Newsletter for Equity

Empa, PSI, WSL

This is the newsletter of the departments for equal opportunities of the research institutes of the ETH Domain Empa, PSI and WSL, which appears every second month. 

The newsletter updates you on:

  • Events (lectures, workshops, webinars, etc.)
  • Campaigns
  • News about equal opportunities, diversity and inclusion in the ETH Domain

Would you like to be regularly informed about the new releases of the newsletter?
To subscribe click here. After entering your contact details you will receive a confirmation e-mail and will be informed about new publications of the newsletter.

Ideas, Inputs or suggestions? We are happy to receive them via !


September 2023

Dear Subscribers,

I hope you all enjoyed the summer with our reading suggestions! Now egt ready for Autumn and our newest edition of our Newsletter for Equity. In this issue we can look forward to various events and inputs. There will be events on Mental Health, learn modules on hate speech, and you can dive into the newest Gender Intelligence Report! 


What's on at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in September?


Mental Health Event
October marks International Mental Health Day. We are taking this as an opportunity to remind people of the importance of talking about and taking care of our mental well-being, especially in the workplace where we spend much of our time.
We are organizing a two-hour event on "How to take care of mental health in academia?" to start a discussion on this topic that can affect many of us.

Date and time: October 3, 2023, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. followed by an apéro.
Location: Simultaneously at the Academie Empa Dübendorf and room C3.11 Empa St.Gallen.
Registration: (necessary for apéro; registration deadline: September 25, 2023)
Further info: Invitation flyer
Link for online participation (please come in person if possible):  

Take part in our Meme Challenge and win a prize!


It's MINT is looking for female scientists (Focus Empa St.Gallen)

The MINT-Treffs take place at elementary school and are aimed at girls in 4th to 6th grade. In small groups of 8-12 girls they have the opportunity to experiment, try things out and do research. The focus is on having fun. For this purpose, there are already prepared materials and a further education for the introduction.

Further information can be found in the flyer or at:

If you are interested, please contact the project leader Franziska Schwab ().

Women in Power: News from our Network
As a network member of "Women in Power", female Empa employees have the opportunity to participate in a workshop on performance skills this fall. In this interactive seminar, you will learn how to use your voice, language and body correctly - so that performing is fun.

Date and time: October 30, 2023, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cost: For female Empa employees 450 CHF, non employees 900 CHF
Registration: Click here to register.


Further News:


Online Module: No Hate Speech* (DE)

The University of Bern has developed a learning module on Hate Speech!

With the help of online quizzes, inspiring videos and interesting reading, you will become an expert in reacting to Hate Speech! All members of a Swiss university can access the module with their respective university/campus account (with SWITCHaai).


Are you busy at the moment but still interested in the topic? Then you can watch the explanatory videos.

Videos (public and open for everybody)

*Hate speech is an umbrella term for expressions that devalue, insult, threaten or incite hatred or violence against individuals or groups.


Event: The tool of sponsoring as a key to more equality in academia (EN)

You may have heard about academic mentoring, but what about academic sponsorship? Join the event organised by the H.I.T programme together with the Divmed project to learn more about academic sponsorship.

Date: 27 October 2023, 13:00 – 16:30
Venue: UZH, Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich, Room RAA-G-01


Events: International Dual Career Network (EN)

The IDCN offers various events in September on the topic of job search and networking. Interested? Then check out the website and register for the events.

Job Hunt Strategy

Datum: 26 September 2023, 09:00 -12:00 Uhr
Ort: Novartis Campus, Basel

IDCN Networking Coffee Lunch

Date:    29 September 2023, 11:00 – 13:00
Venue:              tbd.


More information on the network: IDCN - Basel-Zurich, Switzerland


Public lectures: «What’s in a name? Bias in peer review» (EN)

The Diversity Network at the University of Zurich serves to bring together students and staff of the UZH, but also external guests and partners on topics relevant to our diversity policy. The invited guest in September is Stefan Palan and he is Associate Professor of Finance and Head of the Institute for "Banking and Finance" at the University of Graz. Due to his editorial work, he has recently also been increasingly concerned with the peer review and scientific publication process and how it can be made more equitable and fair.

Date: 25 September 2023, 16:00
Venue: UZH Rämistrasse 59, 8001 Zürich, Raum RAA-G-01


Event: Strategic networking – success factors for your network

Don't miss your chance to optimise your network strategy and connect with women on the same wavelength in the tech and in the tech and innovation industry. Register now for the "Strategic Networking" event and secure your place.

Date: 10 October 2023, 18:00
Venue: Adnovum, Brückfeldstrasse 16 3012 Bern


Report:  Gender Intelligence Report 2023 (EN)

Every year, the Competence Centre for Diversity & Inclusion at the University of St. Gallen and Advance publish their report on "Gender Intelligence". The report creates transparency on the development of gender diversity in the Swiss economy. This year's report analyses three paradoxes and aberrations that are responsible for the slow progress in women's career advancement and are closely related to the way Switzerland works. Check out the website to learn more about the main key findings.



Blog «A little less lonely at the top» (EN)

This new blog series, is dedicated to female academic leaders in STEM subjects. The blog series is intended to serve as a forum for (senior) women to share advice, insight and community.



Radio broadcast «Wie bist du Mann?» (DE)

The radio programme "Wie bist du Mann?" reports on how rigid role models have negative effects on society. We discuss what new masculinities look like, which can in part lead to excessive demands, and how to reconcile everything.

Are you interested? Then listen to the Radio broadcast and visit the Website which includes a book recommendation.


Statement: «Frauen in der Wissenschaft: Entwicklungen und Empfehlungen» (DE) 

A working group of the Leopoldina (National Academy of Sciences) has taken a detailed and differentiated look at the under-representation of women in the German science system. In their statement, they not only take a look at the past and the present, but also at the future by making recommendations.



pro mente sana: Walk-in-counselling in Zurich Wipkingen

pro mente sana is now offering walk-in counselling in Zurich at Treffpunkt Nordliecht. Every Tuesday and Friday from 9.00-12.00, an interdisciplinary team of psychosocial and legal professionals is available free of charge and anonymously to answer questions about mental health and the legal, social and/or health situations such as

  • suitable support options
  • information about mental disorders and illnesses
  • dealing with a mental illness or crisis

Click here for more information


H.I.T. Programme 2024: Registration open

H.I.T. Programme stands for "High Potential University Leaders Identity & Skills Training Programme – Inclusive Leadership in Academia". It is a unique leadership development programme for female professors in Switzerland.

Online registration: 11 September – 8 October 2023

Click here for more information


Call: «PIs of tomorrow: The Future of Swiss Research»

This session will take place at the next LS2 Annual Meeting on 14-15 February 2024 and will offer postdocs the opportunity to give a plenary talk similar to the format of a seminar on applying for a professorship. An expert jury of professors will evaluate the presentations.

Click here for more information


Conference: 15. meccanica feminale Baden-Württemberg (#mfbw24)

The organizers are looking for lecturers and STEM specialists who can pass on their knowledge to the experts of tomorrow. They are looking forward to submissions for seminars, workshops and lectures. The focus of #mfbw24 is "Energy & Environment".

Click here for more information


Online-Workshop: Leadership Circle – How do I give negative feedback? (DE)

Leadership, mentoring and their challenges are discussed under guidance and each with a focus topic. The offer is aimed at all women leaders and those interested in leadership.

Date: 21 September; 19.00 – 20.30

Click here for more information


Conference: WeTechTogether 2023

The 5th edition of the largest conference for more diversity & inclusion in tech in Switzerland serves as a guiding compass to help everyone navigate the vast and exciting STEM fields.

Date: 29 – 30 September 2023
Venue: Technopark Zurich

Click here for more information




June 2023


Dear subscribers,

The temperatures are rising and summer is here. For your summer reading you can look forward to a book list! In this issue, you will find news from the office and exciting input on the topic of D&I.


What's happening at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in June and July?

Online Webinar: "LGBTQIA+ at the workplace - more inclusion, more innovation, more success"

In the framework of June the pride month, the 4 ETH research institutes together organised an online webinar on the topic of LGBTQIA+ at the workplace on June 28th, 2023. Invited were the three guests Prof Dr Andrea Gurtner, Prof Dr Michael Ramsey-Musolf, and Dr Aswathi Kanjampurath Sivan. All three are committed in their research and teaching to the recognition and equality of LGBTQIA+ people in academic institutions and the workplace. 

The recording of the event will be available in the calendar week 27 on the D&I Website (Link). 


Appointment Melina Spycher, Head of the Center of Competence for D&I PSI - Empa - Eawag

Natalie Lerch-Pieper, former head of the Center of Competence for D&I , left the Paul Scherrer Institute at the end of April and with it the Center of Competence for Diversity & Inclusion PSI - Empa - Eawag. Since October 2022, Melina Spycher has led the Centre of Competence on an interim basis and has taken over the lead on a permanent basis as of 1 June 2023. She will conitnue to be the Empa contact person for al D&I topics

The team at PSI, which currently consists of two people, will be reorganised in the next six months under Melina Spycher's leadership.

The Centre of Competence for D&I is looking forward to welcoming new faces to the team!


Empa joined the "National Equality Conference 2030"

The Gender Equality Strategy 2030 was adopted by the Swiss Federal Council in 2021 and focuses on promoting gender equality in professional and public life, improving work-life balance, and combating violence and discrimination.

The National Conference Equality 2030 is an opportunity to present the status of the implementation of the strategy and its action plan and to discuss the next steps. It was great to be part of it and we hope to see further measures for equality in (latest) 2030.




Further News: 

"Design for all" campaign: accessibility in academic institutions

ETH Zurich is committed to accessibility: over the course of the next few years, people with disabilities or people with special needs should benefit from greatly improved access to ETH buildings and services. To highlight the topic, raise awareness and share information, ETH Zurich is showing the campaign "Design for all".


FEM REPORT 2023 - women and entrepreneurship

According to a 2021 study by Startup Heatmap Europe, only 16.9% of founders or co-founders in Europe are women, and this trend is echoed in Switzerland, one of the world’s most innovative countries. This report from FEMtrepeneurs aims to address these gaps and barriers that lead to women’s disadvantages in entrepreneurship in Switzerland. With this report, FEMtrepreneurs sets itself the goal of highlighting successful Swiss female entrepreneurs while remaining critical of the challenges that many women still face in economic contexts.



alliance F and ETH establish new foundation against hate speech on the Internet

alliance F and ETH Zurich have established the Public Discourse Foundation (PDF), which takes an in-depth look at hate speech and its impact on democracy. Read more on alliance F's official website. An article on the project and the project leader Sophie Achermann from the Tages-Anzeiger can be found here (paywall, in German).


Racism Report 2022: The relevance of the topic of racism is steadily increasing

In April, and the Federal Commission against Racism (FCR) publish the evaluation report on the incidents of racism documented by the counseling centers last year. In the video staff members from counselling centers discuss the significance of the report's findings and the challenges in counselling work.

The report and video can be found here.


Informatica feminale Baden-Württemberg 2023

Fancy further education and networking? Then visit #ifbw23, the summer university for female students and professionals in computer science and other STEM subjects. Attend exciting courses and workshops, advance your career, meet interesting women and have fun. Focus: "IT & Ethics".

With event cafeteria, networking evening, social program, childcare and lectures on Career Day.

Date: July 25 - July 29, 2023
Location: Furtwangen University


HAZ - Queer legal advice

Since 19 of June HAZ officially has a queer legal advice service.

Whether you have questions about changing your name and official gender or about your rights and obligations in your everyday work, the HAZ can help you with an initial consultation.

You can find more information here.


Reading list for Summer:


Speaking and Being – Kübra Gümüşay:

A wise, beautifully written book that explores the way language shapes our lives and how we see the world - and what happens when we learn new words, and new ways of speaking to each other. Language opens up our world, and in the same instant, limits it. What does it mean to
exist in a language that was never meant for you to speak? Why are we missing certain words? How can we talk about our communal problems
without fuelling them? What does it actually mean to speak freely? As a writer and activist fighting for equality, Kübra Gümüsay has been thinking about these questions for many years. In this book she explores how language shapes our thinking and determines our politics. 

Die Erschöpfung der Frauen – Franziska Schutzbach (German only):

Frauen haben heute angeblich so viele Entscheidungsmöglichkeiten wie nie zuvor. Und sind gleichzeitig so erschöpft wie nie zuvor. Denn
nach wie vor wird von ihnen verlangt, permanent verfügbar zu sein. Die Geschlechterforscherin Franziska Schutzbach schreibt über ein
System, das von Frauen alles erwartet und nichts zurückgibt und darüber, wie Frauen sich dagegen auflehnen und alles verändern: ihr Leben und die Gesellschaft.

Die Wahrheit über Eva – Kai Michel und Carel van Schaik (German only):

Wer hat Angst vor der «Evalution»? So klug und engagiert heute über Diskriminierung debattiert wird, fällt doch auf, dass eine der wichtigsten Fragen ausgeklammert wird: Wie konnte es überhaupt dazu kommen, dass Frauen um Gleichberechtigung kämpfen müssen? Zweitausend Jahre
lang lieferte die Bibel die Antwort: Weil Eva eher der Schlange als Gott vertraute, müssen all ihre Nachfahrinnen den Männern untertan
sein. Auch die Biologie schob lange den Frauen die Schuld zu: Sie seien nun mal das schwache Geschlecht. Kein Wunder, dass sich ein
Eva-Tabu etablierte. Die Wahrheit über Eva, über die biblische wie die biologische, zeigt hingegen: Ohne die Frauen ist der Erfolg unserer Spezies nicht zu verstehen. Und ihre Unterdrückung war alles andere als Normalität. Die solidarische, wenn auch immer delikate Beziehung
der Geschlechter ist unser evolutionäres Erfolgsgeheimnis.

Die unerzählte Geschichte – Vera Weidenbach (German only):

Frauen haben schon immer die Welt verändert: Sie haben geforscht, Weltliteratur geschrieben und neue Epochen in der Kunst eingeläutet. Die Namen dieser Frauen kommen in Geschichtsbüchern allerdings nicht vor. In Wahrheit hat nicht Walt Disney den Zeichentrickfilm erfunden,
sondern eine Frau. Es waren auch Frauen, die die DNA, den ersten Algorithmus und die Kernspaltung beschrieben haben. Eine Frau hat die
Bildhauerei der Moderne geprägt und ebenso war es eine Frau, die die Stimmen der kleinen Leute in die Stücke von Bertolt Brecht gebracht
hat. Vera Weidenbach ändert die Geschichtsschreibung, und wir erkennen, welchen Anteil Frauen wie Rosetta Tharpe, Clara Immerwahr, Lucia Moholy, Nellie Bly und Margarete Steffin an unserer modernen Welt haben.

Rosa Buch – Anna Rosenwasser (German only):

Für manche ist LGBTQ ein überflüssiger Trend, andere verstehen den Ausdruck nicht. Viele Menschen wiederum sind in diesen Buchstaben zu Hause – Anna Rosenwasser ist eine von ihnen. Die bisexuelle Schweizerin mit jüdischen Wurzeln schreibt über Geschlecht und Anziehung in überraschenden Texten. Sie schreibt nicht nur für diejenigen, die längst wissen, dass sie queer sind, sondern auch für alle, denen dieses Wort neu – und, wer weiss, vielleicht mittelsympathisch – ist. Das Rosa Buch beleuchtet Identitäten ausserhalb der Norm mit einem zuversichtlichen, liebevollen Blick, ist durchaus auch mal «hässig» über Ungerechtigkeit, begegnet aber allem mit Neugier und Humor. Rosenwassers Texte entspringen keinem Lehrbuch, sondern einem Alltag unter Menschen, die Tabus mit Lust auflösen und ihre eigene Vielfalt feiern.

Anders, nicht falsch – Maria Zimmermann (German only):

Auf der Suche nach Literatur über ihre autistische Wahrnehmung hat Maria Zimmermann beschlossen, selbst ein Buch darüber zu schreiben und zu gestalten. Im Verlauf lernte sie, wie sehr die Sprache, welche wir benutzen, um über etwas zu sprechen, unsere Beziehung dazu prägt. Sie spricht von Entdeckung, nicht von Diagnose, von Merkmalen und nicht von Symptomen, und davon, autistisch zu sein, nicht Autismus zu haben, von sensorischer Sensibilität, nicht sensorischer Verarbeitungsstörung, von Eigenheit, nicht von Schwierigkeit. Anders, nicht falsch.




May 2023

Dear Subscribers,

I hope you had a nice long weekend! In this issue we can look forward to various events and inputs. There will be events on career development, inclusive language, and you can get to know more about your colleagues! Curious? Then be sure to check out the new issue! 


What's on at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in May?

Homes of Empa: Get to know more about your colleagues:

At Empa, people from over 55 nations work together. We want to celebrate that! Empa employees share their favorite recipes, songs and impressions with you here in celebration of the World Cultural Diversity Day 2023. We look forward to constantly increasing the selection.


More interesting courses with We Advance (some courses exclusively for women and selected courses open to all genders)

We Advance offers interesting skill building programmes and networking events for Empa employees. Are you e.g. interested in learning more about mastering the rush hour of you life or how to navigate in a male dominated environment and many more? Then check out the programme they offer and get in touch with our We Advance Ambassador Edith Perret


Fix-the-leaky Pipeline Programme: open seats in Course: Self-Marketing Skills (by Dr Monika Clausen)

The Fix the Leaky Pipeline programme (FLP) offers young female scientists the opportunity to reflect on their professional situations, to develop a strategy for embarking on or continuing their career paths, to receive targeted further training, and to extend their personal and scientific networks. The aim is to foster women’s scientific careers, to achieve gender equality and to fix the ”leaky pipeline” of women in science and related technical-academic fields.

In this context, we would like to draw your attention to two workshops, taking place in June 2023:

Date: Wednesday & Thursday, June 21st & 22nd 2023, 09:00 to 17:00
Information & Registration


Further News:


Application is now possible: new round of CONNECT

The institutions of the ETH Domain, the University of Zurich and their project partners are proud to announce the fifth round of the CONNECT program. If you are interested in finding out more about careers in industry or the public sector and want to be inspired by role models who have a science background and are now successful in non-academic careers, you want to consider applying for the program.

You can apply here. Participants attend 7-8 one-day workshops over the course of approximately 6 months (September 2023 - March 2024). Each academic institution has a limited number of places, as the overall number of participants is limited to 35.

Time period: September 2023 – March 2024
Further Information on the application
Application form

Hybrid Info Event
Date: May 31st 2023, 12:15 – 13:00
Location: University of Zurich, KO2-F-175. You can also join the event on Zoom (the link can be requested here).

FEMSPIN Report 2023

The FEMSPIN Report provides first insights on spin-off and start-up activities of women at Swiss universities and research institutes and gives an overview of measures and approaches to promote women scientists in academic entrepreneurship in Switzerland.


Survey of workplace experiences in the geosciences (EN)

The survey is aimed at documenting experiences of workplace climate in the geosciences to gain insights into the current climate and to tailor future initiatives for improving workplace environments. The European Geosciences Union is conducting the survey anonymously.

Link to the survey
More information in this interesting Blog post.


Lecture: «Inclusive language: a storm in a teacup or an answer to a real problem?»

Pascal Gygax leads the Psycholinguistics and Applied Social Psychology team at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland). His work focuses on the way our brains process the male grammatical marker and how language creeps into our perception of gender.

Date: June 8, 2023, 16:00 - 18:00.
Location: University of Zurich, Room KOL-G-212 EV, Main Building, Rämistrasse 71, 8006 Zurich.
More information about the event can be found here.


SVIN network event on June 28, 2023

On June 28, SVIN and ewz are organizing a networking event. And the name says it all: We offer a platform for women engineers to network with each other and with the women engineers and the women's network of ewz. The right setting for this is an aperitif on ewz's cozy terrace next to the Auwiesen/Aubrugg substation. Through various short sessions, you will get an insight into the substations and into the varied everyday life of women engineers at ewz.

Date: June 28, 2023, starting at 5:00 p.m.
Location: Aubruggweg 21, 8050 Zurich
More information: At this link


Event: Inclusive language in literature, media and everyday life (in German and French)

On the one hand, language is shaped by culture and history, and is thus the result of social negotiation processes on how we collectively name the reality that surrounds us. However, language also contributes significantly to how we experience differences of disAbility, origin, age or gender here and now. At this event, we will explore the following question: What importance do we place on language to represent/express/promote diversity and what might a concrete implementation of this look like?

Date: June 23, 2023, 14:00 - 17:00
Location: Bern
Registration: The link to register for the event will be sent out in May via the Think Tank mailing list. Sign up for the mailing list here.

More information: Inclusive language in literature, media and everyday life


2nd Women in Physics Symposium

The goal of the 2nd symposium is to continue to boost women in the early career stage from undergraduate to postdoctoral studies. Like last year, the event will feature a series of career talks, which will provide information on navigating a career in physics from the personal perspective of invited speakers covering several career levels. 

Date: September 4th 2023
Location: University Basel
More information and Registration





Male Allyship Training (fee required, EN)

This course aims to contribute to the recognition and promotion of male allyship as an effective tool to promote greater equality in the workplace. Working men and people who identify as men, are interested in learning more about gender equality, and are motivated to better understand what they can do in their organizations are invited to attend.

Date: June 8 or September 7
Location: Hochschule St. Gallen (HSG)
More information


Event: Rethinking Gender for inclusive institutions: A conversation with Dr. Eugenia Cheng (EN)

If you're interested in how institutions can be changed to be more inclusive of women and other underrepresented groups, this event with Dr. Eugenia Cheng is for you.

She will discuss how mathematics can help understand privilege, gender, and other types of inequality, and propose a conceptual framework for finding a way out of segregation and exclusion.

Date: June 28, 2023, 17:00 - 18:30
Location: ETH Zurich, Audimax, Rämistrasse 101 8092 Zurich


Event: « Oh Boy - Masculinities Today»

When is one a man? Herbert Grönemeyer already raised this question in his 80s hit 'Männer'. 40 years later, in times of Toxic Masculinity and Gender Fluidity, the question is more topical than ever. What does it mean to be a man today? How and by whom are men made men? Is so-called 'masculinity' in crisis? Can men be feminists? And how do we position ourselves in relation to all this?

These questions will be discussed at the literature festival by an illustrious panel of distinguished guests from the worlds of literature, radio and television. The event will take place on the occasion of the book premiere of Oh Boy, the first literary anthology on the subject of masculinities. The book brings together 18 personal narratives by influential contemporary authors and will be published by Kanon Verlag in July 2023. The participating authors will also read and discuss excerpts during the evening.

Date: July 13, 2023, 8:30 p.m.
Place: Old Botanical Garden, Zurich
Further information: At this link as well as on the Literature Festival page.



March 2023


Dear subscribers,

Spring is just around the corner and so are many exciting topics and events around diversity, inclusion and equity. We look forward to sharing them with you! 


What's happening at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in March and April?



It runs smoothly with feM-LEAD!

On March 3 the third (PSI only) round of feM-LEAD was successfully completed. Prof. Barbara Rothen-Rutishauser talked in a first part about her research and the joint professorship with Prof. Alke Fink.

In a second part, the mentees presented themselves with a pitching session and received their certificates. The Competence Center for D&I congratulates all mentees!

Off we go into the next round including 9 Empa mentees! We kicked off the next round just yesterday on March 28. 19 mentees from Empa, WSL and PSI will participate together. What a great start into the year coming! Thanks to all mentees and mentors participating.


Sexual Harassment Awareness Day 2023

Last Thursday, March 23, the Sexual Harassment Awareness Day took place. A national awareness campaign against sexual harassment was carried out at various Swiss universities and research institutes. This was accompanied by a diverse and hybrid social program. Interested? You can look up the online events and access them here.


Women in Power - New network and Empa is part of it!

"Women in Power" is the women's network of the Swiss energy industry. Launched on World Women's Day in March, the new network aims to bring together female professionals and leaders and set the course for a more diverse and innovative energy world. Check out the network: Women in Power


Throwback to February and our outstanding women scientists!

February 11, 2023 marked the annual International Day of Women and Girls in Science. The initiative aims to encourage women and girls to consider careers in science, highlight the indispensable role of women in science and create role models for current and future generations. To celebrate this day we presented 5 outstanding female scientists at Empa. Haven’t seen it yet or want to take a look at it again? Here is the article.



What a celebration of Advance and the International Women’s Day. Have you seen the exhibition on Zurich Main Station? The so-called avancine we designed by various female artists to support advance in reaching their goal for equal opportunities. Take a look at the pictures on the advance website.


Further News:


Programme: Fix the Leaky Pipeline

The programme for the promotion of young female scientists in the ETH Domain has completely redesigned its website. It is definitely worth a visit!



Career Symposium: Women in Physics

The Women in Physics Career Symposium brings together women in physics at various career stages to retain the next generation of scientists in physics.

Date: September 4, 2023, 08:30 a.m. - 7.30 p.m
Location: Basel


Article: Five voices on Women's Day at ETH Zurich

On March 8, International Women's Day, ETHZ reported: What about equality at ETH? What challenges do our female students see?

On the occasion of International Women's Day, young women provide information. To the article


Panel Discussion: "Accessibility and Inclusion in Higher Education - Just a Trend?" (in German)

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD, Art. 24), which Switzerland has also signed, calls for an inclusive education system - also at the level of universities. At a panel discussion,  concerned students, lecturers and people with expertise in teaching will discuss the possibilities and limits of accessibility in education and report on their experiences of exclusion and inclusion in their studies.

Date: April 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m., with subsequent aperitif
Location: Campus Hönggerberg (HIT E 51), Zurich
Information: Barrier-free at ETH


Lecture: “From working-class child to professorship? The Power of Social Origin” (in German)

Academic careers are not based on performance alone, but are influenced by social categories. While the low percentage of women at the professorship level is problematized and fought against, social origin usually remains invisible.

Date: April 30, 5:15 - 7:00 p.m.
Location: Alte Kantonsschule, Rämistrasse 59, RAA-G-01 8001 Zurich
More information: at this link


The Girls in Tech Podcast (EN)

Get inspired by the Girls in Tech podcast series! Host Teresa Truda guides listeners through interviews with people who are using technology to develop solutions and shape the future. Girls in Tech is an international coalition of girls and women in tech careers.

Podcast: Podcast Archive - Girls in Tech


Women for the Board - Seat on the Board of Directors or Foundation Board

Women for the Board is a network of women who are interested in new or additional board or foundation board seats.



Exhibition: Zurich and Colonialism

Colonialism changed the world profoundly and created great inequalities. The city of Zurich and its economy benefited from it, as did many people in Zurich who were involved in colonialism in one way or another. The exhibition "Blind Spots: Zurich and Colonialism" aims to create a greater awareness of Zurich's colonial entanglements, including current ones.

About the exhibition and accompanying events: Blind Spots - Zurich and Colonialism


Brochure: What applies? LGBTI - my rights

In the everyday lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI) people, there are many legal issues related to their sexual orientation, gender identity or variation in gender characteristics. The brochure provides answers to legal questions in different areas of life.

Link main page: What applies? LGBTI - my rights


Conference: Inclusive Language in Literature, Media and Everyday Life (simultaneous translation German and French)

Language is shaped by culture and history, but also contributes significantly to how we experience differences of disAbility, origin, age or gender today. What importance do we place on language to reflect/express/encourage diversity and what might a concrete implementation of this look like?

Date: June 23, 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Location: Bern
Registration and information: Gendercampus


Conference: Dealing with racism at Swiss universities (in German)

For two days, approaches critical of racism will be addressed as an incentive for diversity-sensitive universities. "Do we have a problem at all? " This question and others will be discussed at the series of events organized by the Forum of Swiss Universities.

Date: April 28 & May 4, 2023
Location: University of Bern, Hochschulstrasse 6, 3012 Bern


Movie tip: Saint Omer

Are you longing for a cozy evening at the cinema? Then the D&I office recommends the film "Saint Omer". The film tells of breaks in female biographies and reflects the fates of two extremely contrasting migrant women. A gripping film about universal questions about truth, prejudice, and motherhood.

Further information: Saint Omer


Movie tip: SRF documentary: A Child at Any Price 

In Switzerland, there are officially 21,000 households of homosexual couples. Among them, about 1,200 have one or more children. How do these families live? And how is a child raised between two fathers or two mothers?

Language: French with German subtitles
Video: Stream


Audio collage: "Actually since always"

In the audio collage "Actually since always” women who love women beyond the age of 80 tell their life stories. The audio piece is based on interview material from the research work of lic. phil. Corinne Rufli (IZFG). The project was awarded the audio promotion prize KatalysatOHR 2021 by the Foundation Radio Basel and supported by the Foundation Radio and Culture Switzerland, SRKS. You can listen to it on SRF under this link.





January 2023

Dear Subscribers,

First Newsletter of 2023 and we hope you all started well into new and exciting challenges! Happy New Year! We will continue our Newsletter and are happy to keep you up to date in the months coming. 


What's on at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in January and February?


Exciting Courses with Advance this year! 

Also for 2023 Advance has organised some exciting courses such as "Gleichberechtigung in der Vorsorge" (open to all genders), "Presence and Impact" (exclusive to women), "Psychological safety for your team" (open to all genders), "Turn conflict into opportunity" (exclusive to women) and many more. As a Member Empa Employees can join the courses but seats are limited! Get in touch with our internal Ambassador, , or find out more here


feM-LEAD: Mentees has been chosen

We were thrilled how many interested women there are at Empa for our new feM-LEAD Programme! 9 motivated mentees have been selected, who will start the programm with its 4 pillar by the end of March 2023. The programme aims to increase the share of women in leadership positions. If you want to find out more, feel free to visit our website here. We are looking forward to a year with exciting exchanges and insights!


Save-the-date: Sexual Harassment Awareness Day 2023

On March 23, 2023 the National Sexual Harassment Awareness Day (SH2023) takes place. Empa is part of a swisswide campaign to create and culticate a culture in which sexual harassment has no place. There will be a nationwide press conference followed by interesting online events during the day. We will keep you updated as the day gets closer. 


International Women's Day: Advance celebrates

On March 8, 2023 we celebrate not only the International Women's Day but also advances 10th anniversary. Take a look at the interesting event they have put together for their members here. As an official member, Empa employees can take part in the online event, with interesting guests. 


Further News from and for Empa, PSI and WSL:


Article “Success of women in scientific leadership positions must become more solid”

Janet Hering, former Director of Eawag, explains why personal effort and performance are not the only factors that determine the success of women in science. The text is based on the webinar post entitled “I did it! Experiences from leading scientists” in the series “Achieving Gender Equality and Diversity in the Natural Sciences”.

To the article:



It is not always easy to fill scientific committees with female experts, to win female speakers for a panel or to find female candidates for appointment procedures and awards. AcademiaNet aims to remedy this. The platform contains profiles of the best female academics in their field from all disciplines.



Alle_Zeit (in German)

Teresa Bücker, born 1984, is a publicist and thought leader in the field of feminism, work and society. She says: Access to time is a question of power and freedom. Who gets paid for their work and who doesn’t? A good life for all can only succeed if we understand how urgent time justice is. Teresa Bücker makes concrete proposals on what a modern time culture can look like that leads to more equality and quality of life.

Date/time: 19 March 2023, 20:00h
Location: Kaufleuten, Zurich
More information and tickets:


Latest report on LGBTQIA+ people in Switzerland (Swiss LGBTIQ+ Panel) and call for participation in 5th wave

The Swiss LGBTIQ+ Panel entered its fourth round this year. It asked: what about the experiences of coming out, discrimination and support of LGBTQIA+ people? What about their perceived acceptance in work and educational contexts? What impact do the recent legal changes and the effects of the Swiss referendum on marriage for all have on LGBTIQ+ and cis-heterosexual persons?

Report (DE/FR/IT/EN):

The fifth wave is open now with a call for participation in their next survey. If you are interested, check out their website:

Dr Tabea Hässler and Dr Léïla Eisner were welcomed by the research institutes of the ETH Domain during a webinar at the Pride event in June 2022. Click here for the recording: 


Life Science Zurich Young Scientist Network – Zurich Life Science Day 2023 

After two years, the Zurich Life Science Day 2023 will finally take place on site at the campus of the University of Zurich! The ZLSD is the largest career fair for life sciences in Switzerland. More than 100 company representatives from the fields of life sciences, chemistry, biochemistry and many more will be there to show participants various career paths and opportunities to enter the job market. Interested? Then take a look at the associated link!

Link: UZH - Life Science Zurich Young Scientist Network - Zurich Life Science Day 2023 


Interview: We Shape Tech: Role Model Sabine Do-Thuong

Have you ever wondered who is behind the invention of TWINT? In this blog post from the We Shape Tech network, Sabine Do Thuong introduces herself. If you are interested in her journey into the tech industry, motivation and experiences, click the link below.



Event: «Academic Entrepreneurship: Why and How to Promote Female Founders?»

Why do female researchers found fewer start-ups than their male colleagues? How can this be changed? This event will discuss how female founders can be supported and how universities can overcome gender bias in academic entrepreneurship. The event will be held in English and is part of the Swissuniversities P-7 Projects.



“Decolonizing Curricula, Pluralizing Teaching and Research: Postcolonial Perspectives on Universities in the 21st Century”

The conference “Decolonising Curricula, Pluralising Teaching and Research” engages the debate on how universities can use postcolonial insights and perspectives to address the challenges of teaching and research in the 21st century. How can they become more open and diverse institutions that operate in the spirit of historical consciousness, equality and openness to the world? Organised by ETH Zurich in cooperation with the State Archives Schwyz.

Location: Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zürich. Free of charge, without registration.
Dates: 2 to 4 February 2023
Registration and Information: 


Love in my life - A play with life stories of women-loving women over eighty (in German)

Four women over eighty who love women recall the turning points of their lives in an audio collage. The illustrator Anja Sidler brings the memories to life and accompanies the stories live with constantly changing images. The result is a delicate and humorous dialogue between sound and image, past and present. A poetic stage play about love, living together, identity and free living.

Date: 23. + 24. February 2023, 20.15
Location: Theater im Kornhaus Baden, Kronengasse 10, 5400


Towards Accessibility in Higher Education

Want to learn about accessibility in higher education? Find out more and watch informative videos on the ETH website.



Diversity in Innovation – Toolkit: Women & Diversity in Innovation

The toolkit “Women & Diversity in Innovation” supports organisations in designing their research and innovation areas on a social and cultural level in such a way that employees with diverse characteristics and attributes can contribute and develop their potential. Find out how this toolkit can be applied in international cooperation at the Diversity International event.

Link to the toolkit: Diversity in Innovation - Toolkit: Women & Diversity in Innovation (


Date: 22 February 2023
Place: Impact Hub Bern 28 Spitalgasse 3011 Bern


Article: Women's rights in Afghanistan (in German)

The situation for women’s rights in Afghanistan does unfortunately not look bright. We want to raise awareness for different situations around the world. The Taliban have now decreed that women are not allowed to attend universities until further notice. Read more about the situation in the article linked below.

 To the Article: 



Books recommendation:

“Reading more” is one of many people’s New Year’s resolutions. To help you make this resolution, we have compiled a list of books on diversity and inclusion to inspire and motivate you. We hope you enjoy reading and browsing! 


Lessons in Chemistry – Bonnie Garmus 

This touching novel tells the story of a woman who fought for women's rights regardless of her own hurts. It is 1961, and women are wearing shirt-blouse dresses and joining gardening clubs. No one trusts them to become chemists. Except for Calvin Evans, the lonely, brilliant Nobel Prize candidate who falls in love with Elizabeth's mind, of all things. But even in 1961, life goes its own way. And so a single Elizabeth Zott soon finds herself on the TV show "Dinner at Six". But for her, cooking is chemistry. And chemistry means changing conditions ... 


Invisible Women – Caroline Criado Perez 

With Invisible Women, Caroline Criado Perez presents for the first time an impressive series of case studies, stories and new research from around the world that reveal the hidden ways in which women are forgotten and the profound impact this has on us all. Discover the gender biases that affect our daily lives.


EXIT RACISM. Rassismuskritisch denken lernen – Tupoka Ogette

“Exit Racism. Learning to Think Critically of Racism” is the title of the interactive manual by the German anti-racism trainer Tupoka Ogette. In it, she traces the history of the emergence of racism, with a special focus on Germany, and explains the almost invisible racist structures that have become entrenched in our thinking and actions.


Die kranke Frau. Wie Sexismus, Mythen und Fehldiagnosen die Medizin bis heute beeinflussen – Elinor Cleghorn

From the ancient beginnings of medicine to the present, from the “wandering womb” to the discovery of autoimmune diseases and endometriosis: English feminist Elinor Cleghorn presents a groundbreaking and stirring cultural history of the relationship between women, disease and medicine.


Hidden Figures. The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race – Margot Lee Shetterly

The true story of the African American women mathematicians at NASA whose calculations contributed to some of America's greatest achievements in space – a powerful, revealing story essential to our understanding of discrimination and achievement in modern America.




November 2022


Dear subscribers,
The end of the year is fastly approaching. We decided to publish the newsletter only every second month. However, the content will still be as broad and usefull as ever! Therefore, this is the last newsletter of the year and we are looking forward to greeting you in the new year again! 


What's happening at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in November and December?

Empa Future Day was a big success!

On 10 November, Empa Dübendorf welcomed 57 enthusiastic children from employees and external accompanying persons. At 5 different workshops, they got a taste of various professions at Empa. They built an electric car or a bridge, played hide and seek in the dark with a thermal imaging camera, created their personalised give-away with lasers or challenged themselves in an exciting Bobby Car race. The day ended with many beaming faces and excitement for next year!


feM-LEAD: Last Chance to Apply

The call for applications for the new mentoring programme feM-LEAD will end this Sunday, 20 November 2022. Apply now  if you haven't done so yet! 


New quiet room at Empa Dübendorf

A good rest contributes to general well-being and also to job satisfaction. To give employees a chance to rest, there is now a quiet room in the NEST unit SolAce. It can be booked via the Outlook calendar "NEST-SolAce-QuietRoom". The key can be picked up at the NEST reception desk.

More information:


CONNECT programm: new experience videos published

The CONNECT program has published new videos of role models and, for the first time, a former programme participant. Watch the videos here. Or go straight to the video of ex-participant, Salima Nedjari:


CONNECT@Advance: Kids or Career? Switzerland’s Unnecessary Dilemma (offen für alle)

Join WeAdvance for one of the last networking meetings of the year on various obstacles to women's career advancement in Switzerland, such as the impact of career breaks, part-time work or challenges of balancing work and childcare.
The event will show what government, companies and society can do to overcome these obstacles.

Date: 29 November 2022, 16.00-17.30, online.
More information and registration:


Further News:


University of Zurich wants a chair for gender medicine (in German)

There is to be a new professorship for gender medicine at the University of Zurich. Gender bias has since been established in medical research by the male body as the common measure. Now this is to change! The associated audio contribution is noted in the link below.

Article: Universität Zürich will Lehrstuhl für Gendermedizin - Regionaljournal Zürich Schaffhausen - SRF


Self-Check: Eight questions for women in academic leadership positions

The proportion of women in university faculties is increasing, which increases women's chances of participating in the management of academic institutions. In this article, Prof. Janet G. Hering, current Director of Eawag, talks about her own experience in her leadership position. She presents eight questions which could be useful for women aspiring to a leadership position or who are already in one, or for women as well.

Article: Eight Questions for Women Embarking on Academic Leadership (


­­­"Swiss Nobel Prize" for Ursula Keller

The Marcel Benoist Swiss Science Prize is considered by researchers to be the Swiss Nobel Prize and is awarded this year to physics professor Ursula Keller. She is being awarded the Marcel Benoist Science Prize for her groundbreaking work in short-time laser physics. She has repeatedly pushed the boundaries of ultrafast laser physics with both theoretical models and experimental results.

Article: «Schweizer Nobelpreis» für Ursula Keller | ETH Zürich


Feminine Charms - Beauty, Desire and Aesthetics in Queer Communities

Talk on the seasonal theme of "allure": legs, breasts, buttocks, hair - in our majority society, female bodies are not only constantly looked at and observed, but often reduced to just a few body parts. The preservation of youthful charms makes one's own appearance a permanent construction site with a guarantee of frustration. Queer communities try a new perspective on the body: identities, beauty and desire are fluid, shapeable and a question of self-empowerment. Moderated by Sandra Lang (sociologist).

Date: 4 December 2022, 11.00am
Venue: Thik Theater im Kornhaus Baden, Kronengasse 10, 5400 Baden


We Shape Tech: Role Model Sophia Ding

Every month, a member of the We-Shape-Tech network is introduced. Questions are asked about the path to the tech industry, motivation and experiences. This month, Sophia Ding introduces herself. Get inspired!

Article: Role Model: Sophia Ding – We Shape Tech


Meccanica feminale: Further training and network in Baden-Württemberg

Opportunities for continuing education and networking for female students and professionals in engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, medical technology and industrial engineering. The spring university offers exciting specialist courses, workshops and lectures, excursions and exhibition stands. Plus social skills courses and a colourful social programme with plenty of time for networking.

Date: 21 to 25 February 2023
Venue: Hochschule Furtwangen, Campus Schwenningen
Link: Scientifica:  Über die meccanica


«Stark für Frauen – Der Podcast der autonomen Frauenberatungsstellen in NRW» (German)

For about 40 years, the autonomous women's counselling centres in North Rhine-Westphalia have supported and accompanied women in critical life situations. For 25 years they have been organised in the umbrella organisation of the autonomous women's counselling centres NRW e.V. For this anniversary, they have produced a 25-part podcast. It will be published on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on 25 November 2022.

Podcast: Stark für Frauen: Der Podcast der autonomen Frauenberatungsstellen NRW | Podcast auf Spotify


Sigmond is neither man nor woman. Sigmond is simply Sigmond. (German)

Sigmond works as a research assistant at the University of Zurich. In the interview, Sigmond talks about the realities and challenges of everyday life as a non-binary person. Read more about the interview in the link below.



Human Rights Film Festival Zurich: «Je suis noires»

In keeping with the autumn season, going to the cinema is fast becoming a favourite. The Human Rights Film Festival in Zurich is a good opportunity to do so. On 4 December, the film "Je suis noires" will be shown. Among other things, the film deals with the recognition of structural racism in Switzerland, the deconstruction of stereotypes and the acknowledgement of one's own identity as a Swiss and a Black person. Read more about it in the link below.

Datum: 04 December 2022, 18:30 Uhr
Venue: Kosmos, Lagerstrasse 104, 8004 Zürich
Tickets: KOSMOS
Watch the trailer here


Inclusive Architecture: From Social Movements to "Universal Spaces"

How can buildings become more inclusive? What equipment is needed by different social groups? The City of Bern has published a fact sheet on this topic, which suggests new approaches to inclusive building and signage. "Designing for Inclusivity", published by a Canadian architecture company, also provides insight into the development and concepts of inclusive building.

Fact Sheet Inclusive Archtitecture, City of Bern:

Designing for Inclusivity: 


Reading: «Good Night Stories for Rebell Girls»

The temperatures are dropping and the Christmas season is approaching. The book "Good Night Stories for Rebell Girls" is an ideal Christmas gift. With 100 bedtime stories, the inspiring children's book tells about the lives of extraordinary women from the past and present, and has been illustrated by 60 female artists from all over the world.


The SNSF competition for scientific images 2023 is launched

Share the beauty of your research! The Swiss National Science Foundation invites researchers in Switzerland to submit their photos and videos to the SNSF Scientific Image Competition. Closing date: 31 January 2023.



Gender monitoring (part 3): What influence do confounding factors have?

Differences between the success rates of women and men in SNSF funding can be explained by a variety of direct and indirect influences. A look at confounding factors that can distort the results of analyses.



The NEXT way to my new purpose (with costs)

People with many years of professional experience have achieved a lot and would like to build up their knowledge, know-how as well as their diverse experiences, share them or dedicate themselves to another activity. NEXT, the new Lifelong Learning Forum of the University of St. Gallen, will start in March 2023 and support outstanding personalities precisely in this process of their advanced career development.



  September 2022
Dear Subscribers, 
September shows itself with a high workload for everyone. Even more, we appreciate the time you take yourself to go through our interesting September news.
  What's happening at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in September?

Registration for the Future Day at Empa Dübendorf open now!

This year, the national Future Day will take place on 10 November 2022. As every year, we offer insights into the Empa working world. Empa employees can find the information on the intranet home website. To register for the Future Day at Empa St. Gallen, please contact Urs Bünter ().


feM-LEAD (female Mentoring: Leadership for Equity And Diversity)

For the first time, feM-LEAD is taking place at Empa together with PSI and WSL. It is a 1-year competitive mentoring programme for women who are interested in a leadership position or want to find out if this is something for them. You want to know more? An online information session on the programme will be held on Thursday 13 October from 13:00-14:00h. More information and how to register will be published on the Diversity & Inclusion website at the end of September.


Inclusive job advertisements

Would you like to write your job advertisement more inclusively? You are welcome to send drafts via . They will be revised with tips and comments, which you can then freely adopt.


Book your course from Advance now!

Empa is a member of WeAdvance and still has open places for workshops until the end of the year. They offer different skill building courses and events for employees (also courses open to all genders). Have a look at the selection here:

Skill Building:
Network Events:


As always, you can contact our if you have any suggestions for events or other comments.



   Further News: 

Strong Women Convention (German)

On 22 September 2022, the Strong Women Convention will take place with lectures, networking opportunities and information. With different keynotes such as "KLARTEXT - what does my body want to tell me? " or "Close the Gaps!", the convention offers a lot. Fee applies.

Date: 22 September 2022
Place: Gate27, Winterthur
More information and registration here.


Women's Expo Switzerland

Women's Expo Switzerland will take place in Zurich. The event is a good opportunity for women entrepreneurs to network and exchange experiences and ideas. This one-day event offers a trade fair, workshops and networking opportunities.

Date: 25 September 2022, 11:00 — 17:00
Venue: Hotel Park Hyatt Zurich
More information and registration here.


Seven golden rules for more accessibility

Digital content should not only be created with visual presentation in mind. If you follow the simple rules in this article, you will create content that is available to all users and thus take accessibility concerns into account.

All tips and tricks can be read on the ETH Website.


#wetechtogether Conference: Register now

This conference brings together female tech women and communities to empower, engage and celebrate women in tech! There will be a diverse range of workshops, mentoring, talks and coverage for, with and about women in tech. Fee applies.

Date: 30 September - 1 October 2022
Location: Technopark Zurich
More information and registration here.


Open Day at the Paul Scherrer Institute

You can visit the Paul Scherrer Institute PSI at the Open Day and learn everything about the multifaceted work of one of the research institutes in the ETH Domain. 38 stations with exciting content await you.

Date: 23 October 2022
Location: Paul Scherrer Institute, Villigen PSI
More information here.


ETH Global Lecture Series: "Disrupt, Diversify, Digitise" with Janina Kugel

It's time to change how we see jobs, career paths and the pace of technology adoption with a "fire side chat" from Janina Kugel. She changed the Siemens corporate culture with fresh and innovative ideas — out of rigid structures, towards an open and flexible approach, always focusing on people. 

More information and registration here.


Women & Startups: "FEMSPIN: FEMseries 2022 Autumn Edition — Open Call"

FEMtrepreneurs aim to democratise opportunities for women entrepreneurs and bridge the gender gap in the Swiss innovation landscape. The Autumn Edition of FEMseries 2022 features the new call for proposals. 25 new female entrepreneurs will be given the opportunity to train and take their ideas to the next level.

Dates: Workshops from 27 October 2022 via Zoom (online).
More information and registration here.


PSI Mentoring for women with leadership ambitions: Intermediate Event

Together with Urte Reckowsky from WSL, the Intermediate Event of the PSI Mentoring Programme for Women with Leadership Ambitions took place. There was a lively exchange and input between mentees and they learned about a method of problem solving, peer coaching. The programme will be open in the next round with the new name "feM-LEAD" for interested people from PSI, Empa and WSL! The call for applications will open end of September.

Above from left to right Ana Sofia Morillo Candas, Carolin Zoller, Romana Boiger, Melina Spycher
Below f. l. t. r. Viviane Lütz Bueno, Ching-Ju Tsai, Laura Hennemann, Malgorzata Sliz, Urte Reckowsky


CONNECT goes into the next round

CONNECT is starting again and connecting the careers of women from academia and industry. The next round is being launched with two kick-off events at WSL and the Academy of Empa/Eawag, accompanied by an exciting workshop. Come and see what the programme has to offer and listen to the exciting interviews of female "role models" who have chosen the path from academia to industry.

More information here.


Gender Intelligence Report 2022

This year's Gender Intelligence Report has just been published. The Gender Intelligence Report provides up-to-date facts and figures on the development of gender diversity in 100 Swiss companies. Gain an in-depth insight into current challenges and their causes, as well as practical recommendations.

Read the report here.


BRAINF*CK - Impro meets science (German)

Did you know, for example, that organ transplants are only possible because Surendra Sehgal smuggled the active ingredient rapamycin across the American border in an old ice cream cup? At BRAINF*CK, there are facts to be learned from the world of science. But it will not be a dull lecture. Under the guidance of an expert, anundpfirsich sets out to spontaneously discover the stories surrounding the true events — because the actors don't have any prior knowledge either...

Date: 20 October, 8 pm
Place: Zurich
Tickets can be found here.



  August 2022

   Dear subscribers,
   We hope you had a great summer and have now returned to work full of energy!


  What's happening at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in August?

Book your course from Advance now!

Empa is a member of WeAdvance and still has open places for workshops until the end of the year. They offer different skill building courses and events for employees (also courses open to all genders). Have a look at the selection here:

Skill Building:
Network Events:

National Future Day on 10 November in preparation

Preparations for the Future Day on 10 November are currently in progress. The workshops will be open for registration from early/mid-September. As soon as this is the case, it will be communicated here and on the intranet accordingly. We are looking forward to a day with many motivated children!

Empa Summer Camp took place with a lot of happy children!

16 children took part in this years summer camp. In a playful and entertaining way they got to know the world of scientists and engineers as well as got to practice their paparazzi skills. Great organisation done by Jolanda Beaton! Read the article on the camp here.

Adjustment of the law change: paternity leave & marriage for all ("Ehe für alle")

On 1 July 2022, the changes to the law in connection with "Marriage for All" came into force. This means that the mother's wife is considered the other parent if she is married to the mother at the time of the child's birth and the child was conceived through a sperm donation in accordance with the Federal Act on Medically Assisted Reproduction. In this case, she is also entitled to paternity compensation.

Read more:


As always, you can contact our if you have any suggestions for events or other comments.


   Further News:

Action Days Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Switzerland already put the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) into force in 2014. Nevertheless, people with disabilities are still confronted with obstacles on a daily basis: whether it is access to buildings, to information or to events. In order to draw attention to this, to sensitize and to inform, the Cantonal Social Welfare Office (KSA) and the Disability Conference of the Canton of Zurich (BKZ) have launched the UN CRPD Action Days. Within the framework of these action days, ETH Zurich also offers workshops, courses and public tours, among other things.

Date: August 27 — September 10 2022
Place: Zurich
Registration & info ETHZ: (Events in German and English)

More events in the canton of Zurich & registration: (in German)


Living Library on Women and Disability (German)

In the Living Library, visitors can engage directly in conversation with people instead of reading a book about specific topics. The women have different backgrounds in terms of age, origin and disabilities. This is about their experiences: and about the question: How are gender and disability connected?

Date: 27 August 2022, 16.30 — 18.30 h
Place: KOSMOS Buchsalon, Lagerstrasse 104, 8004 Zürich
Registration & info


Exciting blog post by Witty Works “Inclusive Language Toward People with Disabilities. How does it work?” (German)

An exciting conversation between Witty works and the DisAbility Management Consultant from MyAbility, Robert Öllinger. In the blog entry, Robert Öllinger talks about challenges and critical terminology and gives tips on how to check your Word documents for accessibility.

To the Blog-post:
To the whole conversation:


Event “On resistance and ignorance towards equality in higher education” (in English)

From a systemic perspective on organizational change, Inge Bleijenbergh and Marloes van Engen identify inequality processes related to hiring, networking, the ideal worker and role models. They reflect upon resistances that emerged from interventions that address these inequalities and identify strategies they used to overcome or use these resistances to foster the change.

Date: 12 September 2022, 15.00 — 17.00h
Place: University of Berne & online
More Information:


City walk in Zurich, focus on “Science, Culture and Colonialism”

Colonialism has left traces in Zurich and Zurich residents were involved in or influenced by it in many ways. The two-hour city walk points out stations in Zurich where these entanglements become visible. The content of the city walks was developed by scholars of the association ZH Kolonial. They are led by volunteers in cooperation with the association Zürich Kolonial.

Date: August 19 to November 25
Place: City of Zurich
Registration & info: (most likely in German) 


Cultural appropriation

Ever since a concert at Brasserie Lorraine in Berne was canceled due to concerns about cultural appropriation, Switzerland has been debating the implications and limits of just that.

Want to read/listen more? You can find an interesting article and podcast on the topic here (registration required):

Definition "cultural appropriation”: Cultural appropriation - Wikipedia
Article in the Tagesanzeiger:
Podcast «Apropos» (Swiss German):


Queer – Diversity is in our Nature (German and French)

Best Natural Science Exhibition 2021 (SCNAT): The special exhibition “Queer — Diversity is our Nature” in the Museum of Natural History Bern provides insight into the diversity of genders and sexual orientations in animals and humans. The exhibition spans the gap between nature and culture, between biological findings and current social debates.

Date: until 19 March 2023
Place: Natural History Museum Bern
Registration & info 


13 days for the queer community (German)

HAZ – Queer Zurich has now been around for 50 years. For their anniversary they invite to different events for LGBTQIA+ and non-LGBTQIA+.

Together they discuss topics that move them: Where are we as a community in 2022? What have we accomplished? What is there still to do?

Date: 30 August until 11 September
Place: City of Zurich
Registration & info


Workshop “KarriereStart Fachhochschuldozentin” (in German)

Do you come from one of the following disciplines: architecture, construction, geomatics, life sciences, technology or education? At the FHNW's Career Start FH workshop, you can learn more about how to shape a career at a university of applied sciences and get to know your options better.

Date: 6 September 2022, 18.00h
Place: FHNW Campus Muttenz
Registration & info:


News Article on the Women-in-Physics Career Symposium and info on WOW Physics Conference

The Women-in-Physics Career Symposium successfully took place on 1 July 2022. The news article on the event is out now. Read the article here:

Further, we want to inform you about the first international online conference of

WOW Physics! (Women Of the World in Physics!)

Date: 9 November – 11 November 2022
Place: Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany.
More Information


Call for Papers: FemInfo — Sexual harassment in the context of science (German)

FemWiss' association magazine “FemInfo”, published three times a year, is looking for contributions from studies, research and activism! In view of the university-wide Sexual Harassment Awareness Day on March 23, they address sexual harassment and other forms of gender-based violence and violation of personal integrity.

Deadline: 15 September 2022
More Info


Annual event of the Association of Women's Businesses “Women entrepreneurs today: We can do everything — even sustainably!” (German)

The Association of Women's Businesses is organizing its annual event this year in the Umweltarena Spreitenbach:

  • “Sustainability in pension provision” Presentation by Monika Behr, member of the management board of Allianz Suisse
  • “Hotelplan – from a turbulent storm into a successful future” Presentation by Laura Meyer, CEO Hotelplan Group
  • “Resilience and motivation in top-class sports” Panel discussion on the topic of resilience with wheelchair athlete Edith Wolf-Hunkeler, figure skater Denise Biellmann, ski acrobat Conny Lehmann-Kissling and bobsledder Melanie Hasler.

Date: 1 September 2022, 09.00 – 17.00 h
Place: Umweltarena Spreitenbach


  July 2022
  What's happening at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in July?

LGBTQIA+ at the workplace: where are we today?: On 24 June the successful online event organised by PSI, Empa, Eawag and WSL took place. Find the recording of the webinar here. During the online Event the desire for informal regular meetings for people from the LGBTQIA+ community and allies has arisen. Are you interested in joining? Do you have ideas how to start the get togethers? Do you already know about such a get together? Get in touch with our D&I Expert, Melina Spycher! She is about every support she gets in putting together these important gatherings.

CONNECT goes into another round and Empa is on boat. The call for applications for the CONNECT programme has closed. Empa is happy to inform you, that 2 candidates received a spot in the next round starting in autumn. Find out more about the programme here:

Fix the leaky Pipeline Program (FLP) has more open courses in July! Check it out and register for: "Self-Marketing Skills – indispensable to boost your career" (registration opens 12 July 2022) and/or "Emotional intelligence: why it matters" (registration opens 25th July 2022). The FLP offers young female scientists the opportunity to reflect on their professional situations, to develop a strategy for embarking on or continuing their career paths, to receive targeted further training, and to extend their personal and scientific networks. The aim is to foster women’s scientific careers, to achieve gender equality and to fix the ”leaky pipeline” of women in science and related technical-academic fields.

Respect@Empa: Have you read our "Code of Conduct" yet? Take a look at it and read Tanja Zimmermanns appeal on the importance of respectful behaviour at Empa:

SVIN celebrated 30 years! The Swiss Association for female engineers celebrated it's 30th anniversity on June 24th. Empa as supporting member of the association was invited too. Check out what SVIN offers and join the assiciation.

The Newsletter team wishes all readers enjoyable, relaxing summer holidays!

As always, feel free to contact our  if you have suggestions for events or other comments.


   Further News:

Aiming Higher — Women's Leadership Programme

The University of St-Gallen offers a programme aimed at women in lower and middle management positions who would like to prepare for the next career step and acquire the skills necessary to take on a more senior role. As a participant, you will, among others, learn about various leadership approaches, gain personal insights into your own leadership style and development potential and more.

The registration deadline is on 31.08.2022 and you can find more information here.

Date: 3.5 days (seven half-day modules) from the 08.09.2022, fees apply.
Place: Online


Report of the OST "How medium-sized companies attract women to their top management" (in German)

Successfully filling executive management and board of directors’ mandates with competent women is still a clear challenge for medium-sized companies. This is the conclusion of the project "Wie mittelgrosse Unternehmen Frauen für ihr Top-Management gewinnen" of the OST — Ostschweizer Fachhochschule (University of Applied Sciences of Eastern Switzerland), which examined the situation in Switzerland over the last four years.


Project “Girls go MINT” at Baden High-School (in German)

The "Girls go MINT" programme at Kanti Baden opens up new perspectives in mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology for high school girls. The programme is part of the inter-cantonal MINT women's network, which aims to increase the proportion of women in MINT fields at high schools, in university and in professional life. They are looking for women in science to serve as role model in the programme.

If you are interested in becoming a role model, or just want some more information, please contact 


Join the feminno program

feminno offers all female scientists the opportunity to bridge academic research with innovation, entrepreneurship and industry. At the end of the programme you will be able to take an educated decision about your next career move or to build your own business with your innovative idea.

Programme start: September 2022. 12 days of training in 6 months.
Application Deadline: 29 July 2022.


Workshop — sound good, come across well — be in good voice (in German)

Our voice is only innate to a small extent, but it is mainly during our lives that we learn how to use it. Bettina Gut, opera singer and singing teacher, offers a workshop for women on how to develop their own voice. Organizer: SVIN

Date: Friday, 30 September 2022, 09.00 - 17.00
Place: Zentrum Karl der Grosse, Kirchgasse 14, 8001 Zurich


"No means No" (in German)

The Swiss Council of States opted for the "No means No" solution in the revision of the Sexual Offences Act in June (25 votes to 18).

In addition, the Swiss Council of States raised the minimum prison sentence for rape from one year to two years. And for the first time, according to the will of the Council of States, men will also be able to claim rape. Until now, this was not possible.


Job offer: University internship at the Competence Centre for Diversity & Inclusion PSI – Eawag – Empa

As of 1 October, PSI, Eawag and Empa are again looking for a university intern for one year.

Gain on-the-job experience in project support and management as well as in committee work! Among other things, you will be involved in the planning and implementation of the PSI Diversity Award for managers. In a great and motivated small team. The CC D&I is looking forward to your application!

Here to the job advertisement


Job offer: ETH-Diversity Team is looking for reinforcement!

ETH-Diversity is looking for a student assistant (20%) to strengthen the team for the development of the diversity strategy!

With the "Diversity Strategy" ETH Zurich wants to underline its commitment to diversity and inclusion.

More information here.


STEM promotion: Commission demands report and clarifications on extracurricular offers (in German)

The WBK-N (Parliamentary Commission for Science, Education and Culture) requests a report from the Federal Council on the proportion of women in MINT professions (mathematics, engineering, science, technology). This report should in particular present an analysis of the effectiveness of the measures taken to date to promote the proportion of women in STEM professions and present a strategy for increasing it. In this way, the Commission has followed the petition "Halbe-Halbe in MINT: Increase the proportion of women” of the "Frauensession" in 2021.


Marriage equality for same-sex couples from June 1 on

Since July 1, same-sex couples can say “yes” to each other. Through the new legislation, complete equality has not yet been achieved, but Switzerland is a big step closer. How couples who are about to get married are doing can be watched in the article.


GEOscience Diversity and Equality in Switzerland (GEODES)

Since 2020, the GEODES committee organises a workshop during the first day of the SGM. The first two workshops were held online and the conferences recordings are available on the GEODES website. The website also contains many tips and resources to explore the different aspects of diversity and equality like for instance (unconcious) bias.


Article LGBTQ+ Diversity in Science and Universities

“Scientists are much more diverse than the stereotypical picture of an old man in a lab coat with wild hair. There are people of any gender, any sexuality, any skin colour, young and old, who love science and research; they are just often not as visible.” In her article, Joan Sander talks about her experiences as a queer woman in academia and at the universities and highlights the different reasons why LGBTQIA+ people choose not to come out in the workplace. Finally, she shows various ways in which in her point of view academic institutions and scholars can contribute to a more inclusive academic culture.


Disability Rights Convention Action Days at ETH Zurich

In 2014, Switzerland put the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) into force. However, people with disabilities are still confronted with obstacles every day, be it with access to buildings, to information or to events. During their action days from 27 August to 10 September 2022, ETH Zurich is offering workshops, courses and public tours, among other things.


Online event: Inflation! What to do? (in German)

Inflation is on the rise in many countries around the world. But what are the causes? Can this inflation be compared with previous phenomena of this kind? After all, every inflation is different - what is driving it this time and what antidotes are being discussed? And above all, what is to be done? Economiefeministe — the feminist perspective on economics — discusses with the experts Ursula Scheidegger, Mascha Madörin and Christine Rudolf.

Date: 5 September, 7 p.m.
Place: Online


Vacation reading wanted?

July is clearly the month for relaxation during the summer vacations. You want to stay up to date on diversity & inclusion despite vacation? We have compiled a list of exciting books for you and wish you an inspiring reading.

"What Works" by Iris Bohnet:

In hiring, in promotion, in salary - women are at a massive disadvantage everywhere. Harvard professor Iris Bohnet shows in her brilliant book “What works" that the cause often lies in distorted perceptions that influence our decisions, even when we firmly believe we are being completely objective. The answer to this dilemma does not lie in conforming women to male behavior patterns or appealing to our objectivity. We cannot outsmart our perceptions. But we can change the rules of the game.

"Girl, Woman, Other" by Bernardine Evaristo

In "Girl, Woman, Other," Bernardine Evaristo weaves together the stories of black women over a century to create a unique and many-voiced panorama of our time. An impressive novel about origins and identity, it reminds us of what holds us together. Even though the women, their roles and life stories in “Girl, Woman, Other” are very different, their choices, their struggles, their questions never stand alone, they all speak of the desire to find a place in this world.

“Demystifying Disability” by Emily Ladau (English only)

People with disabilities are the world’s largest minority, an estimated 15 percent of the global population. But many of us—disabled and nondisabled alike—don’t know how to act, what to say, or how to be an ally to the disability community.

Demystifying Disability is a friendly handbook on the important disability issues you need to know about, including: How to appropriately think, talk, and ask about disability, recognizing and avoiding ableism (discrimination toward disabled people), practicing good disability etiquette, ensuring accessibility becomes your standard practice, from everyday communication to planning special events, appreciating disability history and identity, identifying and speaking up about disability stereotypes in media.

Gender Outlaw : On Men, Women, and the Rest of Us” by Kate Bornstein (English only)

"I know I'm not a man ... and I've come to the conclusion that I'm probably not a woman, either ... The trouble is, we're living in a world that insists we be one or the other." With these words, Kate Bornstein ushers readers on a funny, fearless, and wonderfully scenic journey across the terrains of gender and identity. Gender Outlaw was decades ahead of its time when it was first published in 1994. Now, some twenty-odd years later, this book stands as both a classic and a still revolutionary work, one that continues to push us gently but profoundly to the furthest borders of the gender frontier.



  June 2022

  What's happening at Empa in Diversity & Inclusion in June?

There is a lot to celebrate in June: Our new "Newsletter for Equity" is here! This is the first issue of the newsletter, which was created in collaboration with WSL and PSI. It will be published monthly and will update you on topics related to equity, diversity and inclusion in the ETH Domain and environment. If you would like to be informed regularly about new publications of the newsletter, you can subscribe by entering your e-mail address here. Please also share the information with your colleagues!

Do you know our Action Plan for Equal Opportunities, Diversity & Inclusion for the periode 2021-2024 yet? We define the main strategic fields of action with five thematic priorities: (1) Anchoring equal opportunities at Empa (2) Respectful behavior at Empa (3) Equal opportunities for all, especially for women in management positions (4) Life-Domain Balance between work and private life and (5) Diversity and Inclusion. Read the whole action plan to get a better picture of what this means exactly. 

At the end of May, in celebration of the World Day for Cultural Diversity, a webpage on the topic diversity was published. There you will find important information, brochures with exciting tips on different cultures, and a recording of the webinar on "Multicultural Awareness and Working Successfully Across Cultures." Visit the website here.

In autumn 2021, Empa participated in the survey "Career, Partnership and Family" led by Büro BASS and EPFL. In addition to ETHZ and EPFL, all four research institutes of the ETH Domain and other Swiss universities participated. Since the conclusion of the project last month, interested parties can find the final report on the Swissuniversities site.

Innosuissethe Swiss Innovation Agency is looking for additional experts with in-depth experience from different areas at the interface between research and industry. They attach a lot of importance to a diverse representation of its expert pool in terms of gender, ages, languages and regions. In particular Innosuisse are seeking to reinforce the female power in its expert pool to ensure that funding decisions for the innovations of tomorrow are not just taken based on the views of a subset of society. Visit their website to take a look at the target profiles and to find more information on the call for experts and the application process. 

As always, feel free to contact if you have suggestions for events or other comments.


   Further News:

Pride-Month: Online event "LGBTAIQ+ at the workplace: where do we stand today?"

On the occasion of Pride Month, the research institutes PSI, Empa, Eawag and WSL have invited the project holders of the Swiss LGBTIQ+ Panel. The researchers of the largest LGBTIAQ+ study in Switzerland, Dr. Tabea Hässler and Dr. Léïla Eisner will show how the situation of LGBTQIA+ people in Switzerland is perceived while addressing current challenges around coming-out and the workplace. In their ongoing survey the researchers are additionally investigating the challenges faced by LGBTQIA+ people in academic institutions. The questionnaire is not aimed exclusively at people in the LGBTIAQ+ community, but also at (cis-)heterosexual people.
The event will take place on Friday, June 24 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. via Zoom and is open to all employees of the research institutes PSI, Empa, Eawag and WSL.

For more information and to register click here.


Tour “Gender in Green" (in German)

Gender is everywhere, but why actually? What makes us a woman, what makes us a man? The Park im Grüene in Rüschlikon presents an open-air exhibition on gender issues. It provides historical facts, statistics and personal stories at ten stations throughout the park. Audio and video files also provide material for unbiased conversations and thought experiments.

Date/Place: Park im Grüene, Rüschlikon, 1 June to 30 September, every day 8h-19h.


Swiss Association of Women Engineers - Anniversary Celebration (in German, but English speaker welcome)

Under the motto "Always on the move - always on course" SVIN will celebrate its 30th birthday together with its members and guests. The SVIN wants to improve the attractiveness of MINT professions as well as the working and general conditions for women.

More Information about the program and registration here.

Date/Place: Friday 24.06.2022 in Lucerne from 15h


Women-in-Physics Career Symposium

A Women-in-Physics Career Symposium will take place as a satellite event to the annual meeting of the Swiss Physical Society.

It is meant to support young female physicist (from undergraduate level up to postdoctoral studies) in pursuing a research career. Part of this involves hearing about different career paths in talks in which several female physicists discuss their career and share their experiences. At the same time, this is the kick-off event for an associated mentoring network.

The program and registration details can be found here.

Deadline for registration is 10th June!!!

Date/Place: Fribourg, 1 July 2022


Fatherhood (in German)

Fathers want to invest more time in their children and family. But often it is more easily said than done. Three inputs on the subject have recently come out.

One is a podcast from the first father counselor in Zurich canton. He explains what a father counsellor does and what he can offer.

Additionally, Tobias Moorstedt deals with the subject of fatherhood in his book "Wir schlechten guten Väter" and in a radio program. He wants to find out why aspirations and reality still so often diverge in this context. The SRF has also taken up the subject in a video.


BiblioTalk of the Gender Equality Office of the City of Zurich: "It's not that grey". (in German)

An exciting online talk with Sara Hassan on her book "It's not that grey". Get to know her Red Flag System to identify the first signs of abuse of power. During her talk she addresses the following questions:

  • How can we as a society become better at recognizing abuse of power in time and taking action against it?
  • How can witnesses of harassment become active?
  • Which classic myths that often prevent us from intervening need to be examined more closely? 

Registration: free admission, register by June 20, 2022 here.

Date: Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 6:00-7:30 p.m., Online.


NZZ Podium: Diversity and Unity (in German)

Diversity, the appreciation and inclusion of as many social groups as possible, should actually be a matter of course. But history shows a different picture, and discrimination, racism and exclusion are still widespread today. The morality of the majority is reflected in how it treats its minorities.

Diversity and identity culture are problematic where they become a cult and an ideology. The "essentialization" of characteristics such as skin color or sexual identity is also a dead end, as is the exaggeration of victim status, which blurs responsibilities.

Follow the exciting panel with guests such as economist and professor of business & government, Iris Bohnet, writer & cultural scientist, Mithu Sanyal, conductor, Adam Fischer and more.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Date/Place: Saturday, August 20, 2022, 16.00-17.30, KKL Luzern.


Comic project on sexual harassment in science

For the first time, the real-life stories of female scientists who faced sexual harassment were presented at the EGU (European Geosciences Union) meeting in 2015. After much support, today, seven scientists are fighting everyday sexism in research with their comics. Well worth reading! What would be appropriate responses to the situations depicted?

The comics and more information about the project here.


Panel discussion at Karl*a der*die Grosse: LGBTIQ+ in Switzerland: Where are we today, where are we going? (Discussion in German)

The Swiss LGBTIQ+ Panel and the University of Zurich are organizing a film screening followed by a panel discussion titled "LGBTIQ+ in Switzerland: where are we today, where are we going?". The City of Zurich (Equality Office), QueerAltern, Milchjugend and Regenbogenfamilien will be participating. The aim of the event is to promote exchange and improve the interaction of different actors - science, LGBTIQ+ organizations, institutions, individuals.

Language Film: English, German (UT)

Language Panel: German

Registration and more information here

Date/Place: Saturday, June 11, 6 p.m., at Karl*a der*die Grosse (Kirchgasse 14, 8001 Zurich, (wheelchair accessible)).



Melina Spycher

Melina Spycher
Expert Diversity & Inclusion

Phone: +41 58 765 4062


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Publication Dates 2023
  • 29. January 2023
  • 29. March 2023
  • 22. May 2023
  • 29. June 2023
  • mid September 2023
  • Beginning of December 2023