins”, and she is demanding greater flexibility in the labour market and tax cuts. “Life, health, love are insecure, why should work not be subject to the same law?”, she ventures to ask. Her formula? “What’s good is what works.” (Read the rest of this article on www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/ ).
These days Laurence Parisot’s work is in the ‘eye of the storm’, as her leading employers’ association MEDEF contributes to solve – with other political and working partners – the students protest running since 2 months:
- Excerpt: … Bolstered by recent street protests across the country, French unions are to meet senior figures from the governing party for talks on a contested youth jobs law. The Union … reported more than three million marchers across France on the fifth national protest day. Police put the turnout at just over one million … Laurence Parisot, head of the Medef employers group, said on Tuesday that the protests, coming after suburban riots last autumn, were hurting trade as France’s image soured abroad. (Read more of this article on Aljazeera.Net).
- Excerpt: … Since two months students protest and strike against new French labor law named CPE. On Friday April 7, 2006, Laurence Parisot, head of the Medef, France’s biggest employer organization, warned again that the disruptions risked hurting the economy. She says: “We must do everything to quickly end this crisis, which is costing our country dearly,” she told France 2 television. Following two months of mass protests, President Jacques Chirac has asked lawmakers to consult with unions and employers to draw up a new version of the embattled law. The legislation, which makes it easier to fire workers under the age of 26, was formally enacted last Sunday but then effectively suspended when President Jacques Chirac asked companies not to use it until new rules had been agreed on. (Read the rest of this article on Internat. Herald Tribune Europe).
- Excerpt: … The issues at stake in the present struggle go beyond the immediate question of the CPE. Laurence Parisot, head of the employers’ association MEDEF, spoke for the entire French bourgeoisie when she declared that irrespective of what happens with the CPE, further measures against workers of all ages must be implemented. “The one merit of the crisis is that people have understood that there are real problems in our labour market,” she declared. “I’m convinced that France can undertake the reforms it needs, she said.” (read the nrest of this long article on World Socialist Web Site).
- Excerpt: … Whatever the political fallout of the crisis, Laurence Parisot, head of the Medef employers’ group, said it was now hurting trade and instability could hit order books. “We have to realise that this threatens the economy of our country … and ask ourselves how we get out of this unfortunate situation as quickly as possible,” she said on LCI television. (Read the rest of this article on Reuters UK).
- Excerpt: … Many business and political leaders accuse the government of not having properly thought out the law, along with the consequences it would have. De Villepin had hoped the law would help solve the chronic 26 percent unemployment among French youth, but Laurence Parisot, the head of France’s MEDEF, the country’s largest employer federation accused the government of trying to solve its problems on the backs of the young. (Read then rest of this article on M&C News).
Bio of Laurence Parisot:
Born August 31, 1959 / Luxeuil-les-Bains (France). Today Laurence Parisot is chairman and managing director of the global strength in marketing intelligence company IFOP, and is heading the Movement of French Companies since 2005.
After studying Law in the University of Nancy, she post-graduated in Paris Institute of Political Studies. In 1986 she was appointed managing director of the Louis Harris global market research institute. In 1990 she then became chairman of the IFOP group.
Her career within the MEDEF started in 2003. First a member of the Executive Council and of the Executive Council Bureau, she held the position of member of the Economic and Social Council in 2004. Favourite of the MEDEF former boss Ernest-Antoine Seillière in the run for the presidency in 2005, she was elected with the support of several professional associations such as banks and insurance companies.
Asking for a more liberal management of French economy, she declared that she wished “to put business at the very heart of French society” in order to fasten social advancement of the working classes.
Since 2000, Laurence Parisot has been a member of the Euro Disney SCA Advisory Board. Managing director of the Optimum Company, she has also been sitting in the Consultative Council of Ernst and Young since 2004. (Read more on Idees de France.fr).
in french: La Tribune;