Meet the Author: Fabienne Jacquet
FACC Member Fabienne Jacquet holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry, and moved to Marketing in the middle of her career. Through her international journey, she has lived between Europe and the US, and traveled the world. Innovation has been her love for more than 30 years, with a proven track record in Fortune 500 companies.
In 2018 she left the corporate world. She settled in the US and created INNOVEVE®, a consultancy dedicated to bringing feminine DNA to the progression of innovation. She wrote a book around the theme of innovation through the feminine lens: Venus Genius: the Female Prescription for Innovation, that was just published in December 2020. Purchase your copy here.
FACC-NY: Your book is about the theme of innovation through the feminine lens. Could you say more about the book’s topic, and how you got into thinking about writing on this?
The book Venus Genius explores innovation from different perspectives: historical, scientific, sociological, cultural and practical — all through the feminine lens. It addresses the shortage of women in innovation and how important it is to address this as a first step to inclusion. This book reveals that any innovator can acquire the necessary skills to create meaningful innovation.
As I narrate in the book, the combination of innovation and feminine came to me in my sleep, as I was working at shaping the next step in my career and my life.
After thirty+ years of innovation in the corporate world, in technology and in marketing, I felt the need to bring more humanity to a mainly process-driven discipline.
In parallel, I had gone through a personal journey from the masculine toward the feminine energy, that also had a positive impact in my career. Hence the idea of rebalancing feminine and masculine traits for better innovation. This is how I funded INNOVEVE®, a consultancy that brings feminine DNA to the progression of innovation.
The book came as a natural extension to share my passion.
FACC-NY: You have come a long way moving from the corporate world to entrepreneurship from France to the U.S. Could you share with us your experience living as an expatriate and adopting a citizenship in the U.S., and how this has shaped your career?
I have a framed photo of my late maternal grandmother who never traveled outside of France. I often share with her: “Granny, as of today, it’s the fifth time you cross the Atlantic Ocean,… in a container!”
My moves between Europe and the US were all driven by my career. These were very different experiences though as I first came to the U.S. as a single woman and then came back as a married one. The challenges the first time were how to adapt to my new environment, learn the ropes and deal with loneliness – in the early 90s, internet was emerging and we didn’t have cell phones.
As a married woman responsible for the move, I had to make sure that my spouse would find his own balance and happiness in a new country, which was a totally different type of challenge.
In any case, these were fantastic learning and growing experiences as an individual and a couple. My husband fell in love with America as it still is the land of opportunities, this is how we decided to become American citizens and to call the U.S. home.
Being immersed in the positive entrepreneurial energy of the US, I could also create my own business. I loved my corporate experience, and was ready to experiment with the freedom and emotional roller-coaster of the entrepreneurial life.
FACC-NY: Because of the new popularity of social constructionism, people have a good idea of how gender is flexible, fluid, changes over time—but how do you see this in the world of innovation?
I would challenge the first statement: gender fluidity may be more visible today, but there is still a lot of progress to be made at accepting that gender is not 0 or 1 and that we all are on a masculine-feminine spectrum. We still live in a very gendered world, and it is still dominated by masculine energy.
It totally applies to innovation. For a lot of reasons including the fact that innovation originated in science and technology, innovation has neglected women. It is still driven by processes – mainly masculine energy. There is a need to bring more humanity – feminine energy. Both energies are needed for successful innovation, feminine is more appropriate for the discovery phase and masculine for the execution one.
Venus Genius is about celebrating the duality of the feminine and the masculine in all human beings and dares us to activate both energies to create innovation that brings true value to our world.
FACC-NY: Do you consider yourself a bleeding-heart feminist?
If you are referring to the true definition of feminism: “the advocacy of women's rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes”, then I am a feminist at heart. If feminism is what it unfortunately became for some women, acting like men and hating men, then I am not a feminist. Plus I am not an activist or an extremist.
I am an advocate for a good balance of the feminine and the masculine in human beings. As our future depends on innovation, I am especially sensitive to this balance in innovation. We need to give a chance to women and the feminine side to show what they can do to create a better environment.
FACC-NY: How do you see females evolving and innovating in proletarian fields like mining, mechanics, construction, etc.,?
The first mission of the book is to demystify innovation. To your question, there is this perception that innovation is reserved to an elite with a high IQ, and needs a lot of resources.
I argue that we can all be innovators if we have the passion for it, are persistent and develop the right skills. I recently gave a speech about the need for feminine traits in the energy industry, which is a male-dominated domain as mining, mechanics or construction that you mentioned.
Innovation is industry agnostic and anybody can innovate. Women can bring their specific traits of empathy, nurturing, intuition or collaboration, they have just to be empowered to do so.
Interested in connecting with Fabienne? Log into the FACC Member Directory to send her a message.