21 episodes

Bi-weekly podcast featuring Swiss leaders discussing what organizations and individuals can do to increase the number of people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives in leadership positions.

Fish in the Boardroom Andrea Ullmann

    • Management
    • 4.9 • 9 Ratings

Bi-weekly podcast featuring Swiss leaders discussing what organizations and individuals can do to increase the number of people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives in leadership positions.

    #20 What it means to actively drive the DE&I change - with Suat Demokan

    #20 What it means to actively drive the DE&I change - with Suat Demokan

    With Suat Demokan

    Bühler is a Swiss multinational plant and equipment manufacturer, known for plant, equipment, and related services for processing foods and manufacturing advanced materials. It´s a quite pragmatic and operational-driven field with a predominantly male workforce and only 17% share of female employees. What is remarkable, however, is that Bühler`s management includes 14% women – with an increasing tendency.

    Even if a diverse community was not a big priority or even an issue in the beginning, this aspect has now been given a strong weight in Bühler's company mission and corporate values.

    Today I´m talking to Suat Demokan, Global HR Business Partner – Manufacturing, Logistics & Supply Chain about Bühler’s way to more Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and but also and mainly about his very personal experience with the topic.

    Corinne Schneider, D&I Ambassador and former Global D&I Lead also attended the interview and will tell us a bit about Bühler’s specific programs in this field.

    What you will learn

    DE&I is also an investment of trust[AU3] . Until you can measure the effects on KPIs it can take years
    Creating a diverse and inclusive company culture means continuous work where you constantly must refresh, adapt to new learnings and development!
    Honest DE&I work means offering strategies on how to deal with insecurity, and tools for a healthy conflict communication. It´s about supporting and accompanying the process of transition from where we are as a company / society to where we want to be.


    Awareness and consciousness is not enough.
    Try to actively challenge the things you think need to change.
    Think about a personal situation where you directly or indirectly have been affected by bias. Then use that emotion to feel what DE&I really means and convert it into productive energy to advocate for the topic!

    Find Suat online
    Suat on LinkedIn 

    Suat Demokan has started his professional career in consultancy for Software Solution with EY before having become self-employed for 6 years serving customers cross industries on solution for financial consolidation. After having joined Sulzer for a global project in 2004 Suat has decided to change functional direction and started an HR career in 2007 with serving in almost all roles from the basic factory HR manager up to a Global HR Executive. After more than a decade in Sulzer he was seeking for a new challenge and has joined Bühler as Global HR Business Partner for Manufacturing and Supply Chain. In addition to this role Suat has taken on responsibility as HR Business Partner Europe as of 2019.

    Suat is a dual citizen (Swiss/Turkish), is married since 26 years and has two grown up children. In his rare spare time he enjoys playing football, golf and hiking with the family and dog.

    This Episode is supported by Advance, Gender Equality in Business of which Bühler is a member.

    • 25 min
    #19 Find your voice! How to empower confidence - with Lucy Antrobus

    #19 Find your voice! How to empower confidence - with Lucy Antrobus

    Fleeing your home country, leaving everything behind, family, friends, careers and posessions is a traumatic event. Add to that the integration into a new and foreign country, and one can only imagine the toll such events can have on a refugee’s self-confidence.[AU1]

    Today I´m having a very passionate and incredibly inspiring talk with Lucy Antrobus, Entrepreneur, Speaker and „Confidence Catalyst“ as she titles herself.

    Lucy works with these refugees to help them find the confidence to better integrate into their new lives in Switzerland, learn the local language, make friends, find work, and become leaders in their community. To achieve this through her program „Refugee Voices“, Lucy believes that it´s essential to access your own resources and uses methods of storytelling to unleash participant’s potential.

    And what migrants have to face to the extreme, we can also apply to broader stretches of the population, whenever it comes to daring greatly. As such what migrants teach us about courage, can also be applied to business and Lucy’s methods are one option to reach that.

    In this episode Lucy shares insides into her exciting work, and how her own award-winning methodology helps catalyze diversity and inclusion.

    What you will learn

    The importance of regaining a connection to your powerful self to leverage your creativity, resilience and sustainable success
    How storytelling can be an effective tool to overcome a difficult personal story and unfold an empowering effect on one´s professional life (and even on society at large)
    The concept of “risk-vulnerability-scaling” and how it can trigger growth mindset

    Find Lucy online
    Lucy Antrobus on LInkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lucyantrobus/

    Additional Resources
    Refugee Voices

    Website: www.refugeeleaders.org

    Instagram: @refugee_voices

    Facebook: @refugeevoices.ch

    LinkedIn: @refugeevoices


    Website: https://www.aequaland.com/

    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/aequaland/

    Facebook: https://web.facebook.com/aequaland

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/aequaland

    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/equa-land

    Lucy Antrobus is a confidence catalyst, inclusion warrior, and entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Refugee Voices, an NGO that rebuilds confidence in marginalized communities, and co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Aequaland, building an educational metaverse that uses games to educate kids on sustainable development and 21st century skills. She is a global citizen and is based between London and Lausanne, having led strategy deployment and community empowerment programs across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

    • 31 min
    #18 The impact of diversity and inclusion on successful sustainable leadership - with Jürg Eggenberger

    #18 The impact of diversity and inclusion on successful sustainable leadership - with Jürg Eggenberger

    With Jürg Eggenberger

    According to Harvard professor John P. Kotter, management stands for the perfect organization of processes, planning and controlling. Leadership, on the other hand, means inspiring and motivating employees with visions. Leadership thrives on creativity, innovation, meaningfulness and change.

    Sustainable leadership takes this even one step further: it stands for living and working in a larger context and includes people and the planet in all decisions, in addition to profit.

    In today's episode, I talk to Jürg Eggenberger, General Manager of the SKO, the Swiss Leaders’ Association, about the core skills and mindset that characterize a sustainable leader and the crucial role that diversity, equality and inclusion can play in all of this.

    What you will learn

    Diversity and biodiversity have a lot in common, enabling more adaptability and creating more stability in your system, whether it’s on an ecological or social perspective
    Focusing on small and medium size companies and looking into the problems they have in terms of diversity and inclusion will be the key, as 98% of the swiss workforce are in these companies.
    Sometimes you have to provoke things to make them happen, installing quota in organizations can be a way to do just that


    To be a good leader focus on having a cool head, a warm heart and working hands
    Put your ego aside, it’s ok if you don’t have all the answers
    Invite your colleagues to participate in the discussion, and share the responsibility

    Sustainable Leaders Initiative : http://www.sustainableleaders.ch/de/home/

    Article from Leader Mag: Inside SKO Swis Leaders – An der Transformation mitwirken

    Book: Doughnut Economics – 7 ways to think like a 21st century economist „by Kate Raworth (ISBN: 1847941397 / EAN: 9781847941398)

    Organizational and Team Development process & Feedback tool: We Coach

    Find Jürg Eggenberger online
    Jürg Eggenberger auf LinkedIN

    Jürg Eggenberger auf XING

    Jürg Eggenberger auf Twitter

    Jürg Eggenberger studied economics at the University of Zurich and completed a master's degree in service management at the University of Applied Sciences of Central Switzerland and further training in organisational development.

    Since 2013, he has been the General Manager (Geschäftsleiter) of the Schweizer Kader Organisation SKO, an association for managers and higher professionals with 10,000 members. Previously, he worked in education for 10 years, including as rector of an university of applied sciences. He has over 30 years of leadership experience in a wide range of industries and advises companies on leadership development.

    • 29 min
    #17 How to keep up as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated working field - with Corina Grünenfelder

    #17 How to keep up as a woman in a traditionally male-dominated working field - with Corina Grünenfelder


    Special thanks to EY in Switzerland for supporting this episode and advocating Diversity & Inclusion in Switzerland!

    In Switzerland only 6,5 %, of the MINT jobs (Mathematics, Information technology, Natural sciences and Technology) are held by women, while in Swiss universities they represent less than 20% of students. This inevitably leads to the development of industries and professions that are clearly male dominated, including, for example, the Quant & Analytics division at EY.

    EY’s challenge, like for so many other companies, is twofold: How to gain and retain more women and develop them into leaders and simultaneously how to create the best environment for women to step onto critical career rungs of the leadership ladder? How to support women’s motivation to lead and increase the likelihood that others will recognize and encourage their efforts—even when they don’t look or behave the way their bosses do?

    I’m talking to Corina today about how it is for a woman to work in a male-dominated field, about how EY is supporting her in her career development and about where she still sees some progress to be made.

    What you will learn

    How it is like to operate on a day-to-day base in a highly technical-mathematical (and therefore male-dominated) filed as a woman
    What initiatives EY has introduced to support equal hires and leadership programs in these areas
    What further approaches there are to pave the way and make MINT study programs more attractive for male and female alike


    Women need to support each other more and not treat each other as rivals
    Take the time to connect and exchange with other female colleagues and be open to speak up when you face or observe a problematic biased situation
    Look for a (female) mentor – consider someone from outside your company, who can give you an outside perspective


    General career site EY
    Technology jobs at EY
    Innovation-driven careers at EY-Switzerland
    Diversity, inclusiveness and your carrer at EY-Switzerland

    Further resources:
    Article: Re-writing the leadership norms / Inclusive leadership best practice by EY

    Find Corina on LinkedIn 
    Corina Grünenfelder is a Director at EY Zurich with focus on quantitative Risk Advisory and Sustainable Finance for Banking and Insurance clients. She is a fully qualified Actuary (Swiss actuarial association) and studied Mathematics at EPFL. Corina is a diversity and inclusion advocate in the Swiss Financial Services EY team.

    • 24 min
    #16 What Men Gain From a Parental Leave

    #16 What Men Gain From a Parental Leave

    With Dario Cristiano

    This episode is brought to you in cooperation with Advance.

    Understanding that equality in the workplace starts at home, several companies offer parental leave programs for men that go beyond the current legal requirements of two weeks. Sadly though, such offers are often not used by men for fear of the professional consequences to their careers.

    Yet, studies have shown that when fathers take paternity leave, mothers return to work more easily, female employment is higher, and the earning gap between men and women is lower.

    And, as the French INSEE Institute analyzed, although men in 2010 spend more time with their children, so do women. Leading to inequalities that remain largely the same: and women still spending twice as much time on household chores and care activities compared to men.

    P&G, the company behind brands like Pampers, Ariel, Gillette, or Oral-B, with Headquarters in Geneva,created the #Sharethecare program to address just that and has heavily invested in encouraging their employees to take advantage of this program. Dario Cristiano, the Site HR Director at the Geneva Headquarter of P&G, was one of the first to take advantage of this program that allows new fathers or domestic partners in same-sex couples, 8-week fully paid leave within the first 18 months of the child being born or adopted.

    In my conversation with him, he talks about what it meant for him as well as what fears he had and how he overcame them.

    “I was the first person in my whole family, my circle of friends, even at P&G I was one of the first to take [the parental leave]. It came with a lot of unknowns about what it would mean for me. But after I convinced myself, I had the feeling I had to convince everyone else around me, my manager, my colleague that it was the right thing for me.”

    What you will learn
    ·  How taking parental leave can serve you in a professional setting by teaching you new skills, such as resilience, leading in uncertainty, problem-solving, patience, foresight, …

    ·  About the four key moments before and after the parental leave: The Decision-Making, The Request, The Leave, The Return to Work

    ·  Obvious things are underestimated in their impact

    ·  Listen more, be open to learn

    ·  Don’t let society dictate what is right for you

    ·  Get educated about Dominant Culture, Unconscious Bias, Privilege (see resources below)

    About P&G and their #Sharethecare Program:

    ·  P&G - Shifting Cultural Norms - Gender Equality Begins at Home - We advance Cas Study

    Other resources to continue the Equality & Inclusion journey learning on Dominant Culture, Unconscious Bias, Privilege

    ·  Blind Spot by Mahzarin Banaji and Anthony Greenwald

    ·  Fair Play: A Game-Changing Solution for When You Have Too Much to Do (and More Life to Live) by Eve Rodsky

    ·  Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

    ·  What Works by Iris Bohnet

    Further resources can be found on the Fish in the Boardroom website

    Find Dario online

    Procter & Gamble

    Dario Cristiano joined Procter & Gamble 12 years ago in his Home Country, Italy. Over those years, he has been working in Italy and Switzerland in a variety of roles in the Human Resources function. Dario is currently Human Resources Director for Geneva Business Center and is a committed partner on Equality & Inclusion activities at P&G.

    • 32 min
    #15 Giving Employees the Right to be Entrepreneurs

    #15 Giving Employees the Right to be Entrepreneurs

    With Christophe Barman

    If culture is key when it comes to having more diversity, then companies following new leadership models, such as Holacracy, should be inherently having more diversity. But is this true? And what does it look like to have a company culture so strongly based on values and trust? A company where there are no hierarchies and spreading power amongst employees is truly lived?

    To gain a perspective on these questions, I talked to Christophe Barman, who created such an organization. We talked about how diversity is lived a Loyco. About what self-directed and self-responsible employees need, as well as how decisions are made when there is no authority role.

    “The workplace is the only place after your parent's home, where someone else decides for you when you have to come, what you do and how you dress.”

    What you will learn
    ·  How giving full trust and authority to employees allows you to empower them to feel responsible and become responsible entrepreneurs within your company

    ·  How using roles rather than positions, allows you to spread power amongst the team and give the right people the right authority

    ·  The importance of feedback and coaching to truly enable people to live up to what is expected of them

    ·  Don’t compromise on your values, be clear about them and specific about the habits that such values bring. Give feedback on that.

    ·  Reflect on your vision of authority and trust. How do you feel about spreading authority amongst your team? Would you trust them enough?

    ·  What is your definition of performance and success?

    Christophe and Loyco’s inspiration for Loycocracy :

    ·  Start with Why, Simon Sinek

    ·  Reinventing Organizations, Frederic Laloux 

    ·  Holacracy, Brian J. Robertson 

    Find Christophe online



    Overview of Christophe’s roles at Loyco 


    Graduate of HEC (MSc, Lausanne, Innsbruck) and holder of a certificate in risk management, Christophe Barman is committed to sustainability, participative management training and risk management.

    Passionate about human adventures, mountains and sports, Christophe is very active in the associative world: president of Geneva Snowsports, vice-president of Ski Romand and of the sports commission of the Loterie Romande (Geneva), president of the IDDEA Award of sustainable entrepreneurship and of the Fédération Romande des Consommateurs (FRC) and a member of the Board of the Swiss Banking Ombudsman and of Promotion Santé Suisse.

    Christophe co-founded Loyco in 2013, a service company in French-speaking Switzerland that has grown to over 100 Loycomates and CHF 14 million in turnover in 7 years, without sales force nor hierarchy.

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

TomInGeneva ,

Digestible insights

For anyone interested in practices relating to Diversity and Inclusion in Switzerland - and let’s be honest, huge progress needs to be made here - this podcast offers a wealth of insights in a series of short, information-rich interviews with leading practitioners in the field. A much-needed addition to the Swiss podcast landscape.

neuemedien ,


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