30 May Beyond Diversity panel: Skills of successful top leaders in the evolving workplace

IWIB Switzerland, together with SAMBA–Swiss Association of MBAs and Catalyst, hosted a panel discussion with a group of leaders from a variety of sectors address the practical skills that leaders need to cultivate to foster inclusion in increasingly diverse workplaces.

The discussion was moderated by Anna Manuzzi of Catalyst and took place at PwC in Zurich. Around 50 members of all three associations joined in person, and another 83 participated online.

Speakers emphasized the importance of micro-changes, empathy, and role modelling. They gave telling examples of how we can all be D&I leaders, even in small ways, when we take responsibility for acting inclusively. Understanding what is really needed requires humility and the willingness to openly discuss the challenges and aspirations of employees, both in the workplace and beyond. 

Key Quotes:
“D&I is like a cake: the basic ingredients are diversity; inclusion is the action of mixing the ingredients; the cake itself is belonging.”
“Value-led leaders can be recognized by their compassion and curiosity.”
“Privilege is invisible to those who have it. But with privilege comes responsibility.”
“Look at the Swiss military: inclusive leadership is happening. Officers don’t get to pick the members of their teams, yet they make it work. In real life, managers can choose their teams, but inclusive leadership vanishes. Why is that?”
“Minimize formal meetings that take up too much time. Instead, make an effort to increase your daily in-person interactions. Ask ‘how are you really doing today?’ And listen. The microphone doesn’t get switched off at the coffee machine.”

Anna Manuzzi Senior Associate, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Catalyst

Heidi Robertson Group Head of Diversity & Inclusion, ABB

Dr. Günther Dobrauz, Partner at PwC Zurich and Head of PwC Legal Switzerland
Matthias Mölleney, former Senior VP Human Resources, Swissair, founder of peopleXpert GmbH, and Head of the Center for Human Resources Management & Leadership at HWZ University of Applied Sciences
Katja Raithel, Group Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging and Wellbeing, Zurich Insurance
Fadzi Whande, Chief, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Section, UNHCR

Andrea Ullmann, MBAJ’10, President IWIB Geneva Chapter

Mafalda Tenente, MBA’06J, Vice-President INSEAD Alumni Association Switzerland