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Broadening our Horizons

SI Evening Talk on “Broadening our Horizons”: Participants discussing and networking

The SI Evening Talk Broadening our Horizons” was a great success, thanks to the insightful presentations and lively interactions between our speakers and participants.

The event took place on February 1st at the Renaissance Zurich Tower Hotel and featured two experts on leadership and networking: Dr. Kathrin Anne Meier and Bemi Okorodudu, FCCA, CPC.

Dr. Kathrin Anne Meier is a seasoned leader with years of experience in various industries. She shared her insights on how to find serenity in a corporate environment and how to leverage one’s professional network to achieve one’s goals. She emphasized the importance of being authentic, confident and curious in building meaningful relationships with others.

Bemi Okorodudu is a certified coach and trainer who specializes in helping people develop their soft skills and emotional intelligence. She led the participants through an active networking session, where they practiced their active listening and communication skills in a fun and engaging way.

SI Evening Talk on “Broadening our Horizons”: Nora Sleumer (Moderator) with speakers Kathrin Anne Meier and Bemi Okorodudu

From left to right: Nora Sleumer (Moderator), Kathrin Anne Meier (speaker), Bemi Okorodudu (speaker)

Photos: Martin Glinz, Nora Sleumer and Smita Ramloll

The event ended with a relaxed networking session, where the participants had the opportunity to chat with the speakers and each other. It was a perfect example of how learning and networking can go hand in hand. We thank our speakers and participants for making it such a memorable evening!

SI Evening Talk on “Broadening our Horizons”

The event was also a 50/50 gender event with the goal of bringing more women to our events and creating a more even gender balance. In the rest of this article, we want to take a closer look at the challenges and opportunities such a format can bring to a live event.

In a time characterized by unprecedented connectivity and digital interaction, live events enriched with social networking platforms have emerged as transformative spaces for knowledge exchange, collaboration, and community building.

Live events that prioritize gender balance create an inclusive environment where diverse perspectives thrive. By ensuring equal representation of genders, these events empower individuals from all backgrounds to participate actively, contribute insights, and engage in meaningful dialogue. We experienced this at our event as well as participants shared their appreciation for putting a focus on this topic and were able to talk about the difficulties they encounter in their corporate environment.

Achieving gender parity in live events amplifies the voices and perspectives of women, who have historically been underrepresented in tech and other industries. By featuring female speakers and thought leaders, these events provide a platform for women to share their expertise, experiences, and innovations, thus enriching the discourse and challenging prevailing biases and stereotypes.

These networking events serve as valuable resources for career development, mentorship, and professional growth, particularly for women navigating male-dominated industries.

SI Evening Talk on “Broadening our Horizons”: Participants discussing and networking

In conclusion, live events that uphold a 50/50 gender balance and leverage social networking platforms offer a powerful avenue for fostering diversity, inclusion, and innovation. By creating inclusive spaces where diverse voices are heard, connections are forged, and ideas are exchanged, these events propel industries forward and pave the way for a more equitable and sustainable future. Embracing diversity and connectivity is not only a moral imperative but also a strategic imperative for driving meaningful change and unleashing the full potential of human ingenuity. While striving for gender balance in events is generally seen as positive and promotes inclusivity, there can be potential challenges or negative aspects associated with it:

  1. Difficulty in Achieving Balance: Depending on the industry or field, it may be challenging to achieve a perfect gender balance due to various factors such as unequal representation in certain professions or industries. It may be necessary to personally invite women to the event or limit attendance, which can breed resentment.
  2. Risk of Tokenism: There is a risk that individuals might be included solely based on their gender rather than their qualifications or expertise, leading to tokenism and undermining the credibility of the event.
  3. Overlooking Intersectionality: In efforts to achieve gender balance, there is a risk of unintentionally excluding other underrepresented groups, such as LGBTQ+ individuals, people with disabilities, or individuals from minority racial or ethnic backgrounds and overlook the challenges created by the intersection of these marginalized identities.
  4. Limited Perspectives: Gender balance alone does not guarantee diversity of perspectives. There may still be a lack of diversity in terms of experiences, backgrounds, and viewpoints among participants, even if gender representation is balanced.
  5. Resistance or Backlash: In some cases, there may be resistance or backlash from individuals who perceive gender balance initiatives as unfair or unnecessary, which can create tension or controversy surrounding the event.
  6. Resource Allocation: Ensuring gender balance may require additional resources in terms of outreach, recruitment, and accommodations, which could pose logistical or financial challenges for event organizers.

Overall, while gender balance in events is a laudable goal, it is essential to approach it thoughtfully, taking into account potential challenges and ensuring that efforts toward inclusivity are comprehensive and considerate of diverse perspectives and identities.

Let us know your opinion on the topic and create a discussion!


Iris Zeyda is Senior Consultant at isolutions AG. She is a member of the SI Board.

SI Evening Talk on “Broadening our Horizons”: Participants discussing and networking

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The Swiss Informatics Society SI is the association of Informatics professionals in Switzerland.

Die Schweizer Informatik Gesellschaft SI ist der Verband der Informatikfachleute in der Schweiz.

La Société Suisse d’Informatique SI est l’association des professionnels de l’informatique en Suisse.

La Società Svizzera di Informatica SI è l’associazione dei professionisti dell’informatica in Svizzera.