Enabling Inclusion in Business – Politicians and Business people need to talk!!

Getting ready for our Enabling inclusion in Business was a very interesting experience for me – it made me rethink the situation of women in business yet again!

Having been very involved in the area of women in politics in the Canton of Vaud for the last 10 months, you might like to have a  look at the initiative of the CLAFV (www.clafvd.ch) and ADF (www.adf-vaud.ch) where these 2 associations have worked together with the Bureau of Equality to encourage more women to go into Swiss politics (www.politiciennes.ch).

This interesting initiative made it very clear to me that there is very little contact between the women politicians I talk with regularly and the women in business in Switzerland today! And this is a big problem.

Have you seen the Economist gender gap index?  It is nothing short of horrifying. Switzerland performs very poorly in comparison with the OECD average and the 21 countries considered in this study.  One big problem is the cost of child care, over 40% of the revenue earned.  Is it worthwhile, one might ask to go back to work considering this high cost.

Looking forward to talking about this and lots more tomorrow in BSL.  Updates of that meeting to follow!


Author: Mary Mayenfisch-Tobin, BCL, LL.M, Solicitor

The Sino-Swiss Women’s Forum

It was a great honour to be invited to the Sino-Swiss Women’s Forum which took place in the Richmond Hotel in Geneva last week. BSL alumnus, Lei Wang Cupaiolo (EMBA 2014), was part of the executive committee who organized the event and it was great to be there to support this important initiative. The theme of the event was “Opportunities beyond culture. Women in Leadership” and, it must be said, women leaders were very much in evidence at the Richmond Hotel in Geneva on the 26th November, 2015. A delegation of over 50 Chinese businesswomen made their way to this event from China and they were joined by compatriots who live and work here in Switzerland. Business women, women entrepreneurs, government representatives, attorneys, doctors to name but a few professions there, and a renowned Chinese television personality, Professor Huang Han, were with us at this prestigious event. Professor Han gave very sensible advice to the audience on the importance and need for work lives that are balanced, a message worth hearing everywhere, by everybody.

The Chinese Ambassador to Switzerland H.E. Xu Jinghu, made her presentation in French and her message related to the progress that has been made in China with regards to women’s equality and their participation in business and in government affairs. The close relationship between China and Switzerland was mentioned in the presentation given by H.E. Marie Gabrielle Ineichen-Fleisch, Swiss State Secretary and Director of the Foreign Economic Affairs Directorate since 2011.

Many other interesting speakers showed a new movement of women in China, the energy, enthusiasm and optimism at the forum was incredible and I felt that these amazing women have a lot to bring to business and to the world..

As a member of the Business and Professional Women organization (BPW) (one of the event partners) and as president of CLAFV, a group representing more than 30 women’s associations and members in the Canton of Vaud  I was glad to be at this forum.

12273762_10153759217609948_4985692332544477431_oMany thanks to the organizing team and particular congratulation and thanks to BSL alumna Lei who worked hard with her team members to make the event the great success it was!

Author: Mary Mayenfisch-Tobin, BCL, LL.M, Solicitor