Past Events 2019

A Scent of Change

Bénédicte Foucart
December 3rd, 2019

Bénédicte Foucart, Founder and CEO of Valeur Absolue joined us and shared how she decided to leave her successful career in the corporate world to start her entrepreneurial journey in one of the most competitive industries in the World. She talked about the "why" that drove her in this adventure. 
She then invited us to open the box of perfume and shared how a fine perfume gets created, how to choose your perfect scent and how to train our noise in daily life. 

Bénédicte founded Valeur Absolue following over 15 years of top-level marketing and sales experience with global companies, in roles that have given her management experience in Europe, Americas and Asia.  

Mental Strength - my mind makes a difference

Julia Kalenberg

November 5th, 2019

Julia Kalenberg showed us how our mental focus affects our sense of satisfaction, motivation, efficiency and last but not least, our relationships with others. Julia encouraged us to be solution-focused and to make conscious choices about where to put our focus, spend our time and direct our attention.

Her advice: "with the focus on your preferred future, what already works and with small steps, you make much better use of your potential and reach your goals more easily”.
A special thanks to Julia for the lovely I-O stones she prepared for us as a gift, meant to remind us how to take such steps.

Professionally Julia Kalenberd is accompanying teams and individuals on their way to success (keynote speaking, leadership and sales training, workshop facilitation, coaching of teams and individuals + mental coaching for athletes). Feel free to visit her website:

The UN - more than just a talking shop?

Catherine Bosshart-Pfluger

September 3rd, 2019

Catherine's fascinating and engaging talk created so much discussion both at the end of the presentation and during the meal.  Many of us hadn't realised in just how many ways we could be more involved in International BPW and of course, its relationship with the UN. As a Board, we plan to explore how we can remain more in touch with events and opportunities to be involved. Catherine is active in the group on education and with a wider team of NGO Commission on Status of Women in Geneva she is working on the regional report Beijing+25 ( Beijing Platform of Action). Catherine urged us all to become more involved and to look out for open events at the UN in Geneva - which after all is on the doorstep of BPW Lake Geneva.


Business and Human Rights- why should I care? 

Mary Mayenfisch-Tobin

11th June, 2019

Mary Mayenfisch-Tobin has been a lobbyist for the Swiss Amnesty International Business and Human Rights group since 2005. She initiated the Platform for Business and Human Rights and this is currently located at the department of International Public Law at the University of Lausanne. She talked about her work in the area of Business and Human Rights, the lobbying work with Amnesty International, the Responsible Business Initiative which is currently under discussion in Switzerland right now and she gave us all some ideas on how we can contribute to sustaining our planet and its people.  In order to live in a world that is kind, compassionate and balanced women need to take their place in society. Mary believes in education, in connectivity and in the power of the female spirit to move us in the right direction.


Role models and teamwork in the next generation of female engineers and scientists

 Anna Fontcuberta i Morral

14th May, 2019

Anna Fontcuberta i Morral is Associate Professor at EPFL and President of the WISH Foundation. WISH was created at EPFL in 2006 to support 'Women in Science and the Humanities' in various ways.  Her research focuses on the synthesis of novel nano-structures with semiconductors to improve solar cell and quantum computer technologies. Anna talked about how WISH supports women in science as well as her own career and scientific discoveries. Anna believes we need more women working in science and that we should all encourage young girls everywhere to take up scientific studies and careers. 



Barbara Martin

9th April, 2019

Barbara is an intuitive Hobby-Numerologist and Happiness Coach. She shared her expertise on numerology with us - discovering the hidden messages in numbers. The energy of the 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 & 9’s created a friendly, joyous and inspiring exchange and everyone was curious to find out more about our own numbers.

Understand how you think using the power of personal metaphors and mental models

Heather Cairns Lee

12th February, 2019

It was a true privilege to listen to Heather Cairns-Lee's research about how leaders make sense of their leadership through attention to their inner world of metaphor. Heather shared with us the importance of metaphors in our language, their role in building the self-awareness, as well as influence of our metal models on our behaviour and actions. At the end she shared with us some examples of "clean questions" to facilitate the self-discovery. It is worth to mentioning that Heather's work has received the prestigious 2017 Emerald/EFMD award for Outstanding Doctoral Research.

Pressing forward for progress

Marina Haydn

8th January, 2019

BPW Lake Geneva got off to a great start in 2019 with an inspiring talk by Marina Haydn, Managing Director, Global Circulation at The Economist. We were delighted to welcome Marina to the first BPW Lake Geneva event of 2019. She provided an informative, professional and engaging talk on the causes, challenges and consequences of gender equality. She explored questions about why gender inequality is still a cause for our attention despite the removal of many technical barriers and also shared a fascinating perspective on the role of marketing and communications in identifying gender roles.