10 Inspiring French Women

They are changing the way we view female artists. Militating for a more inclusive society, making music, encouraging solo travellers along with champion cyclists. Celebrate International Women's day in the footsteps of some of the most innovative women across France. From the Arcachon Bay to the Champagne cellars and the Loire Valley, let yourself be inspired for a potential upcoming trip to France!

Cécile Debray, Director of the Musée National Picasso-Paris

Center Pompidou, Musée de l'Orangerie, Musée Picasso... The professional career of Cécile Debray, who has been head of the Musée national Picasso-Paris for the past two years, could serve as a thread for a nice stroll through the Parisian museums.

With major exhibitions such as "elles@centrepompidou" dedicated to female artists along with the redesign of the Musée de l'Orangerie, this art historian and curator has set herself a new challenge: "rebuild desire around Picasso". This year, on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of his death, she is coordinating the program Célébration Picasso planned in 12 French museums. A beautiful itinerary in the footsteps of a sacred artist but also of a committed woman!

Visit the Picasso-Paris National Museum (External link)

Marie-Amélie Le Fur, President of the French Paralympic and Sports Committee

Triple world champion in para-athletics (100 m, 400 m and long jump), with nine medals including three gold at the Paralympic Games, what do you think makes Marie-Amélie Le Fur run? A tremendous energy urges the young woman, now retired from competitions, to continuously act and share the sporting flame of the youngest and shift the glance of others on disabilities. President of the French Paralympic, Sports Committee and co-president of the Athletes' Committee Paris 2024, the champ from the Loire Valley intends to benefit from the next Olympic Games in France to bring the spotlight onto the world of handisport. A new challenge for the one who dreamed of being a professional firefighter, but found another way to share hopes and dreams for future generations.

Learn more about the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (External link)

Aurore Sterling, founder of Hortense.Green, an eco-housing platform

Can we travel sustainably? For Aurore Sterling, founder of the start up platform Hortense.green, gathering high-end eco-responsible accommodations, mainly located in France, the answer is definitely... yes! With a master's degree in finance from the University of Paris Dauphine, the travel enthusiast has envisioned a virtuous model based on a rating tool for accommodations (150 questions!) and a backing to the eco-friendly transition. Her motto: "Let's carry on traveling but in a more conscious and mindful way!

Find an eco-responsible accommodation on the Hortense.green platform (External link)

Marie Sabot, founder of the eco-responsible music festival We Love Green

Immersed in the world of music but aware of the negative environmental impact of festivals? Marie Sabot has found the answer: in 2011, this well-known producer and programmer founded the first eco-friendly festival, We Love Green. A popular musical event attracting thousands of festival-goers each year in June in the Bois de Vincennes. Sustainable practices (solar panels, waste sorting, recycled furniture, compostable tableware, locavore and fair trade catering with redistribution of unsold goods, etc.), social mix, conferences and the "greenausore" as the Provencal woman attached to the land humorously calls it. It is still an ongoing process but it all sounds very promising!

Participate in the We Love Green festival (the 2023 edition takes place from June 2 to 4) (External link)

Christina Boixière, founder of NomadSister, a platform for solo travelers

Born in Taiwan, lived in Great Britain, Italy and Germany, it’s in the wine region of Bordeaux, France, that the multilingual ex-sales manager (speaking fluently Chinese, English and French!) settled down to create her one of a kind company. An avid solo traveler since she was 17 years old - she has travelled to more than 30 countries, mostly staying with locals. With a wealth of happy but occasionally unhappy experiences, Christina Boixière launched NomadSisters in 2019. A platform that connects travellers with trusted hosts. More than 1,500 have been validated in France, ready to host solo female travellers for free in complete safety.
Trusted people ready to open their doors and welcome you with open arms.

Discover NomadSister, the community of solo travelers (External link)

Bénédicte Baggio artisan fish smoker in the Bay of Arcachon

When she started her culinary blog My Little Spoon, Bénédicte Baggio had no idea that it would take her so far! Passionate about gastronomy since a young age, this native of La Rochelle left her job in communications and digital marketing to invest in local products, co-creating Fumette, the first artisanal smokehouse in the Archachon Bay in 2019. Selection of wild smoked fish caught locally from the Ile de Ré salt marshes and beech wood from naturally managed forests. It was enough to invent new locavore recipes for this mother of three who defines herself as an artisan (smoked) fisherman!

Discover Fumette, artisanal fish smoker in Cap Ferret (External link)

Séverine Frerson cellar master at Perrier-Jouët in Champagne

She is the eighth cellar master of the house Perrier-Jouët. The first woman to hold this position since the founding of this prestigious champagne house by Rose-Adelaïde Jouët and Pierre-Nicolas Perrier in 1811! A logical succession for this native of the Champagne region, with a degree in oenology, whose sensitivity to textures, touch and the relationship with living beings is in line with the house's natural imprint. Her objective: to reinforce the good practices of this vineyard, which is certified as a high environmental quality agriculture and sustainable viticulture in Champagne. Didn't she receive the keys to Eden, the mythical cellar where the most precious bottles are kept?

Visit the Perrier-Jouët Champagne House (External link)

Marion Rousse, Director of the Tour de France Women

As a child, when she competed against boys and had her first cycling club license at the age of 6, Marion Rousse carefully followed the Tour de France on television, without imagining that cycling would become her whole life. Daughter of an amateur cyclist, this young woman with a bright stare inherited from her northern origins, has become an icon of women's cycling. At the helm of the women's Tour de France with Zwift, the second tournament of which will take place this year from July 23rd to the 30th. Following her career as a television consultant, the former French road cycling champion in the U23 category (at 20 years old!) intends to inspire others to join her. With this 100% female edition, little girls can finally dream of completing the Tour de France!

Follow the second edition of the Tour de France for women (External link)

Linda Hazi, General Manager of Domaines de Fontenille en Provence

"Mindful of the earth, mindful of the people" is a house slogan that seems to have been tailor-made for Linda Hazi, the new general manager of Domaines de Fontenille. A collection of eco-friendly hotels created in the Luberon around a manor house and a sustainably cultivated educational vegetable garden. Sensitive to the new challenges of the hotel industry, this former sales director of the beauty and cosmetics brand Sephora France, she will be competent enough to develop her expertise. In addition to the opening of Domaine de Chalamon in Saint-Rémy de Provence in May, the group is preparing to inaugurate Fontenille Bien-Etre in Oppède-le-Vieux, in the Luberon, a new concept with activities such as yoga, wellbeing treatments, and locavore cuisine with menus prepared by a naturopath. A return to her roots for the woman who began her career at L'Occitane Provence!

Staying at the Domaines de Fontenille (External link)

Dominique Crenn, Chef of the Golden Poppy restaurant in Paris

Her first gastronomic experience? A family lunch in a Michelin-starred restaurant in Brittany, her beloved region, when she was eight years old. It was a turning point for this 50-year-old boxing and judo enthusiast, who became the first woman in the United States to earn three stars at her restaurant Atelier Crenn, in San Francisco. Today, the chef, who defines herself as an artist, is fulfilling a long-held wish: to settle in France. In the spring, she took the helm of the gourmet restaurant at the new La Fantaisie hotel in the 9th arrondissement called Poppy or Californian Poppy. A nod to the creative cuisine of this extraordinary chef, who is attached to both her roots and her culture. Local and sustainable products, zero plastic and zero waste, this granddaughter of Breton farmers has not finished weaving links between the table and nature!

Discover Dominique Crenn's cuisine at the Golden Poppy restaurant, at the La Fantaisie hotel, in Paris (External link)