Cristina Gaggini

1969

Head of the French-Speaking office of economiesuisse, Lausanne

"I like being able to cut straight to the chase, tackling projects and having the freedom I need to accomplish our objectives."

My career path

I have a degree in political science and extensive experience in business relations and communication. As part of the Swiss Business Federation, I represent the interests of businesses at the Swiss Federal Parliament, where laws are created. I speak on their behalf to the media and the population of French-speaking Switzerland. In total, I represent some 100,000 businesses employing around two million people.

I like defending causes, fighting for them, and debating, at times in small groups but more often than not in front of a large audience. I know whom I wake up every morning for : the tens of thousands of business owners and their teams who work relentlessly to offer high-quality goods and services both in Switzerland and abroad.

My job is fascinating and inspiring both intellectually and socially. We determine our position based on the input our members provided through standing committees. I like being able to cut straight to the chase, tackling projects and having the freedom I need to accomplish our objectives.

Digitalization has opened up some incredible opportunities, in medicine for example. But it’s also created major challenges for workers. I want to play my part, so that technology helps people, not the opposite.

My career path. You need more than experience. Your attitude and soft skills count just as much, if not more. Loyalty, integrity, perseverance, flexibility, social skills, and the ability to work in a team, adapt to change and deal with complex situations are highly sought-after qualities – and even more so in an increasingly digital world.

I never planned on having any one career in particular but seized opportunities out of defiance and a taste for something new, telling myself that I had nothing to lose by trying. I owe a lot to Chantal Balet who proposed that I succeed her as the head of the French-speaking office of economiesuisse, even though I had no experience in political communication. I now try to give the same chances to young people, and especially women, since they tend to have less confidence in themselves. My family members and close friends have been crucial to me.

A downside or obstacle ? I had to accept that I can’t know and master everything. There are still too few women in management roles at companies and organizations in the field of economics, and in unions. However, the CEO of our organization is a woman, as are the heads of the Bern and Lugano offices. Including me, that makes four of us. But none of us are married or have kids. The biggest challenge for a woman is balancing work and family life. We must keep taking steps to improve the situation because the economy and our country need women ! We’re often more qualified than the men hired, and it’s been proven that mixed-gender teams perform better.

I’m proud to fight for my country and our democracy. As citizens of Switzerland, we’re able to make our voices heard on issues as important as our retirement system, taxes, agreements with the European Union, the way we produce energy and even cow horns ! Our system is unique in the world. A major aspect of my team’s work is exactly that – to inform the population of the nationwide issues they’re voting on.

The Proust Questionnaire

This section is available only in the original language
Au-delà de votre profession

La littérature, les arts, mais aussi les sciences humaines.

Des personnes qui vous inspirent

Christine Lagarde et Jean-Paul II.

Un livre & un film

Le journal d’Anne Frank et Fanny et Alexandre (Ingmar Bergman).

Un modèle

Des scientifiques, artistes, médecins ou leaders politiques, philosophes et entrepreneurs et entrepreneuses qui ont contribué à faire avancer l’humanité. Certaines très connues, d’autres restées – comme hélas beaucoup de femmes – dans l’ombre.

Un objet

Un sac à main en cuir grainé, souple et suffisamment grand pour y fourrer toutes sortes d’objets.

Une couleur

Le orange. La couleur de l’énergie, de l’enthousiasme mais aussi du calme et de l’intuition.

Un rêve

Ne pas avoir de regrets ni de remords.