Personal strategies and lobbying for successful women

Jesus’ exhortation to be “as shrewd as snakes” encourages us to acquire knowledge and skills, to let go of old patterns and to think about how to use our own abilities in a purposeful manner. At the Women’s Conference of the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches on October 24, 2017, in Bern, the participants discussed the societal and structural constraints that interfere with the advancement of highly qualified women.

Many women manage their professional and personal lives with organizational skills, team spirit and dedication. Thanks to their qualifications, women are increasingly involved in decision-making the realms of church, business and politics. However, executive committees and top management positions often underutilize the experience and skills of women. In the public’s awareness, the voice of women on many important issues is missing. In her keynote speech, Christine Marchetto, a communication and leadership expert, showed how women can successfully put issues and concerns on the agenda and follow through on them. In addition, she shed light on success strategies in the context of nomination procedures and personal election campaigns. “I want women to cast off restrictive standards, to overcome difficult circumstances with smart strategies, to champion their own values, and to assert their share in power,” said Christina Marchetto.

Rita Famos, a pastor in a leadership role, discussed the topic of female church leadership in conversation with Monika Hirt Behler, providing concrete examples in the areas of church life and church politics.

The three afternoon workshops – Expanding reach using social media with Vera Kluser, editor at online portal reformiert., 10 commandments for strong women with Christine Marchetto, and Spirited leadership with Sabine Scheuter, President of the Women’s Conference, served to reinforce and implement the contents of the speeches.

After the conference, the participants attended the seventh edition of the light and sound spectacle “Rendezvous Bundesplatz.” On the occasion of the 500-year Reformation jubilee, the Federation of Swiss Protestant Churches had been involved as a content partner. The artistic presentation of the multi-faceted history of the Reformation is titled RESET. In scene IV, the play of hands between Anna Reinhart and Huldrych Zwingli represents the rejection of celibacy and the birth of the Protestant parsonage.  The introduction by Brigitte Roux, producer and managing director of Starlight Events showed, in a pragmatic manner, the successes that can be achieved by women with visions, creativity and an unbreakable will to endure.

RESET: Back to the start. Reset does not leave the system, but is a part of it and refers to the capability of interrupting our own routines and of starting anew without losing the system itself – this applied to the Reformers 500 years ago. Maybe it also applies to women today?

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