“With Symbolones, I help women to assert themselves”: Judith Castro rewarded for her training organization in Montpellier

“With Symbolones, I help women to assert themselves”: Judith Castro rewarded for her training organization in Montpellier

Judith Castro a été récompensée le 30 mai 2024 pour son action avec Symbolones, son organisme de formation à destination des femmes. Isaline Boiteux

La Montpelliéraine Judith Castro a été récompensée, parmi d'autres femmes, à l’hôtel de Girard de Montpellier pour son action avec Symbolones, un organisme de formation spécialisé dans le développement professionnel des femmes.

Invited to share her experience in entrepreneurship at the Hôtel de Girard in Montpellier during the evening “Together, let's flourish !" recently organized by Montpellier life coach May Makhlouf and American entrepreneur Paula Fellingham, Judith Castro did not expect to be rewarded. “The surprise was total !", confides the fifty-year-old, at the head of Symbolones, a training organization specializing in development professional women.

Helping women assert themselves

The idea of ​​helping women germinated very early in the mind of this former HR consultant. During her life, she was repeatedly struck by the inequalities between men and women. Like when a boss of an SME that she supported ten years previously justified salary gaps between his male and female employees by the lack of demand for an increase from the latter. “This answer stunned me, she remembers. I had to act in the face of so much injustice.

In 2020, she founded the Symbolones organization with her friend Lucile Roux. “We want to help women unlock all their potential. It is no longer possible for them to constantly censor themselves, even though they are just as competent as men”, certifies Judith Castro . A first branch opened in Paris, followed two years later by that of Montpellier.

Take action

Different remote and face-to-face modules are offered to businesses. “Some are mixed and others only open to women. This allows total freedom of speech”, indicates Judith Castro. This is the case of the most popular, the BAM Lab. For several weeks, women work on their self-confidence and try to abandon the limiting beliefs that prevent them from climbing the ladder. They also face practical challenges, such as stopping strangers on the street. “The goal is to push them to overcome their fear and take action”, explains Judith Castro.

Since the creation of Symbolones, more than 1,000 people have been made aware of gender inequalities at work, including employees of Dell Technologies Montpellier and the Caisse d’Épargne Languedoc Roussillon. In June, training courses open to individuals will also be organized in Montpellier.

An evening to reward “inspiring women from Montpellier”

"We wanted to highlight inspiring women from Montpellier, to make other women want to take up entrepreneurship in their turn” , explains life coach May Makhlouf, organizer of the evening. Among the other winners of the evening, Isabelle Servant was praised for her concept of “positive orientation”, which promotes the use of positive psychology in the processes of ;orientation, reorientation or reconversion.

Cécile de Neuville, founder of the Club Les Rêveuses Entrepreneuses was also decorated, as was Cécile Neuville, at the head of the NGO WellNess and Done which works to facilitate the’ access to education for young people in Africa, Marie-Laure N’Dey co-founder of the Chocolaterie du Bélier for her role in training farmers' wives in cocoa processing in Côte-d’ ;Ivoire or Joséphine Cirre, project manager “Des Étoiles et des Femmes” de Table de Cana Montpellier, for its commitment to the social reintegration of women through culinary training. Without forgetting the singer Palmire.

Around forty women attended the event. So many potential future entrepreneurs among whom could perhaps be found a next winner, hopes May Makhlouf. A second edition of this evening should be held in 2025.

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