Clivia Koch: Career or Family? The Origins of Limited Choice
The President of Swiss Business Women on awareness goals and fighting household stereotypes
Gender equality became a central topic of an open debate called ‘Global Initiatives in Women’s Interests’. It was one of over 40 platforms at the Second Eurasian Women’s Forum recently held in St. Petersburg. The participants estimated the importance of global initiatives for women’s economic empowerment and shared about challenges women face in their career paths.
Clivia Koch, the President of Swiss Business Women, described the positive change in Swiss women’s status while pointing out key spheres of development.
Swiss Business Women organisation supports women’s initiatives. It organises international and regional events to extend women’s competence and provide informal communication with the exchange of ideas.
“In the long run, educational work promotes economic growth and, respectively, strengthening the State”.
The number of women entrepreneurs on Swiss labour market increases together with the level of fair competition. The women managed to start their companies, so now their wish for economic empowerment. They are powerful and respected. Their success stories are the guidelines for young women who only plan to take on entrepreneurship.
However, the number of women taking senior positions in large companies is still insufficient.
Switzerland is in world’s 56th place for the number of women in decision-making posts.
Taking that into account, experts highlight women’s great potential, which is surely to be developed, as this will influence economies greatly. Despite such substantial motivation, the problems remain. In fact, women often face a typical issue. On the one hand, housewife stereotypes are still powerful. On the other hand, many women face simple household problems, which prevent their entrepreneurial development.
There are no day schools in Switzerland yet. It is still assumed that the mothers cook lunch at home. Thus, many women have no time for self-actualisation.
Ms. Koch supposes mass media can become a tool to solve those issues. The Eurasian Women’s Forum makes a perfect opportunity for that.
“We must use mass media for advancing important ideas. Now the old stereotypes are at the top. Women are either homemakers and take care for their families, or building their career. We should provide them the opportunity of choosing both.”
Clivia Koch raises children of her own. So she knows firsthand what it is like for a woman to actualise herself in different spheres. If a woman works in politics or for some NGO, she has to sacrifice her family for that. It also works the other way round.
Today, 40% of well-educated women have no children, as it is hard for them to balance between career and family.
That is why, Swiss Business Women sees its mission as creating favourable conditions for women and support those, who wants to build their career and raise their children properly.
Clivia Koch thinks he present conditions are so that the new players constantly emerge on the market and technological progress accelerates while interest in economic equality increases. Thus, positive change endorsed by NGOs will surely help women actualise themselves in various spheres.
Sukhrob Sharipov, news agency of the Eurasian Women’s Community
Translated by Nikolay Boykov