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«Advance is an association and a network that takes specific measures to increase the share of women in leading positions in Switzerland.»


Our Mission

The Advance mission is to actively increase the share of women in leading positions in Swiss companies on an ongoing basis. We believe that sustained success depends on having a balanced gender mix at all levels of an organization.

Yet, the gender balance in senior leadership positions in Switzerland is still far from mixed. The share of women falls well below the international average at only 9%. Our aim is to ensure that women occupy 20% of all leading positions in our member companies by 2020 and hence that our economy benefits from the higher innovation, profit and productivity that result from having mixed-gender management teams.

Advance was founded following an initiative by female executives from ten leading Swiss based companies. It is a non-profit association and is funded through an annual subscription fee paid by the member companies. Other companies are highly welcome to become members.




Increase the percentage of women in leadership roles in the Advance member companies and beyond and boost gender diversity in Switzerland by:

Promoting the personal and professional development of highly qualified women who seek greater influence, visibility and impact; helping them to unleash their full potential, and thus become the architects of their own careers.
Encouraging companies to employ more women in leadership roles.

Striking partnerships with companies that enable us to exchange experiences and introduce specific measures to support  women in leadership roles.

Bringing about a change in strategy; and identify which measures need to be taken to remove existing barriers.


Board Members



Simona Scarpaleggia
Country Manager
KEA Switzerland


Barbara Wicki
Head Learning & Development
embra Money Bank

Helene Westerlind
Head of Operations & UWS
Zurich Insurance

Carin Hammer
HR Country Manager
IKEA Switzerland

Clive Bellingham


Rebecca Guntern
Lead Country Head BACH & Country Head Switzerland
Sandoz Pharmaceuticals


Jeanette Good
Diversity and Inclusion
BB Schweiz

Malvika Singh
Managing Director

Julia Rutsch
Director WM EMEA CAO
Deutsche Bank



Christine Gatti
Head Group Financial Accounting and Group Finance
Credit Suisse

Claudia Cordioli
CFO Reinsurance EMEA
Swiss Re


Karin Oertli
Head UBS Asset Management Switzerland

Project Team

Alkistis Petropaki
General Manager

Anne Halbritter
Cross-company Mentoring Manager

Claudia Solanes
Office Manager


Alexandra Rutsch
Communication Manager

Virginia Calisi-Bertschinger
PR Manager
IKEA Switzerland


Advance – Women in Swiss Business
Claudia Solanes
Bleicherweg 30
8002 Zürich / Schweiz

Phone: +41 (0) 76 295 56 64
Fax: +41 (44) 876 90 00