To succeed within this EV industry, creativity is the most important attribute according to Delphine Andrivot, Technical Manager at Parker LORD. “We all need to think outside of the box to be able to solve problems and with collaborative thinking, empathy and trust can be the main drivers and the innovations explode,” says Delphine who sees electrification as a wonderful – albeit challenging – opportunity, full of exciting possibilities.
Delphine explains that Covid has been a major challenge because it not only changed how everyone worked but also required a big mindset shift: “During the pandemic, people have been told to be careful, not imaginative,” explains Delphine, who manages a team of seven application engineers, developing structural adhesives and thermal solutions for EVs that reduce risk and improve performance. “As we have to move on in these difficult times, you have to be creative whilst working within constraints. So instead of being afraid of change, the key is to take the opportunity. That’s exactly what we do in the EV market too. There are lots of rules and technical constraints from our customers and we have to propose new solutions to make a difference.”
From her base near Paris, she manages the European technical team whilst working alongside the sales, R&D and supply chains teams. “My job is to drive the pace of the team to support the rapidly growing EV market and a key aspect of this is anticipation – having a strong vision, being closely connected to our customers and hiring and retaining the talents we have in our team so we can support the future OEMs [original equipment manufacturers].” Day-to-day, she meets regularly with global and European team members and clients, nurturing those professional relationships. As much as she loves technical challenges, she also enjoys working with people from so many different European cultures. “I need to be able to listen, connect and dream with them,” she adds.
For Delphine, sustainability isn’t an add on or an afterthought, it’s actually the starting point in her work and at home. “My personal values for sustainability are reflected in my work decisions. Sustainability is currency – it needs to be embedded in the language of your values so your daily life can be as sustainable as your work is. They need to be aligned. That starts with energy management, and the choices you make between modes of transport when you have to go somewhere….can you use your feet, ride a bike or take a train?”
It’s about having real integrity but Delphine knows it’s not about perfection. “The EV market is a great first step – we need to work on our recyclability, new technology to find sustainable minerals. We are not fully there yet but it’s a work in progress. It’s constantly evolving.”
For that reason, adaptability within the workforce is essential. Delphine suggests finding a good mentor to help build confidence and believes that women have so many skills to offer: “Yes, you need a strong technical background and credibility is essential but that’s not enough. Trust that you have something different to bring and be fearless. Your personality, your open mindset and your passion – these things all really matter. EVs are our future, we have a strong responsibility to be innovative. Your vision will probably be different and that brings added value.”
Since joining Parker LORD in 2018 and having worked for 19 years in other global companies, Delphine says Parker LORD and my management team have continuously allowed me the power of trust“. “When you need the ability to scale up a new business quickly, trust is really very powerful – it boosts the creativity of everyone in the team, empowering them to take the lead,” she explains. “I have also learnt to have trust in myself, that as a woman working in industry for more than 20 years now, this is my place.”