In most (probably each?) Swiss universities there is a Gender Equality Office (“Bureau de l’égalité” in French) with specific programs and actions to promote gender equality, make sure to check out what’s available in your uni.

In addition, there are some programs between several universities or institutes and which are really specific for promoting women in academic careers. Here I am listing the three programs which I know about: two are for the universities in Western Switzerland (Suisse Romande), while the other one is for ETH institutes like the EPFL and ETHZ. 👇

Importantly, these programs are not only for PhD students but also for more advanced researchers.

When I was a PhD student, I didn’t feel welcomed by the academic system (not because I’m a woman but in a general way), making it hard to see myself making a career into it. I believe such programs can make this academic system much more welcoming, please don’t hesitate to take advantage of the help which is offered to you, don’t miss such an opportunity :)

REGARD Program - Suisse Romande

Here the website of the REGARD program in Suisse Romande, this year (2019) it celebrated its 15 years!

“The transversal skills workshop program for women researchers”

Have a look at their Facts and Figures: “The REGARD workshop program is open to female researchers, i.e. assistants, PhD candidates, post-doctoral fellows, lecturers, MERs and other intermediate staff members, as well as female professors. Since 2016, some workshops have also been open to men.”

“The REGARD program offers workshops for female researchers and professors from the Universities of Fribourg, Lausanne, Geneva and Neuchâtel, as well as from the HES-SO and EPFL. More than 20 workshops tackle academic career planning, research project management, communication tools and personal development.”

Check out their list of workshops here.

Women Mentoring Network - Suisse Romande

Here the website of the Réseau romand de mentoring pour femmes, existing since the year 2000!

“The Réseau romand is a mentoring program for the next generation of women. It helps female researchers in resolving all issues related to academic life organization as well as their scientific project’s completion.”

“The mentoring program is for advanced female doctoral, postdoctoral and researchers just before transitioning to professorship.”

“The program is organized in cooperation between the Equal opportunities offices of the Universities of Fribourg, Geneva, Lausanne, Neuchâtel and the EPFL.”

Have a look at their Facts and Figures: “Since the first edition of the Réseau romand in 2000, 234 mentees have participated in the mentoring program. They have been supported by 187 mentors from all Swiss universities, EPFs as well as foreign universities.”

Fix the Leaking Pipeline - all ETH

Here the website of the Fix the Leaking Pipeline program for ETH institutes.

“The aim of the program organized by all institutions of the ETH Domain is to support women in their scientific careers and in the process to fix the “leaky pipeline” of women in science.”

“The Fix the Leaky Pipeline program offers young female scientists (doctoral students, postdocs and other young 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.”

They are offering courses on subjects like career planning, leadership, self-marketing, and they also have a coaching program and a mentoring program.


NB: Some uni also have their own women academic career program like:

  • COMET Career Program for Women Postdocs in the University of Bern
  • Antelope Program for women doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers in the University of Basel
  • PROWD (PROfessional Women with Doctorates) in the University of Lausanne, both for academic and non-academic careers.


Hoping this blog post motivates you to take action by finding a mentor or registering to workshops, thanks for reading it today :)

Do you know more of such programs in Switzerland? Please let me know in the comment or by email!

For more career questions for both men and women, and both academic and non-academic, check out my previous blog post here.

Now if you’re an academic facing unemployment in Switzerland, no matter your gender or origin, get to know about the BNF program which could help you immensely in your job search.

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