UNIVERSA – The Women’s Business Network
connect to inspire!
UNIVERSA connects future female high potentials and helps develop your skills for your own career by fostering a supportive environment amongst women.
UNIVERSA is the only business network at the University of St.Gallen that provides activities just for female students. We organize corporate events with companies from different industries, giving our members the opportunity to participate in interesting workshops. Additionally, we have our special format called Business Woman Invited, bringing female students and company representatives together during exclusive fireside chats. Furthermore, we offer social events, giving everybody at the University of St.Gallen the opportunity to meet other students and discuss interesting topics while having a glass of wine.
Together, we want to encourage women at the university, prepare them for their future careers and build a long-term network from which all members can profit.
Gender-sensitive language has become more topical in recent years. In Switzerland, not least because of the two rejections of a political initiative on the grounds that it violates the guidelines on gender-sensitive language (Vogel, 2019, para. 2).
Gender-sensitive language can be seen as an important instrument in terms of gender equality. Language acts do not simply depict our lived reality, but actively construct it (Hornscheidt, 2006, p. 21). In addition, empirical studies show that language can have an effect on the mental representation of groups of people (cf. Stahlberg & Sczesny, 2001, p. 137). Insensitive language actions carry the risk of being discriminatory and hurtful. The intention of a person behind a speech act does not necessarily have to correspond to the effect on the person addressed. However, even unconscious discriminatory speech acts have a hurtful and excluding effect.
UNIVERSA – as a network for women at the University of St.Gallen – is committed to the promotion of gender equality. Thus, the purpose and goal of the association are embedded in the discourse of gender equality, which speaks for the relevance of a gender-equitable use of language. We therefore take into account current demands and developments towards a gender-equitable language and would like to contribute through our own language actions. UNIVERSA strives for gender equality in language. A non-binary understanding of gender is represented. This means that gender between “woman” and “man” is also integrated in language.
On March 3, 2020, the association UNIVERSA decided to make changes in the language with immediate effect. These changes concern especially the German language and can be found at https://www.universa-unisg.ch/ueber-uns/
Hornscheidt, A. (2006). Die sprachliche Benennung von Personen aus konstruktivistischer Sicht: Genderspezifizierung und ihre diskursive Verhandlung im heutigen Schwedisch. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.
Stahlberg, D. & Sczesny, S. (2001). Effekte des generischen Maskulinums und alternativer Sprachformen auf den gedanklichen Einbezug von Frauen. Psychologische Rundschau, 52(3), 131–140. http://dx.doi.org/10.1026//0033-3042.52.3.131
Vogel, D. (2019, 29. August). Geschlechtergerechte Sprache: Zürcher SVP-Politikerin blitzt auch im Parlament ab. Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen. Abgerufen von https://www.srf.ch/news/regional/zuerich-schaffhausen/geschlechtergerechte-sprachezuercher-svp-politikerin-blitzt-auch-im-parlament-ab