Profiling Marie-Elisabeth d’Ornano, Chairman of IECQ
¦ From an IEC e-tech article by Claire Marchand.
Science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM, careers are still very much the prerogative of men. Electrotechnical standardization and conformity assessment are no exception. In recent years however, women have made dents in this long-standing tradition.
Marie-Elisabeth d’Ornano, who became Chairman of IECQ, the IEC Quality Assessment System for Electronic Components, on 1 January 2014, is such a woman and a good example for others to follow.
First woman to head an IEC CA System
2013 was a pivotal year for d’Ornano. On the one hand, she succeeded Michel Brénon, then LCIE Director of Certification, when he retired at the end of the year. On the other, she was appointed as Chairman of IECQ. In both cases, Brénon played a major role. A key figure of IEC standardization and conformity assessment for more than 20 years, his two hats – LCIE Director of Certification and IECQ Vice-Chairman – made him a strong supporter of d’Ornano’s candidacy for the IECQ chairmanship.
Although d’Ornano knew about the IEC Conformity Assessment (CA) Systems, in particular IECEE (IEC System of Conformity Assessment Schemes for Electrotechnical Equipment and Components) – she had used the CB Scheme in her previous positions – she soon discovered the singularity of IECQ, a System that she knew little about.
Finding the right solution
Her background in industry, testing and certification and her fresh approach – not marred by years of service in the System – was the perfect combination that the System needed to make headway. Leaving the purely technical side to the experts, she sees her role as a kind of facilitator. New ideas, proposals and technologies are brought to the tables and they are discussed with IECQ Executive Secretary Chris Agius and his team as well as with the members of the Management Committee with a view of finding new and better solutions.
For d’Ornano, there’s seldom only one solution. Whatever the problem, it is important to see the global picture, bounce ideas off one another and figure out all the options that are available before actually making a decision that will benefit both the System and the markets. As part of her function as Chairman, she is building links between all stakeholders.
While she considers the Sydney-based IECQ Secretariat as the backbone of the System, she seizes every opportunity to make contacts within the electronics sector and to represent IECQ when she is traveling. A strong believer in teamwork and the virtues of dialogue, she says she’s lucky to be able to participate actively in the development and the evolution of the System.
Cooperation with IEC CA Systems
D’Ornano is also an advocate of cooperation between the IEC CA Systems to meet the demands made by industry and stakeholders. Today’s world of fast-evolving technologies and complex systems often call for different and often innovative solutions.
Within the electronics sector, IECQ clearly doesn’t have all the answers. One option would be to create new Schemes, or even new Systems, another is to take a step back and examine what’s already available in all the IEC CA Systems and then select what is appropriate. This obviously requires some degree of cooperation. As she puts it: “We really have to sit down together and discuss what’s feasible, how we can collaborate on specific issues.
Read the full article here http://go.iec.ch/1