Miriam Gantert


Every month we ask one individual in our network a few questions about their way into tech, their motivation and their lessons learned. Since Miriam left the We Shape Tech Berne Board in the end of 2017 we held this interview with her.

Let’s start from the beginning. Tell us about where you’re from!

I grew up in Munich, but moved to Zurich when I was 18 to study physics at ETH – that’s 14 years ago. After finishing my studies and doing a bit of travelling, I worked in IT for 5 years, as a consultant and project manager. In spring 2013 I moved to Bern, where I live now and co-founded the Impact Hub Bern in 2016.

What valuable advice did you get from your parents?

«Damit gewinnt man kein Blumentopf» was one of my mother’s favorites. That stuck with me: it’s about what you accomplish, not about being «nice» or «pretty». My mother is a hard working business women to this day, so I never felt like there were things that women just can’t or shouldn’t do.

The second thing I take from my upbringing is, that those who have, should give – be it money time or abilities.

How did you become interested in tech?

As a child I loved going to the all the science and technology museums in Munich with my father. He took great pride in explaining everything to me and I enjoyed all the interactive displays, pushing all the buttons… I guess that is what still interests me most: understanding how things work.

What aspects of your work are you proudest of?

Founding and building up the Impact Hub Bern is the best work I’ve ever had and a lot more than just a job. I’m proud of what we’ve managed – but we as team, not me as individual!

What drives you at work?

The people I work for and the people I work with have always been my incentive. Right now at the Hub: The great freedom of shaping this place, community and business. Not having to sell a product I don’t believe the world really needs, but instead promoting something that makes sense to me.

What has been your toughest challenge you faced while working in tech?

Having to be around guys every day, all day long for 10 years…just kidding, but I do enjoy having a few women around now! It’s just a different set of conversations.

To be honest, I never felt disadvantaged by being a women in tech, so my challenges were those of all who are young and inexperienced in a job. Sure, there’s always a few stupid remarks, especially from older men, but usually it’s more an incapability of how to interact with women than bad will. I always felt I earned their respect in the end.

What advice would you give other women in tech?

Whether in tech or else were: Do what you want to do and stand up for yourself, by asking for the wage you think you should be paid, applying for that leadership position and letting people know when their behaviour is out of order.


Monika Blaser kommt zu WST Bern


Sie wollte immer Floristin werden. Doch kurz vor dem Unterzeichnen des Lehrvertrages wurde bei ihr eine Pollenallergie festgestellt – zum Glück, wie man heute sagen kann, sonst wäre sie nie in der spannenden IT-Welt gelandet. Nach der KV-Lehre gelang der Direkteinstieg in den EDV-Support in der Nahrungs- und Genussmittelindustrie. Über diverse Weiterbildungen führte ihr Weg von der Applikations- und Systembetreuerin beim Kanton zu den Datenbanken im Energiesektor. Im Team wie auch an Ausbildungen war sie meistens die einzige Frau, was sie nie störte. Im Gegenteil – die Männer schätzten ihre Ansichten und als Teamleiterin wurde sie respektiert. Über Diversität und Frauen in der Technik hat sie sich nie gross Gedanken gemacht. Bis zum Tag, als nach einer Reorganisation einer ihrer Mitarbeiter kündigte, mit der Begründung, dass er keine Frau als Chefin akzeptieren könne. Da lernte sie WeShapeTech kennen. Besonders das Netzwerk sowie die kleinen konkreten Beispiele, die man für Alltagssituationen lernt, schätzt sie sehr. Als Wirtschaftsinformatikerin FH und mit 15 Jahren Informatik Erfahrung, arbeitet sie aktuell bei einem Finanzdienstleister im Innovationsteam. Um erfolgreich neue, innovative Geschäftsideen zu generieren, sind verschiedene Meinungen, Charaktere und Erfahrungen enorm wertvoll. Deshalb haben alle vom Team einen unterschiedlichen Background. In ihrer Freizeit ist sie Tauchlehrerin und reist leidenschaftlich gern.

Monika Blaser hat We Shape Tech bei der Organisation vom Event «Lebenswege» unterstützt und wird sich zukünftig als Vorstandsmitglied von We Shape Tech Bern weiter für das Netzwerk engagieren! Wir freuen uns sehr darüber und heissen Monika herzlich willkommen in unserem Vorstand!

Alice Baumann


Every month we ask one individual in our network a few questions about their way into tech, their motivation and their lessons learned.

Let’s start from the beginning: tell us about where you’re from!

I was born in Schaffhausen. My father is Swiss, my mother Danish. This multicultural mixture made me very open-minded, creative and cosmopolitan.

What valuable advice did you get from your parents?

Never give up – always follow your dream! As photographers, journalists and authors, they were perfect role models: They met a lot of interesting people, travelled a lot, wrote thousands of articles and published many books. And even though they are in their 80ties by now they still follow their passion: Their new book about the lovely aspects of Schaffhausen will be celebrated in November. Creativity keeps them young. I share their fire, their courage and their hope to make the world a better place.

How did you become interested in tech?

For many years I worked as a journalist, coach and community manager. After my two studies in Communication and Social Media Management I enjoyed a study travel to the Silicon Valley. To discover new trends like Augmented Reality blew my head off: I returned as a tech fan and became a director of strategic marketing and innovation at Losinger Marazzi. We develop Smart Cities and offer our clients the entire life cycle of buildings.

What aspects of your work are you proudest of?

Thanks to several studies and my long and broad experience in the working field, I happen to inspire and motivate many people in our company, from top management to employees. We define Human Smart Cities and many other subjects.

What drives you at work?

As an Innovation Manager, I am at least two years ahead with my research. That makes me lead the was for our constructing experts. My vision of buildings as well as of new strategies and methods makes me an inspiring leader and coach for the top management as well as for our teams at the front.

What has been your toughest challenge you faced while working in tech?

I am a woman. I am a Swiss-German speaking Swiss-Danish woman with a long history of studies and diverse professional experiences, including freelance jobs, and I was not socialised in real estate. The majority of the management board are male (78 out of 80), french speaking engineers or lawyers, some of them with no other professional background than the multinational group Bouygues, which Losinger Marazzi is part of. I am the provocative and sometimes hurting stone in their shoes, as they say.

What advice would you give other women in tech?

Never give up. Follow your dream. The stone in your own show can change into a crystal. But: Never give yourself up. If your managing job hurts too much change the horse and ride away towards the rising sun. There is always another dream to be followed. Don’t suffer – enjoy life!