Barbara Studer is a neuroscientist specializing in memory, motivation and mental / brain health. She pursued her academic journey at the Universities of Bern, Fribourg, and Taipei, culminating in a Ph.D. in neuropsychology. She played a pivotal role in establishing and overseeing the University’s Centre for Learning and Memory. She engages in applied intervention research and is a lecturer at the University of Bern and other higher education institutions. Two years ago, she and two other female founders launched “Hirncoach”, a start-up which pioneers online programs designed to enhance mental health and fitness for individuals of all ages. With an evidence based and holistic approach, these programs are aimed at significantly reducing the risk of mental and neurodegenerative conditions. Beyond her scholarly and entrepreneurial pursuits, Barbara Studer is a mother of three, a captivating speaker, and a talented musician.
“Female and male brains are different, each brain is different – by encouraging women in tech, we tap into a broader range of perspectives, ideas, and talents, leading to better problem-solving and creative solutions for a better world. By fostering diversity of gender, age and backgrounds in different fields we tap into the full talent pool to bring forward great advancements.“
Cristina is the founder and CEO of Educreators, a future-oriented nonprofit on a mission to support primary and secondary school teachers bringing transformative innovation in schools. Her inner fire is fuelled by a strong creative energy and an insatiable interest in transformative learning for the greater good. Constantly connecting dotted lines between imagination and action, she explores topics at the intersection of transformative innovation and learning, entrepreneurship and conscious futures design. Cristina was named Digital Shaper by Bilanz in 2019 and 2020 and is a Board member of the European Innovation Council since 2021.
“I see balance as a key ingredient in shaping empowering collective future narratives and creating sustainable and regenerative solutions for our planet’s challenges. To bridge the gender parity gap, it is important for women to show up, speak up and get involved. #herHack is a good opportunity to come together and to unleash our creative and caring energy for the greater good.“
Sarah Toms is Chief Learning Innovation Officer at IMD where she leads the Learning Innovation and AI strategy. Sarah previously co-founded Wharton Interactive, an initiative at the Wharton School that has scaled globally. A demonstrated thought leader in the educational technology field, she is fueled by a passion to find and develop innovative ways to make every learning environment active, engaging, more impactful, and learner-centric. Sarah is an AWS Education Champion, and has been on the Executive Committee of Reimagine Education for 8 years. She has spent more than 25 years working at the bleeding edge of technology, and was an entrepreneur for over a decade, founding companies that built global CRM, product development, productivity management, and financial systems. In addition, Sarah is coauthor of The Customer Centricity Playbook, the Digital Book Awards 2019 Best Business Book. She is dedicated to supporting women and girls in the technology field through her work with the Women in Tech Summit and techgirlz.org, and was a founding member of WIT@Penn affinity group. Now that Switzerland is her new home, she’s excited to get connected to #womenintech initiatives in Europe, like #herHACK.
“This couldn’t be a more exciting time to be in tech, and yet female representation in technology positions continues to shrink globally. Initiatives like #herHACK are critical because they help women to understand the rapidly evolving tech landscape, while giving them opportunities to gain the skills, network, and know-how they’ll need to make the leap into tech.”
Karla Maria Zinreich is a trained computer scientist and CEO of the Swiss AI startup Genistat AG. The company is developing an ecosystem for AI-assisted video editing and automated storytelling for media platforms and live events. Nurturing talent in the tech industry is of great importance to Karla. For several years, she has been collaborating with universities in Bangladesh, particularly focusing on inspiring young women for careers in IT. In addition, she supports the project “regenbogenpolitik.ch” The platform surveys Swiss politicians about their stance on LGBTQ+ related political topics. Furthermore, she funds a development program for young handball talents at a handball club in her hometown in Germany.
“Empowering women in the ICT sector is not just a matter of equality but also a strategic imperative. It allows us to tap into a vast pool of untapped talent and promote new perspectives and innovations. This, in turn, enables us to create a more inclusive and technologically advanced future for everyone. The #herHACK initiative is a significant contribution to this vision, as it provides a space for all tech-savvy women, as well as those aspiring to be, to unleash their own ideas. Here, they can freely work on solutions for a sustainable future according to their own visions, forge new connections, and exchange knowledge.“
Katia is an experienced executive, board member and entrepreneur. With her company WolfPak she is on a mission for better leadership in the era of AI, leveraging the power of new technologies. With over 20 years in the international media (editor in chief of Blick.ch) and technology industry, she has expertise in digital growth, transformation and data strategies. She is co-founder of EqualVoice by Ringier, an initiative that aims to increase the visibility of women in media coverage, based on data and algorithms, and in addition the Edit-a-thon that brings women’s biographies to Wikipedia. Katia is a mom of three and knows about the power of role models to make the world a better place.
“#herHack is a fantastic opportunity for talented women in tech to advance their careers and to make the tech space more diverse. Because diverse perspectives are essential to every great team, product and company.”
Co-Founder and CEO of DeepJudge
Paulina is a co-founder and CEO of DeepJudge, an ETH Zürich spin-off that connects legal professionals to their firm’s internal documents via natural language. She completed her PhD in Artificial Intelligence at ETH Zürich and has worked for several years as a research consultant at Google AI Language and Google Brain, specializing in Large Language Models. She was named a digital shaper of Switzerland twice in a row and appeared on the prestigious Forbes 30 under 30 list.
“Women’s perspectives drive innovation, and #herHACK magnifies this force. Empowering women in tech enriches creativity, broadens insights, and shapes an inclusive digital world for all to thrive.“
Co-Founder of Yokoy
Melanie Gabriel is an entrepreneur, board member and angel investor. In 2019 she co-founded Yokoy, the AI-driven FinTech company that automates corporate spending of midsize and large enterprises worldwide. Melanie holds a Master’s degree in Business Management from the University of St. Gallen. She has been named one of the 100 Digital Shapers and received the HSG Founder of the Year award in 2023.
“In order to serve the diverse user base of technology on the one hand, but also to tackle the challenges of tomorrow we need all backgrounds, genders, and colours in tech and at the decision table.“
Priska has worked in the financial industry for over 15 years, managing national and international IT projects for major banks. She began her career in the IT world as a career changer in software engineering and started her own company in 2016.
As Founder of TechFace, Priska uses her experience as well as her knowledge to support women who want to pursue careers in the technology industry. She is co-founder of ‘Girls in Tech Switzerland’, a global non-profit organisation that aims to inspire and retain women in the tech industry. She understands the difficulties of being a woman in the tech industry and what strengths you need to succeed. That’s why Priska wants to help the next generation achieve their dreams and career goals.
President of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs VFU /Founder CrowdConsul
Riccarda Mecklenburg is President of the Association of Women Entrepreneurs VFU. The VFU is the largest association of female entrepreneurs in Switzerland. Since 2014, she has been a member of the Board of Trustees of the Zurich Journalism Award and founder of the largest female hackathon in Switzerland, “HerHack21”, which took place for the first time in 2021.
In 2014, Riccarda Mecklenburg founded the agency CrowdConsul, which carries out crowdfunding projects in Switzerland. Clients are associations, foundations, start-ups and committed people who are looking for money for mainly social projects.