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France Dequilbec

France Dequilbec: Enabling Women to Reach the Upper Echelons of Corporate Leadership

“No longer will the same stale faces dominate the Boardroom.”

How often have you felt the drive within yourself to take the next big step, to push yourself to reach greater heights of success, only to be stalled in your tracks by the fear of what other people would think?

But here’s the notion: Women are a powerhouse of talent and multitasking, capable of taking on the world and completing tasks with speed and efficiency that often leave their male counterparts in the dust. It’s a shame that the idea of women taking on senior roles or starting their own businesses is still seen as taboo in society, but with a sprinkle of courage and a helping hand or two, you can shatter those preconceived notions and soar to the heights you know you’re capable of.

France Dequilbec had a vision of a world where men and women were equally represented in leading executive positions. When this concept seemed like nothing more than a distant fantasy, France took a leap of faith and kicked off her entrepreneurial journey by defying the status quo. Now, France is the International Talent Acquisition Director/ Managing Director at CEO Worldwide and Female Executive Search and is dedicated to helping women achieve the highest levels of corporate success.

From a young age, she was utterly captivated by the pioneering females who fought for women’s rights. She is still in awe of those who persist in this fight today. As she embarked on her career, she encountered workplaces where there were zero women in leadership roles—a common occurrence at the time. To allow herself the opportunity to realize her professional aspirations without having to outshine her male counterparts, she established Les 100 Ciel—a multi-disciplinary communication agency specializing in the High-tech industry, based in Paris.

Back in 2008, the company had more than 200 clients over a 13-year period, including some of the biggest names in the industry, such as HP, Motorola, Infineon, Colt, and VistaPrint. This was a major achievement for the company and a testament to the dedication and perseverance of its founder, who set out to break the taboo and promote the talent of women in business. While building an impressive client list, she also created an international independent PR agency network, which has been instrumental in her success. With 65 employees, a revenue exceeding 5 million euros, and a double-digit bottom line, Les 100 ciels had a sky-high track record!

This is a remarkable story of one woman’s ambition and determination in the face of adversity, and it is a true inspiration for anyone looking to follow in her footsteps.

Let’s dig deeper and examine her successful path to assisting companies in improving their leadership teams around the world.

A Woman of Many Talents Who Soars to Success

France Dequilbec has taken the reins as Managing Director of Female Executive Search, one year after it set off on its journey in 2018. She previously held the title of Head of International Talent Acquisition for CEO Worldwide. Before that, she had the opportunity to gain multi-continental experience while working in the mobile phone business at Motorola and Siemens, where she held the position of Communication Director for an impressive seven years. Finally, France decided to take the plunge and launch her very own venture.

France has a Ph.D. in German and a Post-master’s degree in Information and Communication Technologies from the Sorbonne-Celsa Higher Education Establishment.

In 1995, when the concept of having an equal number of male and female executives was still a far-fetched dream, she took a leap of faith and ventured into the world of entrepreneurship. Despite having worked in two big corporations that lacked female representation in higher-level management positions and subsidiaries, she established her own company, thus becoming a trailblazer in the women’s movement.

She was determined to reach her full potential and seize control of her future by creating her own company. Despite the opposition she faced from men who doubted her ability to be a successful managing director and business owner, she pushed forward, refusing to give into the pressure of needing to constantly outperform her male counterparts. She knew it wouldn’t be easy, but nothing worth having ever is – and she was ready to prove them wrong.

The yin and yang of men and women offer a unique dynamic when it comes to business, as a woman’s approach may differ from a man’s, but the ultimate goal remains the same. In a nutshell: the execution of the plan may vary, but the end goal is always the same. Women are often just as passionate, if not more so, than their male counterparts when it comes to achieving success. This is because women rarely let their egos get in the way, making them an invaluable asset to the success of a business!

Still, fortunately, there are courageous men who are convinced of the huge potential of women’s contributions to business, and Patrick Mataix is one of them, having surrounded himself with women in key positions long before regulations and the media took on the subject.

It was, therefore, a natural and obvious step to launch this service, dedicated to promoting and placing female executives: Female Executive Search.

Unmatched Services with Innovative Approaches

CEO Worldwide is leaving its mark on the executive recruitment industry with its revolutionary approach to international hiring. With their fixed recruitment fees, flexible contract terms, and 100% success rate with a 12-month replacement guarantee, they are a force to be reckoned with. Not only that, but they prove their commitment to excellence by striving to deliver the best possible service to their clients, and that means providing a selection of suitable candidates within just ten days. For those looking to make the search for the perfect executive a bit easier and more cost-effective, CEO Worldwide is the obvious choice. And with their commitment to excellence and top-notch customer service, you can rest assured that you’re in good hands.

Part of the well-respected and distinguished CEO Worldwide family, Female Executive Search is the perfect bridge between progressive organizations that recognize the value of gender diversity and the world’s top female leaders. Their mission is twofold: To provide a platform for female candidates to showcase their skills and to give organizations access to premier talent while fostering an environment of idea and experience sharing. Their team of experienced recruiters is passionate about helping businesses achieve their goals. They are on a mission to make sure that female leaders across the globe are represented in the top echelons of the corporate world. By partnering with organizations, they will ensure that female voices are heard and that their skills and expertise are celebrated.

CEO Worldwide: Go-to for Female Leadership Success

From its early days, CEO Worldwide has skyrocketed to success, becoming renowned for its ability to swiftly meet the needs of executives and its vast international experience with over 2,000 placements in 70 countries. In recognition of its excellence, Forbes listed CEO Worldwide as one of the top 250 U.S. executive recruitment firms. A staggering 21,000 vetted executives are stored in the company’s international iCEO database, including a noteworthy number of female leaders, making CEO Worldwide the go-to for hiring the most qualified candidates for executive roles. Additionally, the company’s Investors on Demand service is also able to connect businesses with investments when it is most needed.

Female Executive Search is an innovative, specialized recruitment platform determined to level the playing field in the boardroom. They recognize the undeniable value of female leadership and want to provide opportunities to qualified female executives who are ready to make a powerful impact. Through their platform, they bridge the gap between recruiters and female executives, thereby empowering women and businesses that understand the importance of diversity. Ultimately, this is about creating positive change for business and the global economy as a whole. Female Executive Search is here to champion female executives and make their potential visible.

Call-to-action to Empower Women in the Workplace

There is immense power in female leadership, and it’s time to break the taboo and shine a light on the amazing talent of women in business. This is why it was a no-brainer for them to launch their new female executive search service, which seeks to promote and place female executives in positions of power.

This new service is a call to action to empower women in the workplace and to put their ideas and expertise to use in high-level positions. It is an invitation for women to become part of the decision-making process and to create a stronger and more inclusive business environment.

This service is an opportunity for female executives to envision and execute their own success and to break boundaries in the corporate world.

France is a passionate advocate for female leaders and dedicates large portions of her day to helping them. She understands the transformative power of words and works to challenge the way they introduce themselves and articulate their professional capabilities. Her aim is to help them leverage their unique talents and build their personal brands. To achieve this, she has created a dedicated platform on which female leaders can showcase their professional track record and demonstrate the value they can bring to any organization. Through her tireless efforts, she is empowering these female professionals to make their voices heard and prove that actions really do speak louder than words.

At its core, its platform gives women executives the confidence to showcase their professional skills and helps their female candidates reach new heights of success. Through their suite of tools, including video, they are working to create a more vibrant and inclusive environment for women in leadership positions across the globe. With a five-year plan in place, they can’t wait to see what the future holds for them! They are committed to using every available resource to give women the tools and support they need to achieve their career goals and make a real impact on the landscape of leadership. Whether it’s helping more women find their voice or providing a platform for women to advance their own professional development, they are working hard to ensure that the future of leadership is more balanced.

They’re excited to see the regulations and initiatives that develop that will lead them into a future that is equal, diverse, and inclusive! Respect and trust are the key drivers of the relationships she establishes with their candidates and clients.

Female Leaders at the Helm

Although the evidence is clear that greater gender equality at the top leads to better business results, the reality is that women remain vastly underrepresented in the C-suite. However, attitudes are shifting, and companies are hiring more women into senior roles, recognizing their immense capabilities and value.

France states, “We’ve also seen a surge in regulations around the world aiming to increase the representation of women in board and management-level positions. Female leaders now have dedicated platforms and initiatives to showcase their impressive professional backgrounds and accomplishments. It is becoming increasingly obvious that women are not only capable of taking on senior roles but are thriving in them. It’s time for us to take the necessary steps to bridge the gender gap and create a more equitable and successful business landscape.”

Female leaders have stepped up and shown the world that diversity in business is an invaluable asset. Having a gender balance at the top executive level can not only provide a company with a competitive edge, but it can also bring a new level of synergy to the workplace. By challenging traditional decision-making processes and embracing different perspectives, female leaders have the potential to drive greater success and value to a business. Just as biodiversity creates a stronger and more sustainable ecosystem, a diverse executive team can create a stronger, more resilient, and more profitable company. With female leaders at the helm, there’s no telling how far a business can go.

In June 2018, Female Executive Search was founded at a time when just 7% of their pool of vetted international candidates were women. Now, after just five years, it’s pleasing to report on the positive changes in those numbers and in the landscape. As of today:

  • 25% of their internationally vetted candidates across 40 countries are female executives.
  • Where competencies fit, they systematically present one female and one male for every position.
  • 20% of their placements are female, a figure that has grown by 50% in the past six months.
  • She personally interviewed over 425 female C-level candidates from across the Globe.
  • They have placed women in CXO positions globally.

Revolutionary and Record-breaking High-tech Platform

They have created a revolutionary and Record-breaking High-tech Platform that is catered to both clients and candidates alike. This ASP platform has the capability to match a pool of 21,000 international executive candidates with their client’s needs around the world in a professional and speedy manner with full flexibility and success-based hiring fees.

This innovative platform provides a few key features such as sourcing, vetting, and selecting the right talent from a pool of over 21,000 top executives worldwide, presenting a shortlist of candidates in less than ten days, and an in-house video platform that enables both clients and candidates to conduct interviews remotely and showcase their professional skills and build their digital and personal brands.

Word for Budding Entrepreneurs

For those yearning to set foot in the business world, she offers some sage advice: be an innovative leader! Entrepreneurship is all about thinking outside the box and creating something new; don’t be afraid to take those leaps of faith. As a leader, you should always strive to think big and never settle for mediocrity. Take risks, embrace failure, and always keep pushing for success. As the saying goes, “If there’s a will, there’s a way!”

Freedom: She wholeheartedly believes in living life with no boundaries. She recognizes the power of freedom of thought, expression, and change, understanding that without it, there can be no growth or progress.

Courage: Courage is something she highly values. It takes bravery to face a group of people holding different beliefs, to march on despite being told that success is impossible, and to be honest and candid about your thoughts and ideas.

Ethical: Making ethical decisions is a priority for her. She strives to make sure that her business practices are moral and just and that she is able to gain the trust and respect of those around her in order to work together towards a shared goal.

Progressive Augmentation

Their ambitious expansion plan for 2023 and beyond is focused on global growth, digital transformation, and driving diversity. To achieve this, they are investing in three key areas:

1) Growing their vetted executive pool, ambassadors network, and corporate partnerships around the globe. This will enable them to attract the best talent and expand their reach to key markets.

2) Extending their online services, such as their video platform, to help candidates and clients get the most out of their recruitment experience.

3) Introducing new services for boardrooms and launching a range of #DEI initiatives to ensure every individual is given the opportunity to reach their career aspirations.

Power of Hardwork and its Rewards

Naresh Patel, Managing Director, FM PBW Bearings Pvt. Ltd.

We hired CEO Worldwide to find our CEOs both for our corporate business and Trust. Over the course of a few weeks, they managed to identify and present an exceptional shortlist of candidates, out of which we recruited the outstanding ones that fit perfectly what we were looking for. There is no way we could have done that on our own.

CEO Worldwide provides continuous follow-up of the process and nice and friendly attention, all of that with serious commitment, flexibility, a sense of urgency, efficiency, and professionalism. It is a pleasure to partner with them, and we highly recommend their services for any critical C-Level executive hires.

FM PBW Bearings Pvt. Ltd.:We manufacture bimetal & tri-metal bearings, bushings, and thrust washers for locomotives, engines, pumps, compressors, turbochargers, earthmovers, and a range of other reciprocating and rotating machinery.

M. Fillon, General Director of Novo Nordisk’s French Branch

Reactivity, Efficiency, and Excellent Service

When our HR team approached CEO Worldwide regarding the recruitment of an aseptic production director for our French branch based in Chartres (700 staff), we were fully aware of the difficulties in finding such a specific profile, in particular, as it was extremely urgent!
The searched criteria were:
• Aseptic production experience in the pharmaceutical industry
• Degree in pharmaceutical studies or medicine
• Management of more than 300 staff and experience as Co-Director
• International coordination of several production sites
• Bilingual French-English

We appreciated CEO Worldwide’s operational, business-oriented, and pragmatic approach right from the first telephone briefing. They presented us with four candidates within eight days; thus, we could go ahead with face-to-face interviews very quickly.

CEO Worldwide guided us through the whole process with operational advice, business oriented but at the same time with the necessary distance to challenge the candidates and to push the requirements of the Novo Nordisk team. We finally chose Eric Kummer due to his professional track record in the pharmaceutical sector and in production. He was able to start within an extremely tight schedule, and up to now, we are absolutely satisfied.
Thanks to the professional service of CEO Worldwide, their reactivity, and pertinence, we could recruit such a specific profile in 35 days only, which is remarkable in this international context in which the time factor plays a crucial role.


MichelleExecutive Consultant, Canada

France Dequilbec is passionate about globally elevating women to executive positions. She believes there is power in female leadership and actively promotes, connects, and drives engagement for female leaders. It is a pleasure to work with this inspiring, authentic, results-oriented, and high-impact Director Female Executive Search.

Giselle, Human Resources Director, France

Female Executive Search is committed to doing what they say and saying what they do. I had the chance to be supported by France Dequilbec at a time of struggle in my professional path.  She brought the light into the context I was going through, and thanks to her, I’ve been able to transform an issue into a great opportunity. France has a huge knowledge of the corporate world, especially concerning Executive Women, and I see her as a strong inspiration to improve the position of Women in the business world. I wish we were all as committed as France is to building a better corporate world for women.