Women's empowerment in the world of work

1st November 2018 
12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Hotel Schweizerhof, Bern

What exactly do we need to do to empower women economically worldwide? What are effective tools? What role can the private sector play? And how can we implement women’s economic empowerment within Swiss corporates?

These are the questions we will attempt to answer during a high-level conference organized by foraus – Swiss Forum on Foreign Policy and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), in collaboration with Global Compact Network Switzerland and UN Women. 


11:45 - 12:30

Buffet Lunch for all participants to the conference

12:30 - 14:00

Public High-Level Panel

Welcome Address | Markus Seiler, Secretary General, Federal Department of Foreign Affairs


Keynote Speech | Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women


Davos-Style Conversation with the Panel

Moderation: Jane Hodges | Former Director, Gender, Equality and Diversity Branch, International Labour Organisation

Simona Scarpaleggia | CEO, Ikea Switzerland 

Muriel Lienau | CEO, Nestlé Switzerland

Mary Ellen Iskenderian | President and CEO, Women World Banking

Thomas Gass | Ambassador, Head of the South Cooperation Department,


Closing Remarks | Nicola Forster, President, foraus – Forum on Foreign Policy


Q&A with the Audience


14:00 - 16:00

Closed Workshops upon Personal Invitation only


The conference will consist of two parts. In a first public high-level panel, our key-note speaker and experts from the private sector, international organisations and the FDFA will address ways and means to best support women's economic empowerment both, in Switzerland and in development cooperation.

The second part is upon separate personal invitation only. The interactive workshops aim at deepening the conversation between the public and the private sector by exchanging experiences and best practices on women's economic empowerment at domestic level and in international cooperation, such as through public-private partnerships and financial inclusion. There will also be the opportunity for the private sector to commit towards a more inclusive workplace by signing the CEO Statement of Support of the Women's Empowerment Principles.

The event will be held in English.

Please register via the button below until 25th October if you would like to attend the public high-level panel. If you have any question, do not hesitate to contact us via gender@foraus.ch.