Chapter Communications Blog

Diversity and Unconscious Bias - The Journey Continues

Author: Eric Jelenje, PMP

Eric Jelenje

Hey there! 

Welcome or welcome back!

Picture 1 Eric Jelenje

Last month, we kicked things off with an introduction to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Belonging (DEIB), and its significance to organisations in the past, present and future (reminder anyone?). In thinking about how to continue the conversation this month, I recently watched a Netflix documentary, The Social Dilemma, about how the big social media companies have successfully delivered bespoke experiences for their millions of customers. Imagine how empowering it is for Big Tech (yes, that’s who you think they are) to be able to give you, the user, a curated experience that keeps you hooked.

Now, using this example is not to stir up any debate on ethics or morality. Rather, I am using this to show how effective and beneficial it has been for the Facebooks and Googles to traverse Planet Earth and its visually, linguistically and culturally heterogeneous 7 billion-plus inhabitants. 

Put simply, we travel more. We experience new cultures and languages. We get to hear the voices of those with alternative viewpoints to ours. We learn from and teach others. This is modern day society, in which you and I are shaped by a multiplicity of variables. Big Tech understands this very, very well, leveraging technology to collect huge amounts of assorted data to create a “digital you”, an electronic clone mimicking your very being. Imagine the power gained from having this much information and being able to process it to your organisation’s benefit.

This multiplicity is what we refer to as Diversity, described by prominent author and DEIB expert Verna Myers as that “richness in backgrounds, cultures, religion, sexual orientation, marriage status, political views”, and more. Whether knowingly or unknowingly, we have embraced Diversity. Think of the music or cuisines you enjoy, indeed the multiple languages you speak. You will likely agree that you are better because of it.

As we have embraced Diversity, we have simultaneously internalised beliefs about others that influence our judgement of them. With Unconscious Bias, we create misconceptions about people because of previous interactions, their age, gender, race or name. The outcomes are almost always in the negative, with potentially extreme consequences in the form of sexism, racism and general disparity.

It follows that organisations need to understand diversity and bias in their many forms (an organisation is its people, right?)

Picture 2 Eric Jelenje

The benefits? A healthier bottom line, for starters. Research by the global consulting firm McKinsey and Co established a positive relationship between staff diversity and profitability, particularly amongst organisations with gender-diverse leadership teams. Organisations also benefit from improvements in creativity and innovation, which, according to Forbes, translates to better products and more “persuasive marketing”, through “multiple perspectives being brought to the table”.

Leveraging diversity is also key to attracting and retaining premium talent. Millennials and Gen Z, two of the post-1980 generations shaped by the digital age and motivated by diversity, will account for over three-quarters of the global labour force by 2025; diverse organisations are ahead of the pack in recruiting the best of these generations. On the back of dwindling populations in some parts of the world, the Baby Boomers are working for longer; diversity-inclined organisations will keep them on board to facilitate knowledge sharing, mentoring and succession planning. 

With so much to gain then, what can organisations do? How do you as business and project leaders begin to navigate Diversity?

Start by initiating a process of unpacking and comprehending Diversity. That is, ask the question, “What is Diversity and what would it look like for us?” One perspective is by looking at your workforce (most important resource, hint hint!) The common diversity lenses include gender, age, ethnic and physical ability, which are by no means exhaustive but a great starting point to helping establish a baseline to inform the future.

At the same time, working to understand unconscious bias helps with tackling any disparities across an organisation. Initiating and sustaining conversations through team building, mentoring/buddy programmes and deliberate training for staff helps them bond and collaborate better.

Crucially, the tone should be set from the very top. Leading by example is infectious. Show those around you that you value the uniqueness they bring to the table and they will follow suit. Collectively, such efforts effectively support business goals. From there, strategies to broaden your talent, leadership, customer base and markets can be deployed.

This is of course an abridged version of actions but the possibilities are endless: Using generational diversity to enhance talent acquisition and retention, cultural diversity to support growth strategies, gender-based diversity to nurture future leaders, it all begins with an awareness of diversity and unconscious bias. That sets things up perfectly to move towards achieving Equity, our theme for June.

What are your experiences with diversity and unconscious bias? What are the most common diversity lenses you have come across? Have you been biased or experienced bias? How do you feel about the two issues now? Food for thought!

See you next month!

Annual Conference Pre-Event Survey

Author: PMI Switzerland Chapter team



The 12th Annual Conference of the PMI Switzerland chapter is approaching soon and we would like to give YOU the best possible experience! 

Please tell us how we can make your Conference experience even better via this short survey -

We are working hard on creating an unforgettable experience for you! 

The PMI Switzerland chapter looks forward to seeing you all !

Let’s play! is back again

Author: Chaissy Daniel, PMP

ChaissyDaniel Chaissy Daniel Copy

Due to the overwhelming response, « Let’s play: Facilitating your next strategy planning » is back again !


Get ready to simplify your strategy planning process and develop an effective strategy plan.

Game Chaissy Daniel

That's exactly what you will get by participating in this game-based strategy planning workshop. You will have fun while engaging as a team for collective decision-making. The workshop also involves collaboration and breaking silos.

With the success of the event conducted by PMI Switzerland in Lausanne earlier this year, we are thrilled to announce that we will be conducting another strategy planning workshop. 

Pierre E. NEIS, a member of PMI Switzerland, will be the speaker of the event and will be leading the workshop again in May 2023. Pierre is experienced in complex agile/digital/new work transformations and is a Certified Agile Coach & Trainer. 

During this workshop, participants will be able to access different gaps such as perception gap, cultural gap etc., learn how people collaborate, foster listening, and understand the effect of using nodes and links to help in breaking down complex things to simple things. 

In addition, the interactive sessions will provide a collaborative learning environment where attendees can work with their peers to develop different ways to approach strategy planning.

Our previous workshop was highly attended and received excellent feedback. Attendees praised the well-organized event, the knowledgeable and engaging speaker, Pierre. Many were able to come up with a clear roadmap to implement strategy planning.

Presented below are some quotes shared by participants about their experiences from the workshop.

feedback Chaissy Daniel

“I liked the speaker, the interactivity, the practice and the networking part.”

“Liked the content and engagement, the atmosphere and networking.”

“Not everyone can make such workshops successfully. It requires experience … a definition of clear goals and a mastery of the art of speaking [to] top managers with ease.”

“The key takeaway for me was that we need to bring key stakeholders together in a dedicated workshop. If well organized, such a workshop can deliver significant results in defining a new strategy in a very short time.”

If you missed out on our previous workshop in March, now is the time again. Don't miss this opportunity to learn, to network and to develop a comprehensive strategy planning in a simple way.

Register now and take the first step towards strategy planning.

register Chaissy Daniel

Register here 

We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming event at SIX Convention Point -Zurich on 24th of May 2023.

Planning a personal sporting event

Author: Leandro Benda

Leandro Benda

With beautiful days slowly appearing this spring, here are some good opportunities to make the first grills, have a good meal on the terrace, make some excursions and... why not do some outdoor activity 😉

This little article shares a simple activity, considering that it just requires a pair of shoes and sport clothes adapted to the weather. You will have understood, we are going to talk about running. However, when we talk about marathons, it becomes a little more complex.

Exactly one year ago, I ran my first marathon, the one in Zurich. I'm doing it again this year, and I'll share with you the phases of initiation and preparation for this event.

Image1 Leandro Benda 2

First of all, I had to analyze the lessons learned from last year's race in order to understand where I could improve.

Last year I ran it in 4h38mn and this year the goal is to run it in 4h00mn. The lessons learned were as follows:

  • Join an athletic club to benefit from a professional setting and expert advice
  • Do more strengthening of the abdominal belt, quadriceps, and hamstrings to avoid pain in the final phase of the race -> get a specific program for this part from an expert coach
  • Do a last long run of at least 25 km, 2 weeks before the race
  • Respect a recovery period of 2 weeks before the race with light maintenance so as not to lose the efforts of past trainings
  • Do regular sports massages, including one on D-2 to relax your muscles before the race
  • Warm up for at least 40 minutes before the race to have warm muscles at the start and considering the effort required by the race
  • Wear shoes adapted to the distance, body weight and with a good compromise between cushioning, support and rebound.
  • Do speed training to better work the pace
  • Put on sunscreen before the race (yes sir :))

Now, these points having been considered, it is of course important to take care of the initialization phase, for that I first asked a friend of the athletic club, expert in this field, to make me a training plan over 3 months based on this objective and in relation to my physical condition at this moment. With this program in place, we can move on to the planning phase.

Image2 Leandro Benda

The most important point in the planning was of course the registration on the event site. Around the race, the first point to plan was the accommodation, knowing that the race starts at 8:00 am and that the journey is 2 hours, the option of the night in a hotel was preferred. For transportation, since the train ride is free for participants, this option was the best.

On the nutritional aspect, knowing that we lose a lot of minerals during the effort, it is important to charge-up the body with these minerals before the race and to consume enough proteins after the trainings to support the regeneration of muscles.

As the muscles are an important risk factor for this objective, I opted for a frequency of 2 sports massages per month to avoid pain or tension on them.

Split speed training (e.g., 2 min sprint, followed by 30 sec rest, then 2 min sprint again, etc.) has been a good way to improve the pace, mixed with long runs, short runs, stretching, yoga (and of course rest) in the same week, has been a good mix for this preparation.

An essential part of the planning is also the preparation of the stuff for the trip, finally it makes 2 large bags counting:

- Shoes

- Shorts

- 2 t-shirts

- Training pants

- Insulating and windproof jacket

- Bananas

- Protein

- Isotonic drink

- Gels for mineral refills during the race

- Toiletries

- Socks

- Chargers

- Sunscreen 😊


Image3 Leandro Benda


Here I am ready to face these 42.195km, let's see if I will manage to reach the goal set... What do you think ?

the continuation in the next episode.



Collaboration Simplified: Practical Tools to Power Your Projects

Author: Aristeidis Matsokis PMP

A Matsokis Aristeidis Matsokis

An interactive session to discover the Team Alignment, the Team Contract and practice with

Join us for an insightful session with Stefano Mastrogiacomo, the lead author of "High-Impact Tools for Teams" (Strategyzer Series, Wiley 2021), as he introduces practical and effective techniques to enhance team efficiency and innovation. This interactive session will introduce two powerful tools: the Team Alignment Map and the Team Contract, which can be used together to visually and quickly align project teams.

In this session, you will learn how to:

  1. Run rapid alignment sessions with the Team Alignment Map
  2. Boost psychological safety with the Team Contract
  3. Get pro tips for running multi-teams alignment sprints

Additionally, all participants will have the opportunity to practice the Team Contract in a live Miro board, so please don’t forget to bring your laptops! The 45-minute session will be followed by a 15-minute Q&A session.