The CONNECT Program

CONNECT is a comprehensive program with the aim to link young women scientists with role models in industry and public sector, and foster their awareness of career planning. Participants attend 7 - 8 one-day workshops over the course of approximately 6 months, reflect on their career, interact with role models, and become part of a supportive and encouraging community.
Participation in the CONNECT program underlies a competitive selection. Each academic institution has a limited number of places, so that the number of participants per round is 35-40. Each institution is responsible for the selection of the sponsored participants.


Vision

The CONNECT program aims at connecting female STEM scientists with role models working in the industry or public administration. The program offers young researchers the opportunity to gain insight into non-academic career paths. At the same time, participating companies benefit from the direct exchange with highly qualified and motivated potential employees, and from the opportunity to position themselves as attractive employers that value diversity. By building bridges between young qualified females and companies, the CONNECT program contributes to bringing more women into highly qualified positions in Switzerland.


A recent SWR (Schweizer Wissenschaftsrat/Swiss Science Council) study highlights the need of programs like CONNECT


The program is held in English except for the workshop with DETEC (see more details below)

CONNECT participant (anonymous)
«The networking aspects both between the participants as well as between the role-models from the companies are excellent. Furthermore the general structure of first having a coaching session, then visiting the companies and finishing with all together is a nice and round concept.»

Program Agenda

The CONNECT workshops are taking place independently of each other over a time of approximately 6 months.

As soon as the dates are defined with the project partners, they will be updated here.

CV preparation

self-study 

Video Tutorial

Participants will get access to a video tutorial teaching them on how to create a CV for a non-academic application in Switzerland.

In addition, throughout the program they have the opportunity to book an individual career counselling session with the project leader of the program.

Kick off workshop

Date: September 21st or 26th, 2023 *

Locations: Zurich ZH and Bern BE

The kick off workshop is a highly interactive day to get to know each other, analyze your current career situation and define expectations towards the program, and learn about ways to communicate your skills and experience in your application documents and interviews.

*group of participants is split into 2 to allow more/deeper interactions. Participants spend 1 day in this workshop.

Ready, set, Bain!

Date: October 12th, 2023

Location: Zurich, ZH 

We think and act as entrepreneurs, and we always push for more – both for our clients and for ourselves. True to the motto, “A Bainie never lets another Bainie fail,” we stand by one another and grow beyond ourselves as a team. Are you ready to experience the unique Bain spirit and our passion for tangible results? Our company visit will provide you with exclusive insights into our culture and project work, as well as your options for onboarding and shaping a unique career at Bain. Should you have any specific questions, the subsequent networking apéro is an opportunity for you to get answers.

Meet role models at DETEC*

Date: October 31st, 2023

Location: Ittigen, BE

Participants meet with role models (women and men with scientific background) and HR representatives to get an insight into what it is like working in STEM at DETEC. We’ll get to exchange on career opportunities as well as best practices in a welcoming atmosphere.

 *only applicable for participants speaking at least one of the national languages of Switzerland at a B2 level

Meet role models at Hilti

Date: December 6th, 2023

Location: Schaan, Fürstentum Liechtenstein

Participants meet with HR representatives and role models (women and men with scientific background) on site to exchange on career opportunities as well as best practices in a confidential and very personal atmosphere.


Meet role models at Zeiss

Date: January 25/26th, 2024

Location: Oberkochen, Germany

Participants meet with HR representatives and role models (scientists now working at Zeiss), to network and learn about career perspectives as well as best practices in an informal and personal atmosphere.

Meet role models at Sensirion

Date: February 9th, 2024

Location: Stäfa, ZH

At the Sensirion HQ in Stäfa (ZH), participants meet with employees who have a scientific background and work in different roles: from R&D to Sales, from expert to manager. The role models will share their personal backgrounds, career successes and challenges, and will also talk about flexible working schemes, including part time work. The day will be closed by participating in the company's weekly Friday beer.

 Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) and Startups as employers

DATE: February 28th, 2024

Location: FHNW Windisch, Park InnovAare Villigen 

Participants will meet with professors of some of the Universities of Applied Sciences (UAS) of Switzerland. This offers the opportunity to dive into a world at the threshold between academia and industry.

In addition, participants will get to know startups as employers.

Wrap up and conclusion

DATE: March 22nd, 2024

Location: Zurich

In the morning, participants have the opportunity to reflect on their learnings and take-aways, and exchange with one another. 

In the afternoon, participants share their learnings with representatives of the CONNECT steering committee, project partners, and other insterested parties. In addition, there will be an inspirational talk by our sponsor SEFAR about opportunities in the textile industry.


What you can expect

Network

You will be able to network with peers facing the same career-related questions, with role models working in industry, the public sector, universities of applied sciences or startups, and alumnae of the CONNECT program. Take the opportunity to become part of a supportive network where you can ask all those questions you would not dare ask elsewhere, and encourage one another. 

Career boost

Are you curious to explore your options outside of academia and discuss with role models who have made the transition to industry, public administration, a university of applied sciences or a startup? Knowing what options you have,  how to get a specific position, and taking a conscious decision on your next step is a plus for your career - independently of where you pursue your career.

Behind-the-scenes view

Would you like to transition to a non-academic career, but it seems like a different world to you? Are you unsure what job titles to look for, how to communicate your skills in the application documents or during the interview, or would you like to know what happens to your application at the company? Join the CONNECT program to find out and feel more confident about future applications.


What you will not experience

Guaranteed job offer

CONNECT does not guarantee participants a job offer from participating companies. However, you have the opportunity to interact with HR representatives, and depending on a company's partner status, we will forward job advertisements and events, or participant CVs if participants agree. 

Interview/AC training

While we do provide insights into the interview process, CONNECT is not a training for job interviews or assessment centers. Our main advice for any interaction with a potential employer is that you are authentic, stay positive and show your ability and willingness to learn. 

Decision making

We trust that participants, once they have the necessary information and contacts, can take their own decisions regarding their professional future. We are happy to support, point towards relevant contacts or information, and help you reflect, but the decisions are up to the participants. 


CONNECT is supported by the Federal Office for Gender Equality (FOGE)