Ms. Françoise CHOMBAR, CEO of Melexis awarded the 2018 BNP Paribas Global Prize for Women Entrepreneurs at the FCEM World Committee in New York
BNP Paribas Wealth Management, with the support of the global women entrepreneur network FCEM (Femmes Chefs d’Entreprises Mondiales) selected Ms. Françoise CHOMBAR from Belgium out of a pool of 30 international candidates from 4 continents, for her exceptional entrepreneurial achievements based on four criteria: economic performance, positive impact on society, disruptive innovation and promotion of female entrepreneurship.
This award reflects BNP Paribas Wealth Management’s strategy to understand, serve and celebrate women entrepreneurs, especially by highlighting inspiring role models such as Ms. Chombar. The jury is composed of business women from 7 countries in Europe, Asia and the U.S. (read the full list of jury members). The 2017 laureate was the Italian healthcare entrepreneur Dr. Laura MELIS.
Françoise Chombar, Laureate of the 2018 Prize, declared, “I’m very honored personally to receive this award but I would like to make it a real team award. We enjoy what we do collectively at Melexis and that is the origin of our creativity, and consequently the source of our customer satisfaction. Why we do what we do is even more essential: we create innovative micro-electronic solutions for the best imaginable future. Making and enjoying our contribution to society should get all of us up every morning: that is how I would like to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs as well as intrapreneurs.”
WHAT MADE THE JURY DECISION?
- BUSINESS GROWTH
Ms. Chombar has made Melexis one of the four world leaders in automotive semiconductor sensors. Melexis is also a trailblazer in the development, design and application of integrated semiconductors for motors, car networking, wired and wireless communication. Ms. Chombar co-founded the company in 1988: it was publicly listed in 2002 on Euronext, has grown to 1400 employees in 14 countries, and has registered double digit organic growth for five consecutive years. Every new car in the world has on average 10 chips made by Melexis.
- DISRUPTIVE INNOVATION
The company launches approximately one new product per month and two-thirds of these have innovative features to make cars, including electric ones, trucks and off-road equipment safer, more reliable and more energy efficient. Melexis is also active in smart appliances, home automation, industrial and medical sectors.
- POSITIVE IMPACT
As CEO, Ms. Chombar puts great emphasis on anticipating future challenges so as to ensure tomorrow’s business success, but also to contribute to making a better world. The company’s 2030 vision explores the potential of smart-cities, self-driving cars and data.
- PERSONAL COMMITMENT
Ms. Chombar is concerned by the low number of young people with an interest in STEM education (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and finds especially STEM girl power important as she has found that girls bring a more pragmatic approach to the STEM domains with more focus on people and planet. For that reason she chairs the STEM-platform, an advisory board of the Flemish government. Ms. Chombar advocates for more women across all professions and this commitment is reflected in the composition of the Melexis Board (40/60 m/f) and of her Executive Team (60/40 m/f). She supported women empowerment through SOFIA for 17 years, the Belgian women’s network and educational program for women in management at the University Hasselt and through Women on Board, the non-profit association promoting female access to directorship roles within Belgian companies.
Sofia Merlo, Co-CEO of BNP Paribas Wealth Management, explained: “Our jury has been impressed by the entrepreneurial path taken by Ms. Chombar, who has delivered significant growth in her company by investing both in innovation and in staff empowerment including the promotion of women in the engineering sector where few women are active!.”
Vincent Lecomte, Co-CEO of BNP Paribas Wealth Management, added: “This award is one of the highlights of our strategy aiming to understand, serve and celebrate international women entrepreneurs, especially showcasing great model roles whose passion will certainly inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.”
FCEM is the pioneer association uniting women business owners from the world over. Founded in France in 1945 by Yvonne Foinant, and months before the United Nations, the association quickly spread into other European countries and the 5 continents. FCEM brings together in solidarity and friendship like-minded women who share a common interest: that of entrepreneurship. Today the FCEM network includes over 120 different countries and 5 million members from the five continents. And FCEM membership is growing, with new requests for membership each year.
BNP Paribas Wealth Management is a leading global private bank and the number one private bank in the Eurozone in terms of assets under management. Present in three hubs in Europe, Asia and the US, over 6,800 professionals provide private investor clientele with solutions for protecting, growing and transmitting their assets. The bank has €364 billion worth of assets under management (as at 30 December 2017) and was selected “Best Private Bank for Entrepreneurs” in 2016 and 2017.
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