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17 April 2024

Partnership between the Geneva EMBA and the Career Women’s Forum: Responsible leadership towards female self-leaders

The Geneva EMBA is pleased to announce the launch of its partnership with the Career Women’s Forum (CWF) to help promote women’s careers. This will focus on two main areas: mentoring by the CWF for our female students, and a 20% discount for 3 to 4 CWF members who enroll in the Geneva EMBA program.

The Geneva EMBA has always enjoyed a wide diversity of nationalities among its students, both because of the richness of the Geneva socio-economic region and its natural international orientation. For years, gender diversity has also been fostered, with an average of 50% female students. But this is not enough. The reality of the numbers is clear: 40% of women in the workforce in Switzerland, 25% on boards of directors, 22% in top management, and about 10% on executive committees. There is still a long way to go to achieve diversity in companies so that responsibilities are better shared. The glass ceiling is still tough, and when it fades, it often gives way to the glass wall. This term is used to describe the fact that in companies where women manage to reach the highest positions, these are most often in less strategic departments (HR, administration, communication). In line with its motto, responsible leadership, the Geneva EMBA’s mission is to ensure the education of women who wish to join our program and to work to support the career paths of our graduates.

The partnership with the Career Women’s Forum (CWF) works towards this. The CWF is a non-profit, bilingual (French and English) Swiss association founded in 1982 in Geneva by highly committed and pioneering women. Its mission is to encourage women’s professional development through the exchange of ideas, networking, and self-fulfillment to achieve recognition as active and engaged women – capable of influencing socio-professional life. The main activities of the CWF are:

  • Establishing a forum of meetings and exchanges among professional women.
  • Creating a pool of contacts and resources aimed at sharing knowledge, ideas, and experiences for effective career development.
  • Promoting access paths to high-level qualifications and responsibilities.
  • Collaborating with both public and private sectors for the promotion and recognition of women’s importance and achievements in the workplace.


Through this partnership, our primary objective is to encourage women to benefit from the Geneva EMBA. We’ve mentioned we have 50% female participants. But the challenge and our action go beyond the numbers.

  • On average every 2 years, we have a student who gives birth during her studies. This involves combining work, studies, and motherhood, a challenge that reflects the courage of the women who live it. Our collaboration in this matter is multifaceted. Firstly human, at no time do we consider this stage of life as anything other than normal. Then, responsibility towards the class: although our students naturally tend to support each other, we make long-term thesis groups aware of planning well. Again, naming motherhood as a normality to be considered removes many symbolic obstacles, and therefore also practical ones. Lastly, through flexibility that allows, for example, to postpone certain modules to the following year and thus spread out the program according to the needs of a future or new mother.
  • Furthermore, experience has shown that it is predominantly women who may have the most difficulty financing their studies. Only because their employer is less inclined to help them than they would be for a man. Therefore, we have decided to offer 3 to 4 places with a 20% reduction in the cost of studies for 3 to 4 women members of the CWF. That is 34,000 CHF instead of 42,500 CHF!


Our second objective through this partnership is to support the success of our graduates in their post-MBA careers. While responsible leadership is indeed our main focus, it is based on our second competitive advantage: developing our students’ self-leadership. The goal is not to lobby for the benefit of women, but to give them the means to develop their own network and career. Starting from the August 2024 intake, we will therefore implement mentoring actions with the CWF based on its expertise. And we will offer it to our students.

If the CWF and the Geneva EMBA quickly agreed on the objective and means of this partnership, it is gratifying to see that the press is already echoing it. See in this regard the broadcast by Radio Lac orchestrated by the Geneva Chamber of Commerce and Industry (in french)

We thank the entire CWF team, particularly its president Jamila Pradère, but also Christelle Patriarca and Marianne Zutter, for their commitment to a collaboration that can only bear fruit. So, are you a member of the CWF? Do you want to progress in your career and rely on an EMBA to do so? Get in touch and let’s talk about it by completing this contact form. Partner code: CWF24


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