1:38 - Journalism during the dot com crisis
20:40 - Fostering female financial independence
24:13 - Sexist backlash
37:28 - Building media leverage
42:30 - Raising a family on a startup salary
Patrizia Laeri is a business journalist and the co-founder and CEO of elleXX, an independent money media platform for women. She studied business administration and then went on to start her journalism career in 2003 at SRF. During her time in Swiss television she reported on a number of subjects, like the World Economic Forum, Nobel Prize winners, and countries like Iran and North Korea. In 2020 she joined CNN Switzerland as editor in chief, only to see it declare bankruptcy soon after.
In that same year, she decided to launch her own company, elleXX. Being well aware of the dire financial situation of Swiss women (56% of which are not able to support themselves independently), Patrizia was tired of simply raising alarm on the issue and wanted instead to become a part of the solution.
Besides the financial independence issue, it is also a fact that Swiss women invest much less money than men, are very rarely targeted by wealth management companies (with 86% of them addressing men), and receive less than 1% of Swiss venture capital. During the pandemic, Swiss women also quit their jobs in larger numbers than men.
elleXX has a few ideas on how to foster female financial independence:
Offering financial literacy courses: to fix a problem, you first must understand it. elleXX regularly offers “money hacks” courses. Raising awareness about the importance of the 3a pillar: lots of Swiss women don’t have 3a insurance. Together with Vontobel, elleXX offers you a 3a pension solution to help you make sensible provisions. Offering legal protection against gender-based work discrimination: if you’re a Swiss woman in the workplace, chances are you’ll need a lawyer at some point throughout your career. Together with CAP, elleXX offers you legal advice and representation in court.
"25 years ago I didn’t know any founders personally, let alone female founders."
"35 years ago Swiss women couldn’t open a bank account without the signature of their husbands."
If you'd like to listen to more conversations about female Swiss entrepreneurship, check out our second episode with Estefanía Tapias.
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