Interview with Corinne Baste: Orange, a digital and human company!

Corinne Baste runs the South West Distribution Branch, an entity that manages the 49 Orange stores that can be found in the zone stretching from Biarritz to Limoges, and covering Bordeaux, Agen and La Rochelle. Here she answers a few questions about Volunteering Week.

What does "solidarity" mean to you?

Spontaneously, the word solidarity brings to mind support, ... visible, real and meaningful support, ... real help ... above all never giving up, never leaving anyone by the wayside.
At Orange, my yardstick for solidarity is "no digital divide" ... In the Orange group’s DNA, the word "solidarity" echoes the actions of the Orange Foundation of course, but also the actions of all our employees who work with it through volunteering or skills philanthropy. No less than 300 Orange employees in the South West are involved with different associations. We have a real wealth of goodwill in this company.

Do you think the actions developed by the Orange Foundation are source of pride for your staff?

Absolutely, from the moment they become aware of them.
Personally, I find it very rewarding to be part of a team committed to helping others in such deserving areas as education, health and culture worldwide.
However, these actions too often go unnoticed. Weeks like this will help us to improve recognition ... raise awareness among the general public, beyond our "well-informed targets"...
This year’s areas of focus are digital education and professional integration for young people. These areas mean something to all of us, since we are often parents, uncles and aunts ourselves. It is also a major issue for our country. It is obviously a huge source of pride that Orange is taking on this educational challenge through its Foundation!

Do you think our customers expect to be kept informed about Orange’s community-oriented actions?

Customers are more and more conscious of a brand’s image, what it does in addition to its business: its social responsibility, its ethics.
An operator that wants to stand out has to bring something else to the table to maintain its unrivalled, almost "emotional" customer relationship.
By getting involved with some great causes via its foundation, Orange is meeting this social demand. When we carried out initiatives like "recycling week", we clearly sensed our customer’s interest in our partnership with Emmaüs and the mobile recycling workshops that help create jobs.
You don’t choose and stay with an operator randomly. Our relationship with our customers is excellent, thanks to our offers of course, but also because our image conveys positive values of solidarity. That’s what makes us a digital and human company!

What community-oriented actions have you planned in the South West?

Brochures about the Foundation are currently being distributed in our stores. In all our stores, the wonderful video about the Orange Foundation is shown on a screen that should catch the eye of all our customers.
We are organising a Khan Academy workshop on 5 October and a #Supercoders workshop on 14 October at the "Très Grande Boutique" on rue Sainte Catherine in Bordeaux. We will also be taking part in the meeting on 8 October to talk about work experience for 14-15 year old pupils from schools in the city’s underprivileged neighbourhoods.

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