Online Sessions

All online sessions will be bilingual in English and German with simultaneous translation.

Monday, 16 September

Beyond the numbers:  The future of equal pay

Raphael Summermatter  | 10:15 – 11:15 | online | German

The panel examines the achievements of the Federal Act on Gender Equality in relation to equal pay and takes a glimpse into the future. How can companies and organisations respond effectively to society’s expectations regarding fair pay? What challenges do they face? What relevance will the topic of equal pay have in the future and how should it be addressed? Join our discussion to gain excitinginsights from experts.

The panel “Beyond the numbers: The future of equal pay” discusses the achievements of the equal pay analyses that were carried out as part of the Federal Act on Gender Equality. It not only offers a look back at past successes, but also takes an exciting look at potential future developments in the area of equal pay.

Together with experts, we will discuss how companies and organisations can successfully respond to social expectations regarding fair pay. Not only the current challenges will be highlighted, but also future hurdles. In addition, the relevance of equal pay in the future and how the topic should be addressed in the future will be discussed.

Neurodiversity and entrepreneurial work:  Adopting a strength-based approach to mental health issues

Prof. Dr. Isabella Hatak | 17:00 – 17:30 | online | English

Building on person-environment fit considerations that individuals can flourish in the appropriate environments, what is the link between mental health issues and entrepreneurship? How can entrepreneurship offer unique opportunities for work re-design to accomplish environmental fit for people with mental health issues (e.g., ADHD)?


Estimates show that over one quarter of most countries’ population has some form of mental health problem at some point in life and this number is increasing. While mental health issues place a considerable burden on a nation’s health-care system and economy, the costs are more strongly felt by the individual suffering from the mental disorder and his or her loved ones. For example, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has been associated with crime and imprisonment, academic underperformance, drug use, and social ex-clusion. However, initial evidence suggests that the very characteristics of mental disorders that make it difficult to thrive in a conventional workplace provide advantages for working in an entrepreneurial context. In this session, we will reflect upon the latest research findings on the counter-intuitive positive fit between mental health issues and entrepreneurship. Furthermore, we will discuss how to redesign jobs in an increasingly entrepreneurial way enabling people with mental health issues a career in which their uniqueness may provide an advantage – also for the employer – and the process may improve their mental health.

Tuesday, 17 September

Long-term goals – short-term requirements:  Thoughts for sustainable DE&I

Dr. Florian Krause | 9:00 – 9:30  | online | German

How can long-term organizational goals be introduced in an organization? (How) can long-term organizational goals be maintained in everyday life characterized by short-term requirements?

In the presentation, findings from a project on the sustainable implementation of sustainability goals will be presented, interpreted, and discussed against the background of the question of sustainable implementation of diversity and inclusion goals. Organizational routines and the interests and goals of actors in the discussion and implementation of long-term strategic goals are problematized. A particular focus is on the institutionalization of measures that are intended to achieve the set goals and their coordination with organizational routines as well as with short-term requirements of everyday organizational life.

Ambitious. Qualified. Overlooked! How to overcome resistance to empowering women 40+

Dr. Nora Keller and Margrit Vunder | 10:15 – 11:15 | online | English

What if we challenged the conventional notion that most pivotal career steps must redominantly occur in the age group 31-40? In this session, we embark on a journey of shifting perspectives, shining a light on a significant pool of qualified and ambitious female professionals: Women over 40. Midst DE&I fatigue, how can we enlist leaders and HR to recognize women 40+ as valuable candidates for leadership succession? How do we dismantle potential stereotypes and fully harness the potential of this often-overlooked talent pool?

Although time and resources have been invested into initiatives aimed to strengthen the female leadership pipeline, there has been little progress. Many CEOs who prioritize gender diversity by establishing targets for the representation of women in leadership positions, advocating for diverse pools of candidates in senior roles, find themselves disappointed. The DE&I fatigue is kicking in. Together with the authors of the recently published whitepaper “Ambitious. Qualified. Overlooked!” we use this session to embark a journey of shifting perspectives, shining a light on a significant pool of qualified and ambitious female professionals: Women over 40. The experts will discuss how companies get out of this particular DE&I fatigue related to gender equality, enlarging the talent lens to include non-conventional career path cohorts: those having reduced paid work due to family duties between 31-40 and are ready to ramp up. We provide ideas and examples of dismantling potential stereotypes and fully harnessing the potential of this often-overlooked talent pool.

Inclusive Leadership:  A Dynamic Dialogue on DE&I Resistance in Research and Practice

Dr. Huong Pham and Tamara Kern | 14 – 15 | online | English

Unlock the power of leaders in combating DE&I resistance! Join us for an engaging dialogue bridging research and practice where we’ll tackle two central questions:

  • What are the underlying factors driving resistance to DE&I efforts, and why is leadership essential in overcoming these challenges?
  • How can leaders navigate resistance and cultivate a leadership style that fosters trust, collaboration, and belonging?
    Join us for a dynamic dialog-style session where we will explore the crucial role of leaders in overcoming DE&I resistance and how they can champion diversity, equity, and inclusion within their teams and organizations. Through a blend of real-world experiences from a multinational Global Fortune 500 automotive company and research insights, we’ll examine the complexities of resistance to DE&I and share proven tactics for effectively addressing and navigating these challenges. In this session you will:
    • Gain an understanding of the underlying factors fueling resistance to DE&I efforts, and explore why leadership is pivotal in surmounting these challenges.
    • Explore practical tactics for navigating the complexities of resistance, including building alliances, addressing concerns, and discover how to cultivate a leadership style that fosters trust, collaboration, and belonging.

    Gender Intelligence Report

    Dr. Ines Hartmann and  Alkistis Petropaki | 16:00 -18:00 | hybrid | English only

    How to Close the Power Gap

    As we know from our previous reports, there is a considerable gap between women and men in roles with decision making power and high influence. But how big is the power gap really? Are there different types of power? How does it translate to other gaps? What are the reasons for the discrepancies and why is it imperative to consciously drive change in the current power dynamics? Find out at the launch event!

    This is the eighth edition of the annual report. It is the result of a collaboration between Advance, the business association for gender equality, and the Competence Centre for Diversity & Inclusion (CCDI-HSG) at the University of St. Gallen, co-directed by Prof. Dr. Gudrun Sander and Dr. Ines Hartmann.

    Registration for the GIR is done on a separate link. Click here.

    Wednesday, 18 September

    Work survive balance – Why the future of work is working on the future

    Hans Rusinek, Moderation:  Prof. Dr. Julia Nentwich | 10:15 – 11:15 | online | German

    Today, work has a bad reputation: we dream of early retirement through sudden Bitcoin wealth, fight unconditionally for an unconditional basic income, or practice Quiet Quitting, where we do not put in any more effort, interest or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary. This is fatal, because we cannot avoid the world of work if we want to tackle the climate crisis in a collaborative, tangible and non-traumatizing way – we would only be left with compulsion.


    It is in the world of work that the decisive behaviors emerge with which we engage with the world, with which we also connect with each other, with which we can come close to a personal sense of our existence. At the moment, however, these are practices with which we continue to work off the planet (and ourselves!) rather than creating a world of work suitable for our grandchildren: We don’t even want to see large parts of work, care work. We engage in cliché-ridden, age-discriminatory generational conflicts instead of engaging in intergenerational action. We distribute recognition very unequally. Such a divided working world will not be able to do justice to its planetary care.

    Friday, 20 September

    Overcoming boundaries:  Diversity and inclusion at a cantonal level – strategies for impact and resistance to fatigue

    Dr. Susanne Nef and Michel Rudin | 9:00 – 9:30 | online | German

    In a cantonal environment, the successful implementation of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) is crucial for equitable and representative governance. However, while the potential of D&I is well known, the constant emphasis on these issues carries the risk of D&I fatigue, which can reduce the effectiveness of efforts and lead to resistance.

    The lecture, presented by Dr. Susanne Nef, Head of the Gender Equality Office Zurich and Michel Rudin, founder of Swiss Diversity, will highlight the central role of Diversity & Inclusion (D&I) in a cantonal context. By presenting the diversity triangle, the complex interplay between human resources, compliance and communication is made clear. Using concrete examples from the work of the Gender Equality Office Zurich, it will show how D&I can be successfully implemented in the cantonal environment in order to achieve a fairer and more representative society in the canton. The challenges of D&I fatigue will also be discussed and how these can be effectively addressed.

    Breaking barriers: How can we actively shape the inclusion of people with disabilities?

    Dr. Louisa Bloedorn and Prof. Dr. Stephan Böhm | 10.15 – 11:15 | online | German

    Why is the inclusion of people with disabilities important for companies? Why does inclusion fail and what are the key success factors for inclusion to succeed? How can managers and employees actively shape inclusion in the company?

    In Switzerland, more than 20% of the population live with a disability. The topic of inclusion has become a buzzword in many places. Nevertheless, many managers and companies are often faced with the question of “how” and what is actually needed for an inclusive work environment. In our presentation, we will shed light on the opportunities and key challenges for the inclusion of people with disabilities in companies. We will look at success factors for inclusion and what managers and employees with and without disabilities can do to actively shape inclusion in the company. We present the latest findings from two recent studies and derive recommendations for practice.

    Equal opportunities reloaded:  A dialogue about fragility, transformation & hegemonic masculinity

    Robert Franken and Dr. Gabriele Schambach  | 14:00 – 15:00 | online | German

    D&I crisis. Masculinity crisis. Leadership crisis. How do we get out of the vale of tears and how can we shape the future of the world of work together?

    In times of a polycrisis, supposedly lower-ranking topics are often pushed out of focus: “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion? We’ve got more important things to do,” we hear here and there – especially from male managers. Or – often mentioned by them: “This has nothing to do with me!”

    • How can we involve male managers in particular to make the issue of equal opportunities more relevant (again)?
    • How can we take a holistic view to emphasize that the existing conditions in companies are also a reason for men to reflect and change them critically?
    • How can we work together to restore our self-efficacy in shaping the present and the future?

    Dr. Gabriele Schambach and Robert Franken dare to take a few courageous and interested looks at the individual and the system, from which they draw hope and potential for a redesign of our corporate cultures and structures – and look forward to your ideas, impulses, visions and an inspiring exchange about them.