3月7日，Ladies Who Tech 联合德国驻成都总领事馆，瑞士驻成都总领事馆，德国巴伐利亚州中国代表处以及奥地利联邦经济对外联络处在雪绒花阿尔卑斯风情餐厅举办“中欧职场和社会中的性别平等”分享会。
Ladies Who Tech Chengdu celebrated International Women’s Day with the German Consulate General in Chengdu, Consulate General of Switzerland in Chengdu, Advantage of Austria and State of Bavaria China Office by co-hosting the the Panel Discussion and Networking of Sino-European Experiences and Perspectives on Gender Equality at the Alpine Cultural Centre “Edelweiss” on March 7.
在德国驻成都总领事致辞之后，瑞士驻成都总领事Conny Camenzind, LWT成都区首席代表冯锦月，奥地利驻成都总领事馆商务领事Birgit Murr和来自德国德莎物流成都分公司海空物流部经理Catherine Wen与大家就性别平等主题开始了坦诚地分享。不同国别，不同行业，从服务业到国际政治，从本地初创企业到跨国公司，职业妇女面临各式各样的挑战和机遇，围绕这些话题，嘉宾展开热烈讨论。
The Consul-General of Germany gave the opening address. Following that, Conny Camenzind, the Consul-General of Switzerland, Cindy Feng, city chapter director of Ladies Who Tech, Birgit Murr from Advantage of Austria, and Catherine Wen from Dachser Shenzhen Co. Ltd shared their thoughts and views on the opportunities and challenges that career women are facing in the context of gender equality under the backgrounds of different countries, cultures, industries and businesses.
Tackling Challenges at Work and in Career
Conny started her career as a trade banker in 1980s but once she was aware that it was impossible to work abroad as a female banker, she decided to leave and explore opportunities of working abroad. The Foreign Ministry of Switzerland offered this opportunity where she joined as an assistant in the beginning and became Consul-General today. Comparing with banks, the Foreign Ministry of Switzerland was helpful offering equal job opportunities and salaries. However, the number of career women is still much lower than men because of women’s added responsibilities to starting a family.
Cindy gave an introduction of Ladies Who Tech, an international community promoting career development for women in STEM. She works at a world-leading high-tech company, where she has the opportunity to build her network of high-tech start-ups and she finds the culture of diversity and inclu-siveness are being increasingly accepted and treasured amongst start-ups.
Birgit shared a similar working experience with Conny when she chose to work abroad in the economic section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It was quite tough for women working in the male-oriented world. There was a big discrepancy in the number of working men and women as many women leave their careers for family. At the same time career women are also confronting challenges within themselves, which is to constantly learn and grow.
The biggest challenges for Catherine from Dachser was moving to a new city - Chengdu after having lived in Shenzhen for over 17 years. She had to learn about local culture and market, explore new business partnerships, build a new business profile and improve business performance in a short period of time. She overcame all those obstacles through growing self-confidence and talking to excellent people around.
Strengthening Gender Equality at the Workplace for Women and Men
Conny thinks society should do more to strengthen the concept than a woman as an individual. Women often instinctively question themselves on their own capability when it comes to applying for a job position, while men never have such concerns and pressures. Society should help women build up the strong confidence of gender equality under various national culture circumstances.
Cindy pointed out that even though China has the highest number of career women in the world, the number in the management level is quite low. If a company could set up the strategy, objectives, action plan and tracking system in terms of gender equality, the company would benefit and grow better and further in the long run. It is well recognised that the diverse members of management would better satisfy the diverse requests from customers.
Birgit emphasised the career women must be confident without self-doubting. Men are comparatively more active to demonstrate themselves with confidence. Women should be assertive even if there would be conflicts as consequences. Women also need courage to adjust themselves rather than waiting others and society to change.
Catherine has been working in the shipping industry for over 20 years and she finds that Dachser is also changing gradually on gender equality. Some office work which was thought to be only suitable for women could be well done by men as well. Women are also well qualified for technical work and equipment operation. Women in Dachser has taken over 30% of men’s ‘old’ battle fields.
In conclusion, work should be decided and evaluated by capability rather than gender, including in STEM.
Every country has its own views on gender equality, same as companies and organisations but every group has space for improvement. The theme of 2021 International Women’s Day is Choose to Challenge. We hope this panel discussion will inspire young women, particularly in STEM, to embrace your ambitions and drive for your own growth. Go and pursue your dream without hesitation. Strive for gender equality!