Elsa Ferreira Interview

Elsa Ferreira, Project manager, IHEID/ BCC

Elsa Ferreira works for a Swiss-government funded program, hosted by the Graduate Institute in Geneva, that is working towards strengthening central banks in developing countries.

Prior to this, for 5 years, she advised private clients at UBS Wealth Management in Geneva. Elsa also coordinated a project with the Asia-Europe Foundation in Singapore, promoting understanding and better relations between Europe and Southeast Asia.

Elsa holds a M.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from the National University of Singapore, and a licence in International Relations from the Graduate Institute, Geneva.

A Swiss and Portuguese national, Elsa is multilingual and multicultural, having lived in four countries, across three continents.

Who is Elsa FERREIRA in three words?

Driven. Passionate. Honest.

What would you do differently if you could travel back in time?

Having today’s maturity much earlier on in life would have made life’s adventures brighter and lighter! Right perspective on issues, self-confidence, not being afraid to fail – all important qualities to develop as early as possible in life so that more quality time is left for little pleasures, discoveries, learning new skills.

What advice do you give to a new generation of women entering the job market?

I have never, ever seen a woman not finding a job, even after years of absence while raising children, for example. Be confident! Never give up! Every one has her own, unique place in the economy!

Which skill(s) would you like to possess?

More patience… with myself and the others. I understand that my pace is not everyone’s speed. In the end things come for a good reason, at the right time.

Do you have a particular skill?

I like people. The diversity in individuals make the world brighter, colourful, fascinating! Each person is unique, with a different angle of approach to a similar situation – this puzzle of humanity is fabulous! I think seeing richness in each and every individual is a particular skill I possess.

What is your perception about the benefits of networking?

Exchanging with others mean benefiting from their views, ideas, and knowledge. It’s a simple way to make our inner world wider; it’s being part of the whole, of the fabulous puzzle of humanity!

Which hobby should we try or practice – and why?

Public speaking! It is so important to be able to connect with larger number of people, by tapping into our basic capacity of speech with confidence and honesty. How else can we exchange, communicate purposely?

What do you suggest to change and or improve at the CWF?

Not much.. I am proud to be part of today’s CWF. However, it’s vital to stay open to suggestions and improvements.

What are the opportunities and challenges for the CWF?

Geneva’s heterogenous economic tissue is both a challenge and an opportunity. To remain relevant to its members, CWF needs to address that heterogeneity without loosing its Geneva-roots.

A final message?

As professional women in Geneva, we are lucky to live in a conducive environment to advance women’s conditions. Yet much is left to improve, including in Switzerland! Let’s our support to each other never fail and perhaps even inspire others across borders.

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