After his film “Happiness at Work”, Martin Meissonnier returns with a film on equal treatment for men and women in the workplace, which will be given an advance screening at MBS


Following his lecture on “Power and Leadership” in March, Martin Meissonnier was once again welcomed back to Montpellier Business School, this time as part of its Global Responsibility Week. The French journalist, author, director, producer and composer came to MBS for a screening of his new film on the equal treatment of men and women in the workplace, and its relationship with business performance. The preview screening was reserved for M2 apprenticeship students and was followed by a Q&A session.

It was while he was directing his first documentary on happiness at work that M. Meissonnier began to learn about the close connection between happiness and equality in the workplace. He decided to make a second film about it. “Happiness is a question of balance, so it depends specifically on equality between male and female employees in a company, whether that’s in terms of salary or treatment.”

Through different portraits of women, M. Meissonnier casts a light on the benefits of male-female equality and on the current state of affairs. “In our society, there’s still this notion of the ‘weaker sex’. In 2017! Prejudices have a long shelf life. In 50 years, unfortunately, very little has changed. Whether it’s this lingering idea that a woman’s degree is worth less than a man’s, or that a woman is less equipped to occupy a position of responsibility because she might take maternity leave, or so on. The clichés persist, and the media contributes to maintaining these false images of women. This can lead to sexual harassment and sexism at work, but also to self-censorship by women. And yet they have so much to contribute! A company’s performance depends on diversity. The proof lies in the fact that companies with women in management positions achieve better growth! It’s such a pity when you see that, even today, so few people are aware of this. So many companies are being deprived of talent. Business culture must evolve, and this film shows why.”

It’s a fascinating documentary, one that’s sure to elicit many reactions from the students present, and particularly when it comes to knowing how everyone can contribute to workplace equality. M. Meissonnier argues that, if they really want to, everyone can find a way to contribute — we can all help to change women’s representation in the workplace. “And it’s important to contribute, because once you realise this, everyone wins: women, the men who develop their potential alongside them, and the company itself, which boosts its performance. But all of society has to evolve at the same time.”

A big thanks to Martin Meissonnier for his time and for giving us an exclusive showing of his film — one whose values, of diversity and non-discrimination, Montpellier Business School shares.