About Women in Leadership Initiative

Women in Leadership is an EHL initiative with a focus on projects regarding women, and on a wider scale the initiative aims to promote leadership, culture, and policies that foster diverse, balanced, and people-focused environments. It strives so that our students, faculty, staff, and alumni can lead fulfilled professional and personal lives.

Given the substantial untapped female leadership potential across the world, we believe that women aspiring to create a positive impact in organizations and society should be empowered to attain their vision and contribute to leadership diversity.

Themes Covered

  • Leadership diversity and inclusion
  • Women in hospitality, women and entrepreneurship
  • Networking, mentoring, coaching, championing women
  • Flexible work arrangements, managing work and family, parenthood
  • Talent management, pay equity, sexual harassment
  • Women’s careers, dual-career couples, expatriation

The WIL Initiative Promotes

INFORMATION: by raising awareness, disseminating state-of-the-art knowledge, debating ‘off-limits’ topics and sharing experiences and best practices

ACTION: by accompany promising individuals for growth, expanding network and opportunities for development, developing tailored solutions for companies, and creating innovative women-related projects

The WIL Team


WIL Projects

In 2021, WIL launched WIL Buddies with the aim to create opportunities to be inspired by our female colleagues, develop women professionally and personally, and to simply connect, express, and share with comfort. WIL Buddies e-Coffees is a space for us to discover the amazing women we have at EHL, to listen and to be heard, to learn from each other and grow together. There are 20 e-Coffee sessions throughout the calendar year.
  • In 2021, WIL launched Young Hôtelières Insights (YHI) together with HoteliersGuild, IUBH University of Applied Sciences (Germany) and Institut Paul Bocuse (France). YHI is space dedicated for aspiring female hospitality leaders where they can contribute to our industry with their reflections, ideas, trends and hot topics as viewed by their generation. A compilation of these inputs are featured in the associated communication channels with the aim to develop the professional visibility of our top female students in a network of established hôtelières/hoteliers.

  • In 2020, Prof. Dr. Kim was invited to Co-Chair LeadingHôtelières with, Considerate Group Founding Partner Xenia zu Hohenlohe. Founded by President and CEO of HoteliersGuild Frank M. Pfaller and co-founded by Preferred Hotels & Resorts CEO Lindsey Ueberroth, LeadingHôtelières is a collective of senior industry specialists and academics campaigning for increased female leadership in the hospitality and travel sector. LeadingHôtelières believes that improved gender equality at executive level is the key to our industry's future and are committed to driving positive change through demonstrating academic research, building sponsorship and like-minded networks, transforming design and development strategies, and engaging communication.

  • In fall 2019, WIL designed and launched the Sexual Harassment Prevention (SHP) Initiative in collaboration with Academic Advisory (Student Affairs) to educate, protect, and empower students on this sensitive topic, which is a plague in the hospitality sector. SHP is one of the very few bottom-up, transversal projects at EHL that has been able to raise awareness across different departments and engage with multiple internal stakeholders in a large-scale collaboration. Through SHP, over 3000 students have been trained on this topic via our external partner, the Non-Violence Project Foundation. SHP is a three-tiered intervention method (mandatory for students) that covers the entire bachelor program.


The WIL initiative at EHL organizes regular expert conferences and workshops on the Lausanne campus for its students, faculty, and staff. We also welcome our alumni and industry professionals.

  • June 7, 2022 at 12 pm CET - WIL Webinar Panel Series
    A conversation with Cécile Tenot : Women's health and well-being : endometriosis, the invisible pain

    Join us to learn about endometriosis and how to get support. We are delighted to host Cécile Tenot, an independent osteopath based in Lausanne with over 25 years’ experience. Cécile is an expert in the osteopathic approach of functional disorders specific to the fields of urogynecology and pelviperineology.

    Download the flyer

  • April 28, 2022 at 11 am CET - WIL Webinar Panel Series
    A conversation with Claude Meier : Diversity & Inclusion in the Hospitality Industry: Perspective of HotellerieSuisse

    EHL’s Women in Leadership (WIL) is delighted to host HotellerieSuisse’s Director and EHL Board of Trustees member Claude Meier, in the next webinar on: “Diversity & Inclusion in the Hospitality Industry: Perspective of HotellerieSuisse” to be held on Thursday April 28 from 11:00 to 12:00 CET. Join us to learn more about HotellerieSuisse, its relationship with the EHL Group, and its perspective on diversity and inclusion amid the current labor shortage crisis in the hospitality industry..

    Download the flyer

  • March 8, 2022 at 12 pm CET – WIL Webinar Panel Series
    ELEVATE2: A conversation with our EHL alumnae

    Join WIL’s ELEVATE2 panel with our outstanding EHL alumnae who will share with us their career trajectory and provide us with insights in leading businesses and companies:
    • Renee Kim (MBA AEHL, 2020), General Manager at Regala Sky City Hotel, HK
    • Tanja Wegmann (AEHL, 1996), General Manager at Grand Hotel Les Trois Rois, Basel Switzerland
    • Stéphanie Raimbault (AEHL, 2012), General Manager at La Dame de Pic** at Four Seasons Hotel London

    Download the flyer

  • Nov 12, 2021 at 12 pm CET - WIL Webinar Expert Series
    A conversation with Carole Ackermann : personal growth, entrepreneurship and inclusive leadership

    Dr. Ackermann has a long-standing experience in different boards in addition to her position as Chairwoman of the Board at EHL Group. She is a board member of Allianz Suisse, BKW, BNP Paribas in Switzerland, BVZ Holding, and the Bern-based innovation agency “be-advanced.” In these roles she inspires a long term vision, encouraging teams to think, plan and make decisions beyond annual results. Carole’s expertise is rooted in a strong academic background with a Master in Business Administration (1993) and a PhD in Marketing (1996). She is now a senior member of faculty at the University of St. Gallen, Switzerland where she was once a student. Maintaining this direct connection with students fuels her creative thinking and continued passion for innovation. With over 20 years of management experience on the executive board of SMEs and international corporations, she is also a passionate entrepreneur as CEO and Co-Founder of the private investment company for tech start-ups Diamondscull AG. Actively engaged in the development of young people, and in particular female entrepreneurs, she is part of a number of networks supporting the Swiss innovation ecosystem and currently serves as Co-Chairman of Female Innovation. A sports enthusiast, in particular rowing and offshore sailing, Carole lives by her motto to strive for the best, even in the toughest conditions. This has been the key driver of her success across the academic, investment and entrepreneurial sectors. She is passionate about leading sustainable change, prioritizing environmental and social responsibility in business.

    Download the flyer
  • May 28, 16h-17h30 CET - WIL Webinar Panel Series
    Leadership Lessons from Covid-19: Leading Organizational Resilience”

    As quarantine measures soften, people get vaccinated, and hotels re-open, the hospitality, travel and leisure industry is slowly bouncing back from the unprecedented pandemic. What are the key leadership lessons learned from Covid-19, and how will these lessons impact the way we recover and shape the future of hospitality? Join us as our distinguished panelists share their insights for a stimulating exchange on leading organizational resilience in the post-crisis era. This event will be moderated by Dr. Sowon Kim.

    • Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of Preferred Hotels & Resorts
    • Sonu Shivdasani, CEO of Soneva
    • Filip Boyen, CEO of Forbes Travel
  • April 22, 2021 - Join WIL Virtual Expert Series with Aysha van de Paer (AEHL 2006) to learn the basics of investing to achieve financial security over time. In this webinar, you will learn:

    • How to invest in alignment with your values and grow your savings at the same time.
    • The number one way to reduce the risk of losing money when investing in the stock market.
    • The surprising truth about investing successfully that seems counter-intuitive.

    About Aysha van de Paer:

    Aysha has over a decade of professional experience in private equity and real estate investing for established investment and consulting firms around the world, having worked and studied in New York, San Francisco, Zurich, Dubai, Amsterdam, and the UK. A gender equality advocate, she made it her mission to help women become confident investors while investing in a way that is supportive of the planet and society. Aysha was a featured speaker for the TEDxLausanneWomen conference in Dec. 2019, where she spoke in front of a public of 1,400 people. In addition, she is frequently invited in companies such as Novartis, EY, Swarovski and Google to speak about women and investment.

  • March 8, 2021 at 6 pm CET – WIL Webinar Panel Series
    ELEVATE: A conversation with our EHL alumnae

    Currently, women account for 60 percent of our student body. Yet, among our 25,000+ alumni, only 17 percent of the executive roles are occupied by women. This modest number mirrors the situation in the hospitality industry as a recent study showed that only 12 percent of top hospitality positions such as MD, President, Partner, Principal, and CEO roles are held by women. Worldwide, less than 5 percent of the top leadership functions across business and politics are occupied by women.

    So what is happening? Why is there such a leakage in the female talent pipeline?

    Join WIL’s first ELEVATE panel with our outstanding EHL alumnae featuring:

    • Amēa Villas Investor Relations and Consultant Alejandra Abad (AEHL, 2019)
    • Cadesio Founder and CEO Paola Bellia (AEHL, 2016)
    • Greset Reich Hospitality Consulting Managing Partner Claudia Greset (AEHL, 2012)
    • PwC Switzerland Senior Associate Real Estate Advisory Rubina Insam (AEHL, 2016)
Our panelists will candidly share their professional experiences with insights and tips on what worked well – and not so well – when navigating their careers and businesses. A space to listen, ask, exchange, and be empowered. This event is created by women for women and will be moderated by EHL Professor and Women in Leadership (WIL) Founder, Dr. Sowon Kim.


  • Nov. 23, 2020 at 12 pm CET – WIL Webinar Expert Series
    Women, Engineering, and the Space Industry: Reach for the stars and beyond!

    Guest speaker: Deborah Mueller, Productions Engineer at RUAG Space

    Today, the global space economy is valued at around USD 423.8 billion and includes a range of activities involved in researching, exploring, and using space. Space remains an important arena for interstate competition, including science, telecommunication, broadcasting, navigation, internet and research applications, missile defense, military communications, command and control, surveillance and intelligence gathering. One of the changing dynamics of the space industry is that private firms are no longer simply operating as contractors to nation states, but are themselves becoming protagonists in space, e.g. Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin, and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Space is the new black, space is sexy, and this webinar will shed light on this thriving industry, along with its career opportunities and challenges for those who aspire to be closer to the stars.


  • June 8, 2020 at 3 pm CET – WIL Webinar Expert Series
    Women, finances, and investment: Preparing your future
    Guest speaker: Sonia Rüegger, Director, Wealth Management, UBS Switzerland

    Did you know that only 1 out of 10 married couples make long-term financial decisions together (in Switzerland)? Most decisions are made by just one of the partners – usually the man – and this is linked to the assumption that the male spouse knows more about financial issues than the female spouse. It’s never too early (or late) to think about your financial future. Thinking ahead about your financial wealth is as important as discovering your passion, developing your skills with a lifelong learning mindset, and broadening your career perspectives, because they are all part of preparing your future filled with uncertainties. Our wealth management expert, Director Sonia Rüegger of UBS Switzerland will share valuable insights into this topic and provide sound advice on women, finances, and investment.

  • May 4, 2020 at 3 pm CET - WIL Webinar Panel Series - co-organized with EPS
    Corporate culture and innovation in times of crisis
    Panelists: Louise Byrne, VP Global Talent, IHG; Thomas Mielke, Managing Director, AETHOS Consulting Group; Eugenio Pirri, Chief People & Culture Officer, Dorchester Collection; Veronica Soares, Executive Committee Member, Pestana Hotel group

    In a matter of a few days, the coronavirus outbreak has redefined the way we work. How are companies navigating, responding, and anticipating recovery in times of crisis via their corporate culture and innovation? Our distinguished panelists will share their insights for a stimulating exchange on leading organizations in times of crisis.

    You can now access the recorded webinar “Corporate Culture and Innovation in Times of Crisis” by clicking here.

  • Oct. 22, 2019 at 4.15 pm and 6.30pm - WIL Expert Workshop Series
    Let’s talk about Sexual Harassment
    Guest speaker: Ivana Busljeta, Director of Global Education, Non-Violence Project Foundation (NVP)

    The workshop is designed to help you understand what sexual harassment is and provide you with tools that enable you to prevent or cope with such a situation. What does it take to start talking about it? What does it take to stand up for yourself even when you think you can't? What does it take to have the courage to protect and stand up for others…even when you’re all alone? Not easy questions to answer, but still questions that we need to start answering. Let's explore together.

  • Oct 14, 2019 at 4.30pm – supported by WIL Workshop Series
    Realities of the Labor Market

    The Women’s Business Society (WBS) in collaboration with the Women in Leadership initiative (WIL) presents a workshop on the realities of the labor market. The workshop is animated by OtherWise9 certified coaches. How to navigate in the professional world? Come discover employability 4.0 and learn some tips and tricks..
  • June 3, 2019 at 5.30 pm - WIL Panel Series (co-organized with EPS)
    Women-led Businesses: Getting the Female Founder's Perspective
    Panelists: Laurence Stoll, Founder & CEO of Marquise Technologies, Johanna Roussel Co-founder & CEO of Skwoll, and Magda Oltean, Co-founder & Account Director of Minthical

    Increasingly, women are creating their start-ups, owning businesses, and turning them into successful companies. Yet, diving into entrepreneurship is a trajectory filled with challenges. What are the toughest trials and how to cope with them? How to build on past success to attain an exponential effect?  What are the key lessons learned? Based on their experiences, our panelists will share their insights and advice in leading businesses. 

  • May 25, 2019 at 6 pm. - WIL Expert Series
    Human Trafficking and the Hotel Industry: How to Combat this Crime Against Women

    Guest speaker: Prof. Dr Maureen Brookes, Associate Prof. at Oxford School of Hospitality Management, Oxford Brookes University
    Human trafficking is a rapidly growing criminal activity.  The Global Slavery Index (2018) identifies that there are 40.3 million global victims of modern slavery and that 71% of these victims are women. The hotel industry is increasingly recognized as being vulnerable to human traffickers and therefore as having a role to play in combatting this heinous crime. Drawing on European Commission funded research, this presentation is designed to help industry professionals, educators and students to understand why hotels are vulnerable to human trafficking and to identify the critical intervention points within hotels where signs of trafficking can be spotted and barriers erected. It will introduce a range of resources that hoteliers and educators can use to take a lead role in combatting human trafficking in order to protect their business and support victims

  • May 2, 2019 at 6.30 pm - WIL Expert Series (co-organized with EHL Presents)
    Leadership Diversity at Accor

    Guest speaker: Maud Bailly, Chief Digital Officer of Accor

    “Diversity is a powerful driver of collective performance: it is important to involve women & men, seniors and juniors, people from different backgrounds and managers at the highest level to set an example. Promoting gender diversity is everyone’s duty regardless of their own gender. And this is the main ambition of the RiiSE, our internal diversity network at Accor.” (M. Bailly)

  • Jan 15, 2019 at 4.30 pm - WIL Workshop Series
    Expanding Your Influence Workshop

    Guest speaker: Alexia Muteke-Ceppi, Senior Consultant at EHL Advisory Services

    The workshop is designed to share tips and techniques that enables you to learn how to build your influence by applying these principles to any number of (business) interactions, from managing, mentoring and negotiating to conversations, writing and presentations.

  • Nov 13, 2018 at 12 pm - WIL Workshop Series
    Building Self-Confidence Workshop

    Guest speaker: Dr Paul Vanderbroeck, Executive Consultant, Visiting Professor at EHL and LUISS Business School Rome
    The workshop is designed to provide insights into what being a confident and authentic leader means recognizing that each individual is different and using it to one's advantage.

WIL Partnerships

In 2022 EHL became the Founding University Sponsor of TIEWN, the Travel Industry Executive Women's Network. Founded in 2008 for the purpose of bringing executives and professionals who currently or recently have worked in the travel, tourism, and hospitality industries, TIEWN counts with over 12’000 members. As part of this collaboration TIEWN showcases EHL as its founding sponsor across multiple channels, including their website, events, and press releases. TIEWN also addresses program elements such as surveys and webinars/presentations with EHL, highlighting programs for potential recruits including Masters Programs. Contributing to deepening connections with like-minded women that are both professional and on the executive level and looking to expand their knowledge is an important area of interest and ongoing research that both EHL and TIEWN are committed to. Along with, this both organisations are also constantly striving to expand their knowledge in the subject of diversity inclusion and belonging.


In 2021 WIL announced a Friendly Partnership with FEM’UP - a network that aims to connect diverse women from different industries and foster a regular and interesting exchange of know-how and individual experiences, to inspire, support, and empower. Benefits for EHL community includes a 15% discount at selected FEM'EVENTS (check their social media for events and ask us the discount code) and free registration to their member-only event FEM'UP Thursdays at Coffee Bar Black in ZU.


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