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During the round table « What does it mean to succeed in your career? », organized by BPW Lausanne on October 11th, we had the opportunity to discuss with Camille Andres.

As a freelance journalist, Mrs. Andres is part of the team that created the branch of Bilan magazine. This media seeks to talk about women in the workplace. We had had several exchanges via our Instagram accounts (@femmes_leaders, @polyquity) and it was a pleasure to discover the story of this project, not so far from ours.

Mrs. Andres had been a freelance journalist for several years at Bilan when the newspaper seeked to feminize its readers and increase its audience, particularly on their website.

Thanks to the trust of the editor-in-chief, Myret Zaki, Mrs. Andres was given carte blanche to follow this project. It should be noted it is rare to get funds and low constraints in journalism. She assembled a team composed of the Web editor, Matthieu Hoffstetter, and a journalist who was then a freelancer and is now employed by Le Temps, Célia Héron.
At this stage, all the doors were open and the following points were settled very quickly:

  • Only web platform
  • New and unique graphic charter
  • New format

Whereas others were more debated

  • The name
  • The topics

If the intent initially was to talk about Lifestyle around the workplace and come up with a new work environment, it was necessary to segment to target an audience in accordance with the initial will. The subject was therefore defined as Women at work.

Concerning the name, two ideas were opposed. The first idea was to have a gender neutral name to attract a male audience. The second one was to use an existing brand to have a quicker launch. Indeed, the brand Femmes Leaders is used in a special annual issue of Bilan aimed at women. There is also a special evening Femmes Leaders by Bilan gathering very influencial women guests. This event taking place in May is very popular, it is invitation only and gets major sponsors. The 8th edition on May 23rd 2018 in Geneva brought together the following panel: Sarah Höfflin – Gold medal Freestyle Skiing Olympics 2018, Dagmar Maria Kamber Borens – Chief Operating Officer Credit Suisse, Nuria Gorrite – President of the State Council of Vaud, Manuela Honnegger – Founder of the political movement LALISTE, Rajna Gibson – Professor of Finance and Deputy Director of the GFRI at UniGE, Marie-France Tschudin – Head Region Europe, Novartis Pharmaceuticals.
In view of the strengh and notoriety of this image, it was decided to keep this name.

To balance the message, the slogan chosen is strong and conveys the will of this project:

**Boldness has no gender **

The content encourages society to « get moving » by addressing public policy issues concerning equality, and provides women with leadership skills.

For our part a similar dynamic can be found: we had a lot of support from the EPFL and Agepoly to create our project with very few constraints. The objectives were quickly clear: open a discussion, raise awareness through information and take interest in the the situation within the working world. We also had a segmentation issue: we focus on what may be relevant on campus when so many topics seem important! We also had a similar debate around the name: on one hand the wish to be gender neutral and on the other hand to take advantage of the EPFelles group having at that time already more than seven hundred members. Our solution was found when we decided to build a complete project with two associations.

This enhancing discussion made us realize that our complementary projects have a similar journey. We look forward to following the rest of the femmesleaders articles and sharing them with you!




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