International Women’s Day 2019, sponsored by Whitespace

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IWD 2019 #BalanceForBetter

This year's IWD on March 8th was truly celebrated. Women in Digital Switzerland joined forces with Geek Girls Carrots and organized an event under the motto of "Balance for Better". The evening kicked off with a very energizing warm-up and networking session animated by Renegade Saints, a Geneva improv group.

Following this excitement, a panel of 5 women in digital and tech were reflecting on their own experience as women in a male-dominated sector, how to motivate young women to choose a career in tech, and what could be done to reduce the gender gap in the tech industry.

The situation in Switzerland is far from reaching that objective: 81% of IT specialists and analysts are male, while care workers are overwhelmingly female. The Glass-ceiling Index, published by The Economist, puts Switzerland in 26th position, well below the OECD average.

The consensus of the discussion was that a combination of early sensitization, tight networks, as well as mentors go a long way in making tech positions more attractive to girls and women seeking a career transition.

Closing the gender gap does not only make business sense, but it is also a goal that can only be reached with the support and understanding of men.

The story of women's struggle for equality
belongs to no single feminist nor to any one
organization but to the collective efforts of
all who care about human rights.
Gloria Steinem

Speakers included:

  • Sina Rüeger, PhD - Data Scientist and R-Ladies Lausanne Organizer
  • Imai Jen-LaPlante - Chief Innovation Officer at Berney Associates
  • Véronique Glaude - Satelite Radio Regulations Expert at the ITU
  • Hannah Short - Computer Engineer in Trust and Identity at CERN
  • Ellen Walker - Founder, RightsTech Women
  • Susanna Pak - Multimedia Communications Officer at the ITC (Moderator)

See a summary of the event in this short video, produced by the very talented Jennifer MacLeod, founder of Jenneve Digital.