"Swiss Diversity Think Tank": For an inclusive, diverse Switzerland

On the occasion of the first "Swiss Diversity Think Tank", thirty personalities from business and society issued a declaration calling for a more diverse Switzerland.

The Declaration for Diversity and Inclusion (Image: Sandra Blaser)

Diversity and inclusion in Switzerland will continue to be issues that need to be addressed in 2022. Because there are still strong distinctions based on gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnic origin and nationality, religion and ideology, impairment, and social origin. The Swiss Diversity Think Tank, which was held for the first time in Bern, is the first think tank with personalities from business, politics, culture, society, religion and science who are committed to a better future with concrete goals and measures.

A declaration for diversity and inclusion

On the occasion of the first "Swiss Diversity Think Tank" on Monday, March 21, 2022, well-known personalities met: The swinger Curdin Orlik, Bern's mayor Alec von Graffenried, General Manager Estée Lauder Switzerland Maike Kiessling or the Swiss model Manuela Frey together with the initiators Michel Rudin, Christoph Stuehn and Christiane Bisanzio developed and adopted the "Declaration of Diversity and Inclusion in Switzerland". "In order for Switzerland to become a place of diversity in the future, we must implement all the different diversity and inclusion categories in our society, recognize their development potential and implement them," says the vice president of "Swiss Diversity", Michel Rudin.

Well-known Swiss opinion leaders commit themselves to

After Bern's mayor Alec von Graffenried had welcomed the representatives and initiators, short, inspiring words followed from them. Christoph Stuehn, initiator and vice-director of the Kunsthaus Zürich, said: "Diversity and inclusion must also play an even more important role in culture and in our culture - as a mirror of our society and a friction surface for the examination of our human existence. And so different perspectives came together, including those from the cultural sector. But representatives from business, politics, society and science were also present. With their signature on the "Declaration of Diversity and Inclusion in Switzerland", all those present agreed to be an official mouthpiece in their sector. They thus stand with their name for the promotion of diversity and inclusion in Switzerland.

All participants in front of the signed declaration for diversity and inclusion at the Swiss Diversity Think Tank (Photo: Sandra Blaser).

Big, bigger, biggest: the visions of the think tank

After the ceremonial signing of the declaration, the participants withdrew again to work out and record the individual goals and measures of each person. Hans-Peter Nehmer, Head of Corporate Communications & Sustainability at Allianz Suisse Versicherungs-Gesellschaft AG, explained: "We are convinced that the exchange on the topic of diversity not only advances society, but also the economy. Employees with different backgrounds have a positive impact on the innovative capacity of companies and thus on their business success.

Swinger Curdin Orlik wants to "normalize homosexuality in sports" and Daniela Frau, Diversity Manager at the ZHAW SML, wants to ensure that "there is a more intensive exchange between students and companies to promote diversity and inclusion". In addition to the individual goals, the initiators Michel Rudin, Simone Müller-Staubli and Stephan Lendi will also initiate measures relevant to society and companies in the name of the "Swiss Diversity Think Tank".

New Diversity Certificate

The first is the development of a Swiss Diversity Certificate for which companies can apply. "This is intended to create an incentive for companies to develop and position themselves steadily and holistically in several areas of diversity and inclusion," explains Simone Müller-Staubli, Co-Founder of the Swiss Diversity Platform. "It is important to us to directly involve Swiss society in shaping our future and our coexistence. That's why we want to launch an annual online petition that will allow thousands of people to have their say and make decisions on the seven core topics," says Michel Rudin, Co-Founder of the Swiss Diversity Platform.

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