Nº 3 2013 > Advertorial

Sister Republics: Building Bridges —– Committing to a Stronger Economy with Women’'s Leadership

Sister Republics: Building Bridges —– Committing to a Stronger Economy with Women’'s Leadership

In 2013, the United States Embassy in Bern is hosting its third annual bilateral Women’s Conference “Sister Republics: Building Bridges — Committing to a Stronger Economy with Women’s Leadership”. The participants are leading Swiss and American women in business and politics including opinion leaders such as Swiss Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga, Former Obama for America and White House Communications Director Anita Dunn, and Geena Davis, who founded Gender in Media, a project that looks at how the media portrays women and girls. Media and cultural influences are considered a factor in a stubborn glass ceiling in both countries.

“The number one recommendation from our last bilateral conference last year was to get the message out that this lack of diversity at the top of our companies is hurting our economies,” said United States Ambassador Donald S. Beyer. A recent study by Credit Suisse echoes results from a raft of studies in the United States showing the more women on boards and in executive suites, the more profit companies make. The 2013 conference is dedicated to making the business case for more women leadership.

A George Washington University study titled Diversity Dividends: Advancing Women in Business Leadership provides the basis for the conference discussions. The report explores new tools, coalitions and market influences that can accelerate market adoption of women in leadership. Many solutions involve changes in the workplace that would address the problems of work/life family balance including flexible work schedules, part time work arrangements, child care, and leave policies.

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