My year as president of the Council of States coincides with the federal election campaign. In autumn 2023, the Swiss people will go to the polls again and in December, the members of the National Council and Council of States during the next legislative period will take their seats in Parliament. I hope to see many women there! I am fortunate to be assisted by two women in my office: by Vice-President Eva Herzog and Second Vice-President Lisa Mazzone. This is unprecedented in the history of our institutions. That these three senior positions should be held by women in no way reflects the gender make-up of the Council of States: out of 46 members, there are only 13 women in the chamber, just 28%. Nor is there real balance in the National Council, where my female colleagues make up 42% of the members.
Isn’t this surprising? Numerous studies show that the presence of women in management positions improves the profitability of companies. The same is true for countries: according to an OECD study, increased employment among women has increased GDP growth in the Nordic countries by 10–20% over the past 40–50 years. Why is that?
Because integrating women means increasing the pool of available intelligence. Because a diverse team that includes individuals with different experiences and ideas makes better decisions. It's simple: diversifying teams leads to greater collective intelligence.
But diversifying our political teams will only be possible if the voters of this country decide to put their confidence in women! Don't just put your favourite party's list in the ballot box: choose women from that list too. Of course, this means that women themselves need to put their trust in each other. Swiss women, start believing: you have the skills and the know-how to take your place in these two chambers that shape the laws of our country.
I hope that the Political Women page, of which I am the patron in 2023, will testify to the progress of women in this chamber. For the good of our country, let's dare to play the female card!
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