Event Report: DE-coding Confidence

Geneva, May 8th 2019

DE-coding Confidence


On May 8th, 2019, another exciting LEAD Network Switzerland Chapter event took place in Geneva, hosted by PepsiCo, one of LEAD Network’s Partners. More than 100 leading men and women gathered at Hotel Metropole to co-create ideas for De-Coding Confidence, after a European LEAD member survey identified confidence as a key barrier to women’s career advancement.

What can we do to change that? Some of the answers we found was to grow our self-confidence overcoming our inner judge, and to create a strong network and support group around us in our personal and professional life.

Caroline Basyn, SVP, CIO & Global Services at Mondelēz International and Chair of the LEAD Network Switzerland Chapter, welcomed the passionate group of members. She re-iterated the commitment of the LEAD Switzerland Chapter to its three-pillar strategy – The Manager, My Career, and The Industry, plus the 2019 plan of activities. She congratulated all Chapter members, led by eight dedicated committee members, for growing membership to 750, up 110 from December 2018, and still growing!

David Souperbiet, SVP Chief HR Officer Europe, Sub-Saharan Africa at PepsiCo, and Kristin Engvig, Founder and CEO of WIN & WIN Conference, then took the stage as our keynote speakers.

David shared great insights on why diversity and inclusion is key to the future of successful organisations, and the need for every employee to be supported in reaching their full potential and ambitions.

Key insights included:

  • While girls often perform stronger at school than boys (American Psychological Association), studies show a dip in confidence for women in key career stages with only 24% of global senior roles being held by women (Fortune Reporting).
  • Research suggests women shy away from roles if they feel they are not fully qualified (Hewlett Packard). To tackle this, women should be confident in their ability and performance (Cornell University) and put their hands up for new roles/experiences.
  • David referenced ways in which PepsiCo supports women in the workplace. In addition, he shared inspiring examples of female PepsiCo leaders and role models, including examples of how they’ve succeeded. One example was to be clear in asking for both support and commitment from your organisation, plus your professional and personal networks, as you advance.
  • David referenced written accounts from Michelle Obama and Sheryl Sandberg, who speak on the Imposter’s Syndrome, a psychological theory attributed to people who doubt their accomplishments. He followed up with thoughts on finding your authentic leadership voice, and ways in which you can be true to who you are.

Kristin then joined on stage to share her commitment to empower and inspire women to lead change for a better world. Kristin founded WIN in 1997 – a global leadership initiative best known for the Global WINConference which has inspired, empowered, connected and developed more than 20,000 women leaders and an increasing number of men to create worlds, companies and lives that flourish. Leaving behind a corporate career, she built a framework for change in a worldwide organization. She gave an inspiring keynote speech sharing her personal story and rich international exposure across in Norway, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and the many women she came across through her commitment to the evolution of feminine leadership and creation of a win-win world.

The final 90 minutes were spent in a “De-Coding Confidence” co-creation workshop, facilitated by Deborah Croft, co-founder and Managing Partner of ‘Thriving Talent’, and Jemima Bradbury-Wade, Head of Diversity, Culture and Engagement Communications at PepsiCo Europe & Sub-Saharan Africa, with Sophie Even from P&G and Rossana Rizzotto from SC Johnson supporting the break-out groups.

Two problem statements were introduced to stimulate the creativity exercise:

  1. What can I do?
    What can I do to feel comfortable, be authentic, and go beyond my doubts:
    .. Define / Clarify what are my needs
    .. Ask for what I need or want (e.g. support system)
    .. Dare to lead with courage and take calculated risks

  2. What can Organisations do?

    What can Organisations do to support women to break down biases in leadership norms and ways of working:
    .. Company culture / Styles / Behaviours
    .. Training
    .. Resources / Experiences

Energetic discussions took place, with a focus on moving brainstorming to prototyping specific solutions. This resulted in 12 ideas which were shared back to the room. Each idea included clear target groups, measurable results and concrete actions to influence key stakeholders. Here’s a taste of some of the findings:


We thank our host PepsiCo for their fantastic hospitality – and the goody bag! – and we thank all attendees for their engagement. This event certainly set a great step for the LEAD Switzerland Chapter and their contribution to ‘Doing, not trying’…

We are looking forward to seeing you at our next event!

Rossana Rizzotto (Sr. Director Business Processes and Technology at SC Johnson SARL) on behalf of the LEAD Network Switzerland Chapter Committee.