Women are gaining an increasingly prominent position in French business life – with particularly strong representation in retail and service industries.

Once again, the prerequisite for success as a woman is to have achieved a suitable level of education.

Some evidence points to less progress having been made in the more engineering-based industries and that they are less accepted in senior positions outside Paris.

Expatriate women working in France should feel little gender bias towards them and will be judged on their intellect, verbal skills and technical ability.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in France

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton



This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in France. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in France and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips