Women in Business event

Is it still necessary to debate about the role of successful women in the business world? On the occasion of the International Women’s Day, the Consulate General of Switzerland and the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce (SCCC) in Vancouver hosted a panel discussion on the topic “Women in Business” to learn, connect and inspire one another.

From left, Marissa Grootes, Sandra Phillips, Crista Quijada, Brigit Eichenberger & Rebecca Paluch

On Wednesday evening, March 4, 2020 over 50 people gathered at the co-working space Werklab for an enriching panel discussion in which four Swiss women gave interesting insights into their career and private lives.

The evening started with a warm welcome from the Consul General, Andreas Rufer, and Vince Sciamanna, President of the Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce. Afterwards Rebecca Paluch kicked off the panel discussion by unveiling interesting but also shocking current data on business women in Canada.  Did you know that a Canadian woman earns 13.3% less than her male counterpart? Or that British Columbia has the largest gender pay gap compared to other Canadian provinces? These facts answer our previous question: Yes, it is still necessary to debate about the role of successful women in the business world nowadays.

The panel discussion that followed, moderated by Rebecca Paluch, highlighted the professional and personal paths of four members and friends of the SCCC:


Brigit Eichenberger
Leadership Coach & Facilitator
Crista Quijada
Owner Xstophers Salon
Marissa Grootes
CEO & Founder STIL 
Sandra Phillips
CEO & Founder movmi



The panelists shared and discussed very open the challenges that they have faced: working in a male-dominated industry, starting from scratch again, having a career and being a mom, not knowing exactly where the road might lead or finding the courage to start an own business without an exact plan. They all agreed that women may encounter more often difficulties in their careers or that they need to prove themselves more,  but this should not keep them from pursuing their passion and goals. They also emphasized the importance of trustworthy mentors as well as the support from like-minded people and their partners. With their great dynamic and personalities the panelists clearly achieved to fill the room with positive messages and inspiring stories. The audience – made up of business people from different industries, students, entrepreneurs and several Consuls – listened intently and had the chance to ask questions at the end. 

The evening ended with a little reception where guests and panelists had the chance to connect and further continue the discussion. Overall, it was a very enriching and inspiring event where everyone left with some take-home lessons.

The Swiss Canadian Chamber of Commerce and the Consulate General of Switzerland would like to thank everyone who joined the event. A special thank you goes to the outstanding speakers Brigit, Crista, Marissa Sandra and Rebecca and their commitment and dedication towards this event. Also a big thank you to Werklab for hosting us and Nina Bader (Consulate) and Melanie Ferreira (SCCC) for organizing the event. 

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