One for all – all for one

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Sadly, our board member Marike Carsten who supported us for more than 1.5 years is leaving by the end of this year. Marike, your open mind was always a delight and your ability to tackle and get things done was and is pretty amazing – thank you for the time you spent with us and thank you for your good-bye blogpost with the wonderful title «one for all – all for one».

Continue reading “One for all – all for one”

Alice Baumann

AliceBaumann

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!

Cracking the Confidence Gap – where confidence wears more than one skirt.

_GEB0086by Catherine Ebneter

Last Wednesday We Shape Tech hosted a work-shop style event aimed at cracking the Confidence Gap. Over 79 participants joined together to tackle the challenging topic, exchange life hacks and learn new strategies to boost their self-confidence.

The event kicked off with a delicious welcome apéro hosted by Ginetta and a brief introduction of what the Confidence Gap is by Janine Fuchs and Marike Carstens of the WST team. Ginetta researcher, Simone Reichlin, dug deeper into the topic by explaining attachment theory – how self-confidence develops in childhood. As children mature, data reveals that a gap in confidence between boys and girls becomes evident, one that often carries on into adulthood.

According to research presented in The Confidence Code, “men overestimate their abilities and performance, and women underestimate both, [but] their performances do not differ in quality.” A lack of self-confidence is often why women do not speak up in meetings, feel unworthy of positions they are qualified for and overestimate risks while underestimating rewards. Read more about the Confidence Gap between men and women here.

_GEB0176In preparation for the work-shop part of the event, participants were asked to complete the Nice Girls Self-Assessment found in the best-selling book Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office, by executive coach, Lois P. Frankel. The assessment identifies seven areas where low self-confidence can affect how we behave in our professional lives, for example, how we play the game, how we act and how we think. Participants joined one of the discussion groups based on their self-assessment.

_GEB0164Each group was given the task of identifying how low-self esteem can shape one’s behavior at work – how does low-self esteem affect the way we think? Conversations were buzzing with personal examples of dilemmas group members had faced. One participant, for instance, shared that customers often challenge her expertise, and she fears that when she responds assertively she appears rude.

_GEB0149Groups were then asked to brainstorm life hacks to help overcome these types of obstacles. As the workshop ended, a spokesperson from each group took the floor to share their group’s findings and the life hacks they had assembled.

 

How You Brand Yourself

  • If you are looking for a job make a video of yourself as it will distinguish you from other candidates
  • Be proud of who you are and do not be afraid to take credit for your work

How You Play the Game

  • Discover the unwritten rules of the company by talking to as many co-workers as possible
  • Remember you are not a victim of the game, you are an equal player

How You Think

  • Do not be afraid to communicate your misgivings about a project or a deadline to your boss
  • Trust your gut and expertise

How You Respond

  • Place yourself purposely in situations that stretch your boundaries to practice meaningful responses
  • If you think of something you should have communicated, follow-up with an email

How You Sound

  • Take pauses while speaking to allow others time to reflect
  • Think of conversations as mini-speeches to help structure your communication

How You Act

  • Practice Power Posing
  • Block the perception that people are rating you

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WST was also fortunate to receive personal life hacks via skype from role models who have strived to overcome the Confidence Gap! Please take a moment to appreciate their messages.

Undoubtedly, the battle of boosting self-confidence is shared by many, but possible to overcome especially when we join together. Stay posted for our next activities and Save the Date on October 18 for our Master21 & WST Codeweek Event at EWZ Selnau. Looking forward to seeing you there!