The Social and Solidarity Economy: From the Margins to the Mainstream


Muriel Pénicaud


Ambassador, Permanent Representative of France to the OECD


Muriel Pénicaud was Minister of Labour of France from May 2017 to July 2020. She led several structural reforms leading to a significant decrease of unemployment: The labour reform law (2017), the “Professional future” law for learning, continuing education, and gender equality (2018), inclusive programs for vulnerable people and short-time work system during the COVID-19 crisis. She was also strongly involved in negotiating European directives, including for posted workers. In 2019, she chaired the “G7 Social” of ministers of labour, concluding a tripartite declaration between G7 countries and employers’ and union organizations, aimed at strengthening social protection for everyone. Previously, from May 2014 to May 2017, Muriel Pénicaud was CEO of Business France agency and French Ambassador for International Investments. Business France is the national agency supporting the international development of the French economy, responsible for fostering export growth by French businesses, as well as facilitating international investments in France and promoting France attractiveness. She led the creation of Business France by merging two agencies (AFII and Business France). From 2008 to 2014, Ms. Pénicaud was Executive Vice-President, Human Resources at Groupe Danone, she was a member of the Executive Committee, and also served as the Chairman of the Board of the Danone Ecosystem Fund. From 1993 to 2002 she held various executive positions. She founded and produced the “Eve program” to develop women’s leadership in business, and created “Dan’Cares” a program providing social protection for all employees worldwide. From 2002 to 2008, she was Executive Vice-President, in charge of the human resources and Sustainable Development and member of the Executive Committee at Dassault Systems, a world leader company in 3D technology. After starting her career as a local government administrator (1976-1980), she held a number of management assignments as non-profit organizations director (1981-1985), and then at the French Ministry for Labour from 1985 to 1991. She was a member of the ministerial Cabinet from 1991 to 1993. From 1993 to 2002, she held several international executive positions in Human Resources at Danone Group.

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