Webinar «The New Normal» 4. November 2020

Prof. Dr. Gudela Grote

Short bio
Gudela Grote is Professor of Work and Organizational Psychology at the ETH Zürich, Switzerland. She received her PhD from the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA. Her research focuses on the increasing flexibility and virtuality of work, for instance in the context of leadership and coordination in high-risk and innovation teams and in socio-technical system design. She had been Head of the Department of Management, Technology, and Economics at ETH Zürich and is Past President of the European Association of Work and Organizational Psychology. She is a member of the Swiss National Research Council and on the editorial board of major journals in her field, such Academy of Management Review and Journal of Applied Psychology.

No new normal in sight: Opportunities for experimenting with new work practices
Based on a ten week survey at ETH Zürich in Spring 2020 and many conversations with different companies since, the opportunities as well as necessities for new work practices are discussed. While originally the lockdown showed that remote working is easier than many expected and people were hoping to keep more flexibility to work from home also after the pandemic, we are now back to more remote work than most of us would like. Individuals’ reactions to this extraordinary situation differ widely and an open and inclusive dialogue at all levels of organizations is therefore crucial. I will present some results from our survey and some guiding principles for promoting such a dialogue.

Patricia Widmer

Short bio
Programme Director for Diversity and Management Programmes, University of St. Gallen. Patricia Widmer studied business administration at the University of Zurich with an emphasis on banking and finance and worked for several years in private banking for a large Swiss bank. During her subsequent time abroad in the US and Germany, she held leadership positions with several charity organizations. Patricia has been with the University of St. Gallen since 2014, where she established the English-speaking certificate programme “Women Back to Business” (WBB) as well as the “Women’s Leadership Programme” and is now Programme Director for Diversity and Management Programmes. In addition, she is facilitating and moderating workshops as well as presentations about Diversity & Inclusion and unconscious bias. She is currently pursuing her doctorate on the topic of gender disparity, diversity management, unconscious bias and stereotypes.

Corona: different effects on men and women
Various studies show that the corona crisis has far-reaching consequences, also from a gender perspective. Careful consideration of these challenges highlights the importance of diversity aspects for business and science.

  • Why does Corona lead to increased burden on women through unpaid care and work at home?
  • Why were men often infected first and far more than women?
  • Why do women feel the economic impact of the crisis most strongly and what can be done about it (especially by men)?

Our leaders are in demand now because leading in uncertain times requires more active communication and transparency. Gender Diversity and Inclusion should be taken seriously, especially in a crisis.