Taissa Charlier, founder of Women in Digital Switzerland

Posted on 06/10/2018 by Amelie Nouhad Monpays
Taissa Charlier Women in Digital Switzerland

There are encounters that mark more than others, even if they take a long time to be realized. We pushed back the date of our meeting, changed the location, then postponed again, but… here we are. We managed, despite our uber busy schedules, to meet… in person. Finally!

My guest today is Taissa. She is a really nice girl and truly radiant in her coral dress. Her light blue eyes and long blond hair do not betray her unlikely origins (French, Brazilian, Dutch, Amazonian Indian, Italian and Portuguese), a fusion of different cultures that is so typically for the Switzerland as I know it.

Taissa’s smile is open and her joie de vivre contagious. She feels at ease in all circumstances, with herself, with others, with her choices, with her life.

Speaking of: her choices. Her life as a mother, a woman, an entrepreneur, a leader, her life in Switzerland as a communication professional with a specialization in Digital… all these aspects compose Taissa’s universe, her force. She created it for herself, but also for others, for us. Her LinkedIn group, Women in Digital Switzerland, is dedicated to shining the spotlight on women in the digital sector in Switzerland.

Even if she admits willingly that “talent has no gender”, the lack of representation of the female talents of the web, during the main Swiss digital meetings, have motivated her to create this group. It is open to both female and male members; monthly meet-ups as well as conferences are organized and open to everyone. The speakers will, however, remain exclusively feminine.

Thanks to its success, with over 1000 members, the group has become an organization open to both men and women. It is managed by two talented digital specialists, Kelly Hungerford as vice president and responsible for national meet-ups, and Natacha Gajdoczki, general secretary and digital marketing manager of the organisation, as well as Taissa as president and Head of Communications for Women in Digital.

Networking and sharing seem to be the anchors in Taissa’s career. She is now setting out as an independent business coach with the aim to help entrepreneurs and personalities of tomorrow to flourish…because you can learn to be successful, and also how to share your success with others.

It is under the Geneva sun that success finds a place, at the heart of our little rendezvous, in a place that reminds of the beach, halfway between California, coolness and coffee. The Birdie Coffee & Food opened its doors a year and a half ago, and offers mainly quality coffee in all its various forms. Served by a passionate and expert barista, your cappuccinos will have wonderful drawings in their froth (for an Insta addict like me the place is heaven!). Their little menu emanates a healthy vibe and is a foodie’s delight (yes, there is quinoa). Here, the food is good, appetising and neatly presented.

Surrounded by bearded and tattooed waiters, the place feels like some beach in Australia, or San Francisco. Its cool and relaxed and the perfect place to meet with Taissa…

1. The “portrait” question: Taissa, can you introduce yourself in a few sentences? Who are you? Where do you come from?

I am Franco-Brazilian. I have lived in Switzerland for over 7 years. I was trained in international marketing and management as well as applied foreign languages. With a career of more than 15 years, I have worked in various positions in traditional and digital marketing. After several years at the head of the social media department of a web agency, I am today a Strategic Consultant in Digital Communication and an Executive Business & Career Coach.

2. The “Girl Power” question: As an expert in your field, you have created an online group called “Women in Digital Switzerland”, a group that, as its name suggests, allows women who work in the digital arena in Switzerland to exchange and share on the subject. Why did you create this group?

In 2014, I founded Women in Digital Switzerland (WDS), an organization that aims to promote women in the digital sector in Switzerland. The organization has nearly 1000 members on LinkedIn and is present thanks to its monthly meet-ups in over 5 cities in Switzerland. Kelly Hungerford and Natacha Gajdoczki, members of the executive committee and operational managers of the meet-ups, actively participated in the success of WDS.

The basic idea is to increase the visibility of women, both in conferences and in the profession as such. Also, meet-ups quite like the LinkedIn group itself, allow members to create real online and offline relationships, solidarity and sharing. The women in our network are very supportive and the community is very active.

3. The question “Tips”: This column aims to shine the light on passionate and audacious entrepreneurs. For you, as a specialist, what makes the difference that allows to succeed in the Web business today? The best selfie or…. ?

What makes the difference? I would say a sincere line of conduct with values, such as authenticity and reciprocity, quite as in “real life”. Generosity (taking time, sharing knowledge, truly listening) is also a key element. Curiosity and a thirst for continuous learning are other qualities in this ever-changing environment.

4. The question “Who runs the world?”: Women, of course. Let’s face it! But: who are your female icons, women who inspire you and who make you want to go, continue or even change (for the better)?

Sheryl Sandberg, Director of Operations at Facebook is one of my role models. Her career is exemplary, as she managed to perfectly balance her private and her professional life. Despite the great hardships she has endured – the sudden death of her husband, for example – she has managed to cope with it and not let herself be defeated.

5. The question “I have a dream”: Tell us Taissa, what are your plans for the future, your dreams. What do you aspire to do?

My ambition is to work more and more with people. I am passionate about human relations, and I am convinced that one can already make a difference around oneself, not only by being solidary, but also by transmitting self-confidence that is sometimes lacking, especially with women. That is what I observe in my direct environment. I hope to pass on that confidence and to empower women by creating a virtuous circle of mutual support. I think that anyone can inspire and be inspired.

6. The question “hot spot Geneva”: Today we have lunch here at Birdie Coffee & Food. For you, what are your 2 favorite bars on Geneva?

Good question! I love the Cocktail Club, and also the Buddha Bar. These 2 establishments make excellent cocktails!

7. The “last supper” question: it is the last day of your life, last lunch, what would you choose to eat?

Ooh la la! I would say a huge, beautiful seafood platter that I will take a long time to savor!

As the end is not near, follow Taissa online, immerse yourself in the feminine side of the digital universe and join Women in Digital Switzerland on LinkedIn.

This article is proposed to you with the support of Champagne Lanson (www.lanson.com).



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