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Switzerland

Stronger Together:

We can only solve the greatest challenges together.

 
The future of work is inclusive. Cognizant is committed to the training and professional development of its employees. Amongst other we put great emphasis on improving career opportunities for women and have launched the Women Empowerment (WE) program to this end. 

Our Commitments

Together with techface.ch, AXA, Novartis und Siemens, we work to promote and raise awareness for women in tech- industry. We walk the talk with measurable initiatives: Mentorship and Sponsorship Programs, Bias Trainings and our Role Model Campaign.

Our Role Models

Mental strength is essential

Beatrice

Stäheli

"I follow my intuition
when making decisions
and I am almost
always right."

Contact Beatrice


Client Partner

I am Beatrice and have been working at Cognizant as a Client Partner in the Banking & Financial Services sector in Zurich since the beginning of 2022. My job is to understand the requirements and needs of our financial customers in relation to digitalization, to advise them on solution scenarios and to assist them during the implementation of the optimal tools.

I enjoy this job and, although the technology and financial sectors are more male-dominated, I can play to my strengths and be successful here.

I grew up in a small town near Lake Constance in Switzerland. My father was a boatbuilder, my mother a housewife.
I started my professional career with an apprenticeship at a bank. I quickly realized that I wanted more. There was a key moment when I knew I was going to study business administration: I was visiting a school friend and his older sister came home. When I saw her in her business outfit, high-heel shoes and with a smart bag, I knew that I wanted to be like that too – a businesswoman, well-traveled and successful.

Studying business administration opened up the possibility for me to leave the narrow confines of my small, idyllic hometown, to work internationally, to see the "big, wide world" and to make a career. I financed my studies myself by working part-time jobs at banks or as an event hostess.

My first post-graduate job was selling technology solutions for banks. I had experience in the banking industry, but I didn't understand much about technology solutions. I am a quick learner and like to familiarize myself with topics. I follow my intuition when making decisions and am almost always right.

I have stayed true to the technology industry. Here I can make full use of my business- and solution-oriented thinking. To me, the stereotype that women are bad at tech jobs seems obsolete as I see more and more young, intelligent women making careers in this industry. It is an outdated idea that needs to be done away with. Even in the tech fields that require an excellent understanding of mathematics, we see more and more women with a scientific background in important positions nowadays.

Of all of the experience I have gained during the course of my professional career, I would like to share with women that they should:

Pursue your professional goals and find the balance between career and family that is right for you. You don't have to justify your choices, nor do you have to constantly prove to yourself and others that you're good. And: Invest in your personal development to the same extent as your professional development – mental strength is essential to progress. But quite honestly – I sometimes wish that I had had these insights myself sooner.

Connecting people and ideas

Poonam

Mishra

“We need more diverse
inputs to create even
greater solutions.”

Contact Poonam


Senior Project Manager

I work as a senior manager in Cognizant. I am the program coordinator for one of Switzerland's leading banks, working as the interface between the business and IT. I find my role inspiring: by translating the desired business outcomes into clear instructions and challenges for our team, I help to build a bridge. We work with our customers as a team and grow together. I gain domain knowledge, and I can help people. It is a great job- it requires creativity, empathy, understanding of IT and business processes. I studied computer science and started working for a relatively small company, around 400 people, where I learned a lot. In 2007, I joined Cognizant. I love the way we collaborate, the guidance we receive, and the great mentorship. I have always received strong appreciation of my work and can work on exciting projects to use my skills and talent. Working with good teams is very motivating. Furthermore, working for an international company on many different projects and with a variety of customers provides flexible working times, making it easier to combine job and family.

I would like to see more women working in IT in Europe. We need more diverse input to create even greater solutions.

Driven by data

Ruheena

Akhare

“Dream. Believe.
Achieve.”

Contact Ruheena


Manager Projects

I enjoy working with Data. It’s a job close to my heart. I work in data governance for one of the top-tier Swiss banks. I am driven by understanding clients’ needs and ensuring that we put our creativity and know-how to work most efficiently.

I grew up in Nashik, a small town in India, blessed with parents who believed in gender equality when it was not even a known term. I was inspired to dream.

I studied Computer Science, and in 2006 I moved to Pune, where I joined Cognizant to work as a Programmer Analyst. I took a break to welcome our daughter Aarohee. Aarohee means 'Progressing or Ascending.' I want her to be aware that, if you trust your capabilities you can grow and reach your goals .

After my maternity break, I considered no other employer than Cognizant. The work culture aligned with my requirements as a mother. Working in Operations for Cognizant allowed me to have a career and a family without having to compromise.

 

 

Smooth operator

Shannon

Meier

“If you don’t know
what to do next, just ask!”

Contact Shannon


Associate Director Finance, European Payroll

Twelve years ago, I started with Cognizant as a senior executive. Now I am Associate Director, responsible for managing the European Payroll teams across eight countries, including Switzerland.

I grew up in Canada, where I graduated from business high school. My first job was at a car dealership. After that, I worked for a university in payrolls processing. When PeopleSoft entered the market, the software was introduced in the university, meaning we had to transport 30 000 people into the new system. I figured out how it worked and was so fast operating the system that I needed to pause to let the software catch up with me. The PeopleSoft team immediately hired me to train other people on their software, which opened up new opportunities for my future career.

My talent is keeping a cool head. I am able to stay focused amid all the complex rules, processes, obligations, and timelines and connect the right people to get things done. I streamline the process and make sure everything runs smoothly.

Working for a large, complex company can be overwhelming. I set my goals and priorities every day and make sure I reach them. For example, where are we with any internal or external audits and closure? Have I communicated clearly with my manager, done my team justice, and moved our projects forward within the timeline (especially M & M&A)? I am very transparent if something is not meeting its goals and am open if I have made any errors along the way. I am always looking for solutions! Giving your best is what makes companies - and individuals- successful.

My advice to women pursuing their careers is the same that I gave my son: Be authentic about who you are, and realize that asking for help is not a weakness. It makes you stronger and provides clarity, giving you the ability to move forward more confidently.

 

 

Knowledge thirsty

Sandra

Bello

'I feed on challenges
and love to use
creativity to change
things for the better.”

Contact Sandra


Associate Director - Marketing

I feed on challenges and love to use creativity to repair broken things or change things for the better. I co-founded two software companies. Started as a developer, coach and lecturer. Worked in different countries. I spent a year in Canada as Product Owner of a Business Process Management Suite. In Switzerland, my first job was with Cognizant- my boss mentored me, and I developed in various roles. I became Chief Digital Officer for another company and then returned to Cognizant to work in the global messaging team. 

Working in these different roles gave me insight into multiple businesses and sparked my passion for advisory, digital transformation, and innovation. It made me knowledge thirsty. Moving countries several times gave me perspective and introduced me to new languages and new ways of thinking and talking. Extreme sports taught me confidence, patience, a love for nature, the concept of balance and simplicity, and the ability to confront fear as a living principle. Motherhood showed me how to be more human and helped me realize how strong women can be.

Departing from the status quo

Müge

Cöteli

“Curious about the
possible,
and embracing what
seems impossible.”

Contact Müge


Senior Consultant

I hold two Masters in International Corporate and Commercial Law from the University of Zurich and Maastricht University, as well as an International MBA from the University of St. Gallen. I love technology as it enables us to build fair and transparent ecosystems accessible to all. During my time with Swiss Re, my fundamental belief in using tech for good led me to leverage technology for the purpose of business model innovation and digital solutions. Today, at Cognizant, I work in innovation and strategy consulting, dedicated to pushing the boundaries of what businesses can be - in every industry. 

By the way, my name is not Heidi. It's Müge – and Yes! We can all be whoever and whatever we want to be.

Stays tuned

Robert

Bonomo

"Success does not
come for free."

Contact Robert


Head of Sales D-A-CH

For me, the growth of a lobster is a beautiful analogy for professional advancement. At first, they have a soft shell that they effectively have to grow into. Over time, the shell becomes harder and tighter and does not fit. It feels incredibly uncomfortable for them. It takes a lot of power to break out of this shell. This process repeats five or six times until the lobster is fully grown. In my opinion, the process of achieving career goals is very similar to the growth of a lobster.

I am constantly growing into new roles and I am active at various levels within Cognizant, even outside my actual role as Associate Vice President, where I am responsible for two service lines within Sales: "Quality and Assurance" and "IoT." In addition, I introduced apprenticeship training at the company in 2013. We currently have 18 apprentices in Application Development at various years of teaching, including two women, of whom I am very proud. And the third role is supporting the Swiss management team. I also assist in the professional development of my junior colleagues as part of the mentoring program. 

One thing I have always found is that "success does not come for free." Success requires discipline, the ability to constructively deal with feedback and the capacity to take steps and make decisions about the new and unknown. As part of mentoring, you are personally on the same level as the mentee. You speak from person to person and provide a great wealth of experience. It is really important to listen.  In most cases, it is young people looking to achieve career ambitions and goals whom we as mentors support with our experience and network. We show them ways to achieve their career goals.

However, the mentoring program is not a nomination program that guarantees promotion. It requires mentees to be proactive. First, mentees need to be clear about what they want to achieve, what career goals they set themselves and what they are willing to invest to achieve those goals. Then they need to learn about the various influencing factors. They have to be willing to receive feedback. This means that you will talk to each other relatively often, discuss problems and explain how to tackle problems. Then the mentees will receive feedback that is sometimes positive, sometimes slightly constructive or even slightly negative. This ensures that mentees constructively translate the feedback into a potentially adapted behavior.

I also always stay on the ball as far as my own performance is concerned. I work towards a certificate every year because, as a graduate in business informatics, this is how I stay up to date. Computer science never sleeps. If you don't keep up to date, you get left behind. Some of this puts me under pressure, but I always enjoy earning a new certificate. Lifelong learning is an attitude and there is no way around it.

Takes bad days as learning opportunity

Kamalika

Chakraborty

"Take guidance from
your mentors but
make your own choices."

Contact Kamalika


Engagement Delivery Lead

I have been working for more than 20 years in technology product and services companies like Honeywell and Infosys, of which the last 12 years I have worked for Cognizant. My current role is that of Engagement Delivery Lead in Banking and Financial Services in Switzerland and UK. I am responsible for Quality Engineering & Assurance portfolio delivery for multiple customers. In my role I lead large multi-cultural and distributed delivery teams in an onsite-offshore delivery model.  My primary activities include demand forecasting, pipeline maintenance, budgeting, resource allocation & utilization, and on-schedule and quality delivery to achieve high client satisfaction. I love to motivate and lead teams to deliver to commitments in a complex setup and against challenging goals, this is what drives me. 

I grew up in India, where the academic system is quite different compared to what I got to know about the one in Switzerland. My parents wanted me to be independent, professionally successful, and financially secure. In pre-liberalization India the two safest education disciplines guaranteeing a secure career were engineering and medicine, and my parents prodded me to go for one of these two. While I always loved to dance, was quite good at it and wanted to be a professional ‘Bharatanatyam’ dancer my father said that dancing was good as a hobby, to be pursued in addition to a professional career. Hence, I studied and successfully competed for a Bachelor's degree in Electronics Engineering which led me to my career in technology. My parents fully supported my career choices that took me to different cities in India, US and finally in Switzerland. Though they would be happier if I were located closer to them, they are incredibly happy that I am independent and have a good career. 

Mentorship played an important part in getting me to where I am today in my career. My mentors, especially those in my early career in India shaped me into what I am today, not only professionally but also personally stressing on the values of empathy, fairness, continuous learning and hard work. From my own experience I strongly believe in the benefits of guiding young people in their early career to utilize their potential and achieve and exceed their professional ambitions. To me mentoring doesn’t mean provoking huge career changes or life changing decisions – sometimes it is the small decisions to be taken or dilemmas to be resolved in course of regular work that someone needs help with. If I can help my mentee just with that and they have a sense of achievement at the end of the day I have succeeded as a mentor.

Achievements keep me going. However as everyone else, I have good days and bad days. The most important thing I have learnt over the years is to persist, and not quit because of a couple of bad days or weeks. I try to reflect on the bad days and take them as learning opportunities, and as opportunities to improve. I believe this will help me progress and succeed. 

I have applied this philosophy outside my career to my fledgling running journey as well. Though not very fond of running initially I ventured into it in 2018, as an activity which I do for my health and fitness, and which helps me disconnect, unwind and relax. I have days of good runs and those of bad ones where I struggle or am not able to complete my intended distance. However overall, I have progressed as a runner over the years and plan to run my second half marathon later this year. 

One thing that I always tell young women is to choose for themselves. Take guidance from your mentors but make your own choices finally and take responsibility for them. Very importantly make sure your voice is heard. As a woman you need to be extremely clear in your vision and thought, be able to articulate it well and be extra assertive to get heard and make an impact. Be very thorough in your work and don’t be afraid to get assertive, and then no one can hold you back. 

I am very happy that we are seeing an increasing trend of women supporting each other. But I think it needs to be more visible and I am grateful that we are introducing mentor programs and support groups, that make the support accessible to everyone.

Asks mentors for support

Indumathi

Chitharanjan

“There is a support system
in place, but
you must reach out.”

Contact Indumathi


Client Relationship Manager

I work as an account manager. The days when an account manager would just have sales focus have long passed. In today’s deeper client partnerships, the client expects me to take care of everything related to their account. 

This includes sales, business development and delivery. More importantly it means taking ownership of issues and overcoming obstacles, this can involve third parties, often requiring influence and leadership. I am closely attached to the account, so I’m the person our customers can reach out to look to and invite counsel on concerns, plans and requirements they have. 

An important part of my role is providing confidence to the customer and making sure their voice is heard. My goal is to achieve best results for both the customer as well as cognizant. This can be a delicate balance between Cognizant and client interests, an open and respectfully direct style and a trusted honest relationship is key. 

I am a big advocate for people to find role models and mentors in their careers. I believe that everyone has their own strengths, and there is not only one person who can help you. 

A sponsor of mine is Dr. Rolf Werner. When he introduced himself as the DACH Country Head, I approached him and asked whether he wanted to be my mentor. This is something that I’d recommend to anyone: do not hesitate to reach out to people and ask them to help you. In this case Rolf was happy to be my mentor, and he helps me to make important connects within Cognizant. Rolf understands that these investments also pay off at a pragmatic level, as well as enriching the working environment. 

Our delivery head, Sanjiv is one of the people I admire a lot. I can always reach out to him, and he genuinely cares for people. He is one of the leaders who will get their hands dirty, meaning he does not only give instructions, but he is really hands on himself. It is a delicate art to be able to both lead but also effectively juggle many execution challenges simultaneously; and to take the time on top of that to invest in your colleagues. Despite the pressured busy hands-on environment, Sanjiv always offers help. 

Thinking about my long-term goals I would like to step into Anuj’s shoes. He is our Commercial Head and I really like his ideas. He is someone who also dives in deep when necessary, but also has the horsepower to think and act strategically and think about long term improvements as well as short term problem-solving.

Gordon is my official mentor. He is working as a client partner. Our focus is on technical skills – he did an amazing job preparing me for my new role. Gordon’s mentoring has necessarily been heavily skill based. I’ve also shadowed some meetings to see how he leads them to help me to focus on my next step. 

Cognizant’s culture re-enforces through actions the fact that we should keep learning our whole life. Doing that additional piece focused on continuous learning helps me to look into a wealth of possibilities in my future. I also think it is important to pass on your knowledge and experience to others. This is a give and take.

Women especially need to support each other more. In senior management you’ll still find fewer women than men, so we are still that one person that is different. We need to make sure we are visible and stand up for ourselves and our ideas. Apart from the official tools, like for example Propel, our Cognizant women leadership program and mentoring, I also think it is part of our corporate culture to support each other. This can be rather informal like sharing your network, helping someone out or inviting someone to a meeting that helps them to be visible. It is important to maintain a social context to all of this. By getting to know each other personally we also build stronger teams, and an esprit de corps when the going gets tough!

A tip I can give everyone starting a career: there is a support system in place, but you must reach out. Do not be hesitant – if you need help, you need to ask for it. Another thing is attitude: do not think “I do my work, I go home” and that is it. Be ready to promote yourself and make sure you are appropriately recognized for your work. I notice that in general, women do this less than men. I do enjoy my work and relish a challenge, I take my work seriously, and I like to be held accountable and have to stand up for myself to keep myself at the heart of my client’s satisfaction with everything that Cognizant has to offer.

Has a good sense for people

Christiane

Di Filippo

"Embrace change
and thrive
in work and life."

Contact Christiane


Director - HR

I have been working at Cognizant Switzerland as Director HR and Member of the Management Team since 2015. Together with my team, I am responsible for translating the HR strategy into actionable plans, for driving talent management, HR projects and programs to support business goals in alignment with global initiatives. I am partnering with management on various topics, supporting our employees in their professional development. 

My role is incredibly diverse, interesting and challenging with a broad range of responsibilities. Every day brings something new, sometimes completely unexpected - like a pandemic, for example.  

Born and raised in French Switzerland, I started my career in the financial industry and worked in various roles in banking, such as asset management and capital markets. Then I had the great opportunity to combine work and my passion for travelling and for discovering the world during my stay at Swiss (at that time Swissair).  

Then I received an offer to work for an IT company in marketing – my first step into the IT industry. 

I am interested in people and I intuitively grasp their potential and needs. After further education, I moved to HR and experienced challenging and interesting times during mergers with completely different corporate cultures. 

I had very good role models in my professional life, two of them were women - business minded, supportive, resilient and empathetic. They gave me strength and believed in me. I learned a lot from them, for my professional career and my personal development. Today, I am in a position to support women on their career path and that is important to me.

More women are needed in all areas of society, business and politics. 

And at Cognizant. The IT industry has an advantage in my view, because the future will be even more digital and will bring many more exciting new roles. Women bring a different perspective, emotional intelligence and agility, complement a team and prove themselves more and more as forward-looking and inclusive leaders.

My tips that I would like to give to women, but also to men:  

1. Find a mentor or a personal coach

2. Be open, don't get too stuck in one role, recognize opportunities and embrace change

3. Lifelong learning, new skills will be needed tomorrow

4. Listen to your intuition and to others, form your own opinion and act accordingly

5. In case of setbacks learn from past experiences and best practices to do it better next time.

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP POSITIONS

We are looking forward to working with more women on our digital future - only together we solve the IT challenges of our time.

Watch the video
Interested in pursuing a career at Cognizant?