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Karina and Sybille: Using their skills to combine economic and social imperatives

Karina focuses on numerous and highly varied solidarity issues at Carrefour in Brazil. One of the things she is striving to do is nurture more women leaders in a country where there is still a great deal of discrimination. Sybille, like her, is keen on bringing about inclusion and the sharing of knowledge.

Sybille decided to return to university after a 10-year career by enrolling on a university diploma in social entrepreneurship at Paris Dauphine University. Thanks to this training programme, she can now work on combining economic performance, respect and social inclusion.



Karina, Solidarity manager


Following a degree in psychology, Karina quickly turned her attention to human resources. She joined Carrefour Brazil's HR department 12 years ago, before taking over the management of solidarity issues in 2007. "Brazil is a country where there are significant income disparities. When my company asked if I wanted to work on these issues, I seized the opportunity". Since then, Karina has been working in highly varied areas, including food, social inclusion and diversity.


"Carrefour has been operating in Brazil for more than 40 years. We have two generations of employees and we take the role that we play in society extremely seriously". This means working on a number of joint projects lasting several years, including one with Gastromotiva, association created by Chef David Hertz. This restaurant, which began by serving 140 meals every day to the poorest people, was involved in the Rio Olympics, collecting products that were not consumed by the athletes. With Carrefour's support, Refettorio Gastromotiva was able to set up a project to train talented cooks and create a charity canteen. So far, this initiative has prevented some 6000 tonnes of food from going to waste. In addition to its partnerships, Carrefour Brazil also works with its employees on a volunteer programme – “Volontario” – which has been in operation for 16 years and through which the group's employees can donate four hours of their time every month. Nearly 12,000 of them have already donated their time.


In a country that is 15 times larger than France, it is important to have local coordinators. Karina coordinates a network of ambassadors. These people can work in each of the Group's stores across Brazil and receive specific coaching and training. They are also in contact with Head office on a regular basis. In addition to these ties at local level, Karina identifies organisations operating at the forefront on issues in which Carrefour is involved and projects for which the group could provide genuine added value. She works with them on creating partnerships with the authorities, puts in place mechanisms for assessing results, is involved in tracking, etc. "It's very time-consuming, but after several years in this job, I have seen changes occurring out in the field, and it's really worth it".


Carrefour is one of the largest private employers in Brazil, and so Karina continues to align the partnerships for which she is responsible with the Group's values. "And it works. Currently, each of our 200 stores has links with at least one local charity. The employees get involved, understand our work and bring initiatives to us from the field". And Karina has no intention of stopping there. A programme to disseminate examples of best practice has been set up, and although solidarity is one of the company's mainstays, it is now embraced by all of the Group's employees.


"Currently, each of our 200 stores has links with at least one local charity. The employees get involved, understand our work and bring initiatives to us from the field"

In the years to come, Karina would like to further involve Carrefour Brazil's ecosystem and "get our customers involved beyond simply donating food or clothing". She recently launched a programme to tackle gender discrimination with workshops for store managers. "We would like to nurture even more women leaders, both across the company and outside of it. This is a major issue in Brazil, and so it's normal for Carrefour to get involved!”


Sybille, university diploma in social entrepreneurship at Paris Dauphine University


Social ties have always informed Sybille’s professional decisions. “For 10 years, I designed participatory artistic projects, wanting to help reduce inequality and create areas with a varied social mix". Alongside her responsibilities as deputy director of the Évry Theatre, she is passionate about emerging initiatives in the social and solidarity economy. "In 2016, I wanted to take some time to gain a better understanding of the challenges facing this sector so I could commit fully to it”, and so that's how Sibylle ended up enrolling in Paris Dauphine University's diploma in social entrepreneurship. As part of the course, she conducted a study into an SSE organisation and led a programme alongside a local association. Now that she has qualified, she works as a project manager for Les bons profils, a recruitment solution for companies which strives to increase access to employment for people getting into the job market.

Sybille’s career path resonates particularly with Karina's– "first of all because it is tied in with the powerful levers of human resources". Indeed, Sybille sees on Karina’s resumé this guiding themes of inclusion and sharing knowledge: "the work that Karina does shows just how many committed people there are, people for whom a company's economic performance is synonymous with social performance". That's the whole reasoning behind Sibylle's current post in which she uses her skills in team management, coordination, project co-development and supporting organisations in their HR processes.

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