An Interview with the Female Leadership at Loft

Meet Clotilde: Loft’s Executive Director, a Proud Working Mom, and Mentor to the Next Generation

Loft

We’re continuing to highlight the amazing talent we have on the Loft team. We recently sat down with Clotilde Grimault, our Executive Director here at Loft. From studying in France and then Georgia Tech, living in the Netherlands and Boston, working at Altitude and then Phillips, Clotilde has seen it all. We’re excited to bring her extensive knowledge and experience to the Loft team.

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LOFT:
You have worked on so many projects in a variety of disciplines. What has been the most interesting and exciting one so far?

Clotilde Grimault:
My favorite part of product development is to innovate together. In my 15-year career spanning mechanical engineering, data science and project management, what drives me is the feeling of accomplishing things that have not been done before, together with an enthusiastic team.

My main interests lie at the interface of three things: Design, Technology and Business. I am very interested in the tension and the collaboration between these three roles. Design because we need to make a product attractive – that’s the way to get customers interested. Business because we need to fit our product into a business context and sell it. Technology because it offers new opportunities to design an innovative product. And at the center of this triangle is the Consumer, who guides us throughout the process of product innovation. I believe that Loft is in a great position to design products that delight the consumer and raise expectations on Design, Business and Technology, thanks to our diverse range of expertise.

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LOFT:
What is your dream project?

CG:
Caregiving! I guess it’s not so much a dream as it is an opportunity. There is so much demand for care. We have to put the human at the center of any kind of technology, because your phone cannot care for you. We need to put humans in contact with each other, with innovation facilitating the care. That's particularly difficult because the interface of the technology is often complicated, even with AI and advanced UX solutions. To me, care is all about putting the human at the center and delivering services that really add value to the consumer.

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LOFT:
What is the biggest work style/culture difference between the US and Europe?

CG:
In the Netherlands there is a concept called the Polder Model where you must make sure that everyone in the room agrees before you can move forward. It takes a lot of discussion to get anything done and I hope that things can move faster with a more pragmatic American style. I appreciate the bold decision making of the American way of working, and I respect leaders who can be opportunistic and bold while also caring for their team. I really like the attitude here of ‘it's never been done, but let's try it!’

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Our conversation ended with a very inspiring message about being a working mother:

CG:
For young women [building their careers] it's particularly intimidating to decide to have children. Often there is alack of role models, especially in the tech and engineering world, who are also mothers. In my opinion, there is nobody more efficient at work than a working mom. You have to compartmentalize your time and develop good working habits to be a working mom for the long run. Having children makes you learn this lesson very early on. I also believe that being a parent made me a better worker: you develop remarkable empathy and management skills from being in charge of the personal development of your kids!
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In addition to everything on her plate, Clotilde is hoping to offer career mentorship to employees and interns at Loft. She’s passionate about helping the next generation of creative thinkers forge their paths ahead.

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