International Standards and Conformity Assessment for all electrical, electronic and related technologies

July 2011


40 years with the IEC

Central Office figure takes a well-earned retirement

On 30 June 2011, a central figure in general administration, Denise Duret, retired after a career of just over 40 years with the IEC.

In charge of general administration

Members of the IEC family and visitors to the IEC's Central Office in Geneva are likely to have come across a smiling busy lady who, on 30 June 2011, celebrated just over forty years of working for the IEC.

A paper-based enterprise dependent on its typists

In the 70s, personal computers and data processing had not yet been invented. The IEC was still very much a paper-based enterprise dependent on its mechanical typewriters. On 15 February 1971, Denise Duret entered this environment when she joined the IEC as a member of the typing pool.

First flight

That year the IEC General Meeting was held in Brussels and Denise was asked to attend. A shy young lady, she'd never taken a plane before. Today, she still remembers how the IEC gave her that opportunity and how with excitement and a little trepidation she mounted the stairway to take her first flight across Europe from Switzerland to Belgium.

General services

Some 18 months on, Denise moved over to General Services which was an integral part of HR (human resources). Since then, for four decades she's been in charge of telephones, building work and repairs, travel arrangements, cleaning, refreshments, hotel reservations and the myriad of other tasks on which any well-run office depends.

From the Haute-Savoie

Denise will tell you that no, she's not French, but Haut-Savoyarde. The Haute-Savoie department which is in the Rhône-Alpes region of France, takes its name from the Latin Sapaudia or Sabaudia which means the land covered in fir trees and haut, a direct reference to its geographical position in the Alps where its culminating point is the Mont Blanc at 4 810,4 metres. Famous for its skiing resorts, the Haute-Savoie is home to Chamonix where the first Winter Olympic Games were held in 1924. It is an area deeply anchored in tradition, well known for its cheeses, the Reblochon and Tomme de Savoie among others, its wines and its Evian mineral water.

On to her 3rd energetic life

Denise celebrated her birthday on 5 June. It wasn't a working day so perhaps gave her a glimpse of what the future might hold in store. Now as she reaches the end of the month of June, the IEC wishes her a very happy retirement and an energetic and dynamic beginning to her third life.


  • Denise DuretDenise Duret celebrated 40 years of working with the IEC
  • A last look at the IEC slides before I goA last look at the IEC slides.
  • Summer cocktailsAfter hours summer cocktails at the nearby Vieux Bois.



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