|Strategies for Foreign Businesswomen in Switzerland|
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Swiss business meetings are usually formal and task-oriented, which can be an advantage to businesswomen. What matters most is expertise and professionalism. A woman who displays a high level of competence will usually be rated higher than a man with equivalent capacities.
The title Ms. has no equivalent in German or in French, and a businesswoman can expect to be addressed as Frau (Madame in French) or Mrs., whether she’s married or not. Fraulein (Mademoiselle) or Miss is used only to address those under the age of 18 nowadays. So if a woman insists on being addressed as Miss, she should make that clear when she’s first introduced or when she introduces herself (“This is Miss Such-and-Such”).
If, despite all effort, the Swiss side addresses her as Mrs., a correction— even a tactful one—could prove awkward. Many Swiss will shake hands with the males present but will wait until a woman offers her hand to be shaken, so be sure to do so.
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