Rosmarie Michel, now in her eighties, looks back on a lifetime of entrepreneurship and advocacy for women in business. To this day, Rosmarie remains active as a mentor of female entrepreneurs and a driver for the empowerment of all women.
Rosmarie Michel was born in Zurich, Switzerland, and has been living there ever since. She was the owner of a traditional family business that was founded in 1869. Simultaneously, she served on the boards of a number of important Swiss corporations in the financial and retail sector like Credit Suisse and Valora as well as the media.
In addition, she has been involved globally in projects and networks that empower women economically. Her ambition was to develop and support business potential on all levels by creating economic empowerment and projects worldwide. She served as President of the International Federation of Business and Professional Women (IFBPW) and as Vice Chair of Women’s World Banking, New York.
The idea and vision of WWB have played a vital role in her professional life. Giving many poor women access to finances and know-how changed the attitude of the economic world and has bridged the gap between developing and industrialized countries. For the past 40 years, RM has been actively involved in this invaluable learning process, guided by women like Ela Bhatt, Michaela Walsh and Nancy Barry.
Today, she is still active on advisory boards of microcredit organizations and foundations as well as start-up firms. In her capacity as an anchor woman in the international business community, she is frequently invited as a speaker and/or consultant to share her international experience with a variety of audiences.
In recognition of her merits on behalf of integrating women into the economic world, the University of Zurich awarded her the status of „Permanent Guest of Honor“; another distinction was the «Women’s Finance Award» in 2009 from the Institute of Financial Services of the Lucerne University.
In 2007, the renowned Swiss publishing house Orell Füssli commissioned a book that highlights professional milestones of Rosmarie Michel’s life, especially aspects of her sound leadership.