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March 30, 2019 9:00 am


Werdstrasse 21, 8004 Zürich
8004 Zürich


The Rise of Diversity
Redesigning the workplace culture

The Professional Women’s Group of Zürich is organizing a FULL DAY CONFERENCE in partnership with Tamedia. JOIN US!

Diversity is a proven investment in a company’s success. International research concludes that diversity is not simply an issue of fairness, but rather a real driver of business performance.

But how can organizations craft better inclusion & diversity strategies for a competitive edge?

Join over 200 participants at this full day conference to explore ways to rethink and reshape the corporate culture.

Discover how leading companies have successfully leveraged the potential of diversity to help accomplishing their growth objectives and learn how YOU can implement hands-on solutions in the workplace.

The conference will include Keynote Speakers, Panel discussions, Interactive workshops and Facilitated networking.

Saturday, 30th March 2019

Welcome Coffee

Official Start

Welcome from Ana Paula Tediosi and Peter Mantsch

Unconscious bias: the hidden hurdle

Unconscious bias is an inescapable part of working culture. It helps us make quick decisions and creates strong team bonds. But it also limits the way we think about recruitment and blinds us to exciting talents and new ideas. Prof. Dr. Gudrun Sander talks about how you can recognise your own biases and those of your organisation, how small changes in the way you think can lead to big improvements in the way your company operates, and how you can overcome your biases to become a better team member – and a better leader.
Speaker: Prof. Dr. Gudrun Sander, Director for ” Diversity and Management Programmes”, University of St. Gallen

Wearing Different Hats? Finding Compatibility between various Life Roles

We all have multiple roles, or wear different hats, in our lives. We are career professionals, parents, spouses, volunteers, daughters/sons, part of a community or association/club… It is not always easy to juggle the multiple roles and expectations in one day, one week, one year or even one life. In this panel discussion we will hear first-hand from our panelist about finding compatibility between the different roles at a personal and organizational level. We will learn about the tactics and strategies that our panelists use in their personal life to balance their various roles. We will also explore examples from their organizations of how they support their people to manage the demands and challenges of managing multiple roles.


  • – Patricia Widmer, Programme Head “Women Back to Business”, University of St Gallen
  • – Barbara Rijntjes-Besancon – Leadership and Culture Leader, Deloitte
  • – Helene Westerlind , Global Head of International Programs , Zurich Insurance GrouP
  • – Olaf Zilkens , Executive Client Director in Corporate Accounts Banking, Swiss Post
  • – Panel Moderator: Jane Piper, Pipsy GmbH

Coffee Break

Develop new skills and build the career you want. Choose one of the following workshops:

1. The only way is up… isn’t it? Career paths in 21 century

Workshop with Jane Piper

The traditional career path was seen as a climbing your way steadily up the corporate ladder.  The world of work is changing fast and our view of careers also needs to change too. Predictions now say that 50% of jobs will be automated in 20 years, and the skills you are using now are likely to be obsolete in 10 years’ time. Freelancing, virtual working, entrepreneurship, contracting and a side hustle are all options available today that were seldom heard of 10 years ago. In this workshop we look at how to develop a career in the 21st century to maximize your opportunities to achieve your professional goals.

2. Performance or Happiness? Success requires both

Workshop with Aurelie Litynski

Who does not want to be happier at work? What company does not seek to improve performance? Well, guess what… Success requires both! Having happier employees benefits the entire organization on many levels. But how do we bring more happiness into the workplace? You will leave this workshop with lots of new ideas and inspiration on how you and your colleagues can foster a culture of trust, engagement and productivity. Key Takeaways: (1) Awareness and knowledge about the importance of happiness at work / (2) Discover the interdependence of performance & happiness at work and learn how to manage it sustainably / (3) Hands-on solutions that you can easily implement tomorrow in order to bring more happiness into your working environment. Get inspired and take action!

3. Speak up – be heard! How to build diversity with your communication style

Workshop with Barbara Stupp

You will leave this interactive workshop with one applicable technique to enhance your communication with people who think and act differently to you. You will experience how your perception shapes your speaking and listening. Dare to broaden your communication style and build broader bridges with people. Feel it – understand it – believe it – play with it – apply it – reflect about it.

4. Understanding your customers

Workshop with Franziska Haemmerle, Google

In this 45 minute presentation, Google User Experience Researcher Franziska Haemmerle will walk us through some of the principles and methodology of user research and design. Using examples from her time with the Google Flights and Travel team, Franziska will demonstrate how user-centered design can be applied to any organization working with customers, to keep customer needs and use cases front of mind to build a better product. You will also learn about how to get involved in the Google user research program here in Zurich.

5. Navigate the corporate world – how to recognize traps and handle them

Workshop with Anne Halbritter & Alkistis Petropaki

In a male dominated corporate world women still fall into traps that stop them from effectively progressing in their career and building a sustainable work-life framework. In this workshop we will look into typical challenges that women face and discuss how we can react better in those challenging situations in the future. In this hands-on workshop we will detect the open and often hidden challenges for business women to advance.

We will trace down patterns in the corporate world that block our path to growth, we  will share experiences and leave with practical ideas and tools that we can use already next day at the office. To take the maximum out of the discussion, please share with us concrete real life situations and use the workshop resources to find new options and perspectives for you. Looking forward to inspiring discussions!

Networking Lunch

Welcome back by the Professional Women’s Group

Men as Catalyst of Change

How champions of inclusion behave? / What barriers may get in the way of men being champions? / What can all do to foster partnership on inclusion?

Speaker: Jorge A. ORTIZ, Director at Catalyst Europe

Energy Boost with Elodie Caucigh, REAL LIFE YOGA

Move and breathe energetically to power yourself up for the rest of the day.

Achieving diversity at the top

What are the real challenges when it comes to developing and retaining a diverse management team? A panel discussion where we hear from executives about their personal stories on key diversity challenges in getting to the top. They also will share how today they make diversity a part of the culture in their organizations.


  • – Bea Knecht, Co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Zattoo
  • – Martin Grieder, Vice President , CMO Sonova Group
  • – Margherita Fontana – Commercial Director Dow Construction Chemicals-EMEAI
  • – Panel Moderator: Barbara Stupp

Facilitated Networking

A strong network helps you build a strong career. In this facilitated networking session you’ll discover the techniques you need to discover and access a network that will help you advance your career.

Cécile Bastien Remy, Public Speaking Jedi – Trainer – Speaker, SPEAK4IMPACT

Meet the Speakers:

Franziska Haemmerle

Senior UX Researcher at Google
Franziska is a Senior UX Researcher at Google, psychologist and bicycle enthusiast. Before joining the Google Travel team in Zurich she lived in Vienna and Shanghai, leading UX teams in agencies and doing research for local and international brands. She has experience with tactical as well as strategic work, including field research, diary studies, and establishing user-centred design processes for clients like dell, bwin, TCL and Orange. Franziska is passionate about how user-centred thinking and metrics shape organizational structures and impact society.

Cécile Bastien Remy

Public Speaking Jedi | Trainer | Keynote Speaker on Resilience
My name is Cécile Bastien Remy. After a near two-decade career in international sales and marketing as well as publishing two books, I became passionate about the Art of Public Speaking. After years of training, I won “Best Speaker” in Switzerland in 2015 which led me to compete internationally. Following from this, I set up my company to help professionals to take their leadership and capacity for success to the next level. Clients say that I am enthusiastic, energetic and quick thinking - one even called me a Jedi! These are in fact the attributes I use to help leaders like you develop skills you did not realize you had and become great speakers! Website: www.speak4impact.net

Jane Piper

Creator of focused and engaged teams
Jane Piper is an expert on digital wellbeing and improving team productivity. She combines a strong background in psychology with 20 years of practical experience in HR and has a Masters in Industrial and Organisational Psychology. After 10 years working in businesses around the world, she completed on an Executive MBA to gain better understanding of business. Four years ago she set up her own company, Pipsy, and consults to organisations on people management and digital wellbeing. She is the author of Focus in the Age of Distraction a book with 35 tips on how to focus more and work less.

Gudrun Sander

Ph.D. is Adjunct Professor of Business Administration at the University of St.Gallen
Gudrun Sander, Ph.D. is Adjunct Professor of Business Administration with a special emphasis on diversity management at the University of St.Gallen. She is director of the Competence Centre for Diversity and Inclusion (www.ccdi-unisg.ch) and director of the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law (ES-HSG), where she is responsible for the executive education programme “Women Back to Business”. The focus of her research is on diversity issues around strategic management, inclusive leadership and change management in organizations. Gudrun Sander is also a member of the Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Working Group on Gender Equality and a member of the Women’s Empowerment Principles Leadership Group of UN Women and UN Global Compact. Website links: www.ccdi-unisg.ch - www.diversitybenchmarking.ch - https://www.es.unisg.ch/de/programme/st-galler-diversity-inclusion-tagung - https://www.es.unisg.ch/en/programme/women-back-business-english -

Jorge A. Ortiz

Director at Catalyst Europe
As a Director at Catalyst Europe, Jorge Ortiz plays a key role in expanding Catalyst’s impact and reach across the continent. Partnering with leading global organizations as a relationship manager, consultant and facilitator, he enables Catalyst members to drive sustainable strategies to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces. His versatile background allows him to create different programs and plans that fit individual organization needs. Jorge has extensive professional experience in multicultural, developing and entrepreneurial contexts. He has experience in executive leadership, crisis resolution, strategy redefinition, gender equality, unconscious bias, and goals' action planning. Prior to joining Catalyst, he invested 20 years as an entrepreneur, sales leader, professional tennis player, and most recently as a behavioural coach with international experience, helping people and corporations reach their potential. Jorge received his BSc in Marketing from the University of South Carolina and is an ICF certified coach, a Marshall Goldsmith Stakeholder Centered Coaching facilitator and a Harvard School of Medicine Fellow. Currently based in Switzerland, Jorge is a Mexican citizen. In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor activities—including triathlon training—and spending quality time with his six kids.

Dr. Margherita Fontana

Commercial Director Dow Construction Chemical
Margherita Fontana is the Commercial Director for the Dow Construction Chemical Business in EMEAI, a business within the Dow Chemical Company. In her current role she is responsible for regional Profit & Loss, the EMEAI commercial leadership, the regional business strategy development and growth agenda. In her previous role, Margherita held the Global Marketing Director position for the Dow Building & Construction Business. In this role, she led the global innovation portfolio and strategy for the business. Prior to the appointment to her global role, Margherita held several marketing positions at Dow across different business in the EMEAI region. Before joining Dow in 2011, she worked in various roles for BASF and Ciba Specialty Chemicals. Margherita is the Chair of the Dow Women Innovation Network (WIN) and has been active in this role since 2015, leading the advancement of women in Business both at DOW, globally as well as in Switzerland. Margherita has represented Dow Construction Chemicals at the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD, as well as at the Association of the European Adhesive & Sealant Industry, FEICA. She served on the INSEAD Women in Business Club in Switzerland as steering team member. She served the INSEAD Alumni association in Switzerland, as Vice President of the Basel Chapter in 2010. She holds an MBA from INSEAD business school, and earned her doctorate degree from Swiss Institute of Technology, ETH in Zurich, and a master degree in Chemistry from the University of Palermo.

Martin Grieder

Sonova Group, Vice President - CMO
25 years of international work experience in FMCG & Medtech in 18 countries worldwide with stints at Nestlé, Nespresso and Sonova. Cross functional background in sales, marketing, R&D and Finance. Passionate about innovation, digital technologies, developing talent, delighting consumers & customers and driving business results. Currently GVP and CMO of Sonova AG. Proud father of two girls and two boys, passionate mountaineer having summited three 8000m peaks (Everest, Lhotse, Cho Oyu) and completed the seven summits quest. Curious by nature with a love for exploring! Devoted to encouraging my two girls to reach for the stars, change the world and shatter the glass ceiling. Website: www.Grieder.org

Patricia Widmer

Business administration at the University of Zurich with an emphasis on banking and finance
Patricia Widmer studied business administration at the University of Zurich with an emphasis on banking and finance and worked for several years in private banking for a large Swiss bank. During her subsequent time abroad in the US and Germany, she held leadership positions with several charity organizations. Patricia has been with the University of St. Gallen since 2014, where she established the English-speaking certificate programme “Women Back to Business” (WBB) and is now the Programme Head for both the German- and English-speaking WBB programmes. In addition, she is facilitating and moderating workshops as well as presentations about Diversity & Inclusion and unconscious bias. She is currently pursuing her doctorate on the topic of diversity management, unconscious bias and stereotypes. WBB: https://www.es.unisg.ch/en/programme/women-back-business-english

Tanya König

Master of Ceremony
Tanya König is a journalist at CNNMoney Switzerland based in Zurich. In this role, she focuses on creating content for the channel’s digital platforms, as well as contributing to the TV programming. Tanya began her career in journalism as a volunteer with her local newspaper in Rapperswil, the Linth-Zeitung. She was after chosen to enter the Ringier School of Journalism in 2008 and was trained as a Video Journalist at Ringier webTV. Tanya has also studied Sinology, Film Science, and Political Science at the University of Zurich and Chinese Mandarin in Beijing. She has worked for Ringier, SRF and Portuguese National TV RTP as a multimedia editor, host and reporter. Find her on twitter @tanyayuan.

Bea Knecht

Chairman of the Board zattoo.com
Bea Knecht is co-founder and Chairman of the Board of Zattoo. Prior to co-founding Zattoo, Bea built banking, HR, and datacenter automation software for large banks, enterprise software providers and a Silicon Valley startup and served as associate partner at a strategy consulting firm. Bea holds a BA in Computer Science from the University of California (Berkeley) and an MBA degree from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland. Website: www.zattoo.com www.levuro.com www.genistat.ch

Helene Westerlind

Global Head of International Programs - Commercial Insurance Zurich Insurance Group
In her role as Global Head of International Programs, Helene Westerlind is responsible for the management and strategic direction of Zurich’s portfolio of products and services provided to multinational customers. Ms. Westerlind joined Zurich in Stockholm, Sweden in 2003 as a liability claims adjuster. She later moved on to liability underwriting, where she was responsible for both domestic and international program business. In 2008, she was appointed Head of Underwriting Services for Zurich Nordic and became a member of the Zurich Nordic management team. In 2010, Ms. Westerlind was appointed Head of Underwriting Services for Zurich Global Corporate in Europe. In 2013, she moved to Zurich, Switzerland as Head of Operations and Underwriting Services for Zurich Global Corporate in Europe, Middle East and Africa (GCiEMEA) and a member of the Executive Management Team of GCiEMEA. Ms. Westerlind was appointed to her current role in 2016 and is a member of the Zurich Commercial Insurance management team as well as the Zurich Group Leadership team.

Aurelie Litynski

Aurelie Litynski is a Chief Happiness Officer and the Founder of Happitude at work.
Aurelie aspires to increase the awareness on happiness at work in companies and help leaders and employees being successful by creating more work-related happiness in their teams. She learnt about the topic of happiness@work from experts worldwide, became a Chief Happiness Officer in 2017 and created an approach which tackles crucial topics such as behaviour, communication, empathy and trust within companies. Aurelie is originally from the south of France, married, mother of 2 and has been in Switzerland for more than 10 years after living and working in various positions in France, UK and Canada. She founded last year the Meetup group "Happiness @ work - Zurich”, a community where business professionals share ideas, experiences and brainstorm together on how to improve their work environments. Website: www.happitudeatwork.com

Anne Halbritter

She is a partner at Hoeschgasse Consultants Zurich and since 2011 manages her own company Mensch-Team-Organisation GmbH.
Anne Halbritter has joined Advance as Mentoring Manager in 2014 to design, implement and manage the Cross Company Mentoring Program. With a university degree in economics Anne continued studies in human resource and organizational development. Previous roles include Head of Group HR Development, Managing Director of Bon appétit Academy and Departmental Head of Retail Trends at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute. She is a partner at Hoeschgasse Consultants Zurich and since 2011 manages her own company Mensch-Team-Organisation GmbH. Anne is passionate about supporting people, teams and organizations in development and change situations. She facilitates questioning the status quo leading to innovative processes. Her focus is on positive and creative game changing impact solutions, exploring how we will work and live together thriving personally and professionally. She strongly believes in the benefits of mixed-gender teams for society, for organizations as well as for individuals. Anne is part of an international family enjoying nature and speed in sailing and skiing.

Alkistis Petropaki

Alkistis Petropaki has joined Advance as General Manager in 2015. She has more than 20 years experience in leading positions in well known FMCG companies like e.g. L’Oreal, Nestlé, Mövenpick and Lindt & Sprüngli. Before joining Advance she was the Country Manager of Yves Rocher in Switzerland. She has a University degree in business and psychology and holds an MBA from ESCP-EAP. Alkistis is married and has 2 children. Alkistis strongly believes in the benefits of mixed-gender teams for society, for organizations as well as for individuals. With her engagement with Advance she is convinced to be able to make an impact in the Swiss economy.

Barbara Stupp

Barbara works with individuals and teams to improve how they relate to themselves and to others. After more than a decade in international management positions in a Fortune 50 company, Barbara redirected her career to reflect her interest in the human dimension of management. Since 2003 she works with companies and individuals to recognize the patterns of interaction in teams. This strengthens genuine “thinking and working together”. The increased acceptance of different communication and working styles is fundamental for driving collaboration, innovation and growth. Barbara is a pragmatic business woman, a loving wife and mother, a reliable friend, a master in cooking family meals within 20 minutes, a passionate reader, a cat feeder, a lazy jogger, …. She holds a MSc in Business Administration, is a PCM™ certified trainer and a CTI® trained coach. A Swiss national of German origin she is married and has one daughter.

Barbara Rijntjes-Besancon


Barbara is the Leadership and Culture Leader at Deloitte driving topics like Inclusive leadership, Wellbeing and building a thriving culture. Barbara started her career in Consulting and was a Partner in AEF in the Netherlands before she moved to Zurich and became an entrepreneur in the field of wellbeing. She has built the successful company Mom in Balance Switzerland as well as BOOST, a company dedicated to bring more energy into corporate life with tailor made corporate wellbeing programs. Barbara is a passionate runner, an optimist and a driver for change. Helping others thrive is her motto.  By the way, recently Barbara was being featured by CNN Switzerland talking about her passion for bringing more energy in people's lives  check it out on https://www.cnnmoney.ch/shows/feeling-good/videos/realize-your-full-potential-barbara-rijntjes-founder-boostingnow

Elodie Caucigh


Elodie Caucigh is Coach & Founder of REAL LIFE YOGA: a blend of accessible methods to be healthier, more productive and less stressed directly at the desk. Without special clothes and without yoga mats. www.reallifeyoga.ch


Meet the Conference Team:

Aurelie Litynski
Conference Project Lead
Founder of Happitude at work

Ana Paula Tediosi
PWG President

Jackie Michelleto
Conference Marketing Strategy
PWG Marketing Manager

Anna-Lena Schonert
PWG Partnership Manager

Tana Frase
Tamedia AG

Joanne Bergin
Conference Branding

Justine Miller
Conference Branding