Isabelle is known to be in the middle of life, and as a young woman, she fearlessly started her banking internship at Zürcher Kantonalbank (ZKB) at the height of the financial crisis in 2008. After successfully completing her internship, she worked for ZKB in the Wealthy Private Clients team and then for several years in the Human Resources department on various topics related to talent management and personnel development.
The most important thing from my point of view is that we start. Start questioning. Start creating transparency. Start being willing to make a change. Maybe that's all it takes.
In 2012, Isabelle started her part-time bachelor studies in Business Communication at the HWZ Hochschule für Wirtschaft Zürich. Her interest in a career change in the field of marketing led her to the pharmaceutical industry a short time later. There, Isabelle was responsible for the national marketing strategy and planning/coordination of various projects, including digital marketing, for a Danish pharmaceutical company. She then spent a semester abroad in Beijing at Tsinghua University, which is considered the “Harvard of the People's Republic of China”.
After returning to Switzerland, Isabelle started in the position of Product Management and Marketing at the leading information provider for structured financial products, Derivative Partners AG. Among other things, she was jointly responsible for the further development of the market presence of payoff.ch and payoff magazine as well as the redesign of the entire external appearance. Isabelle also planned, organized and coordinated various professional events, industry events such as the Swiss Derivative Awards and numerous trade fair appearances.
Seized by a passion for discovering something new, she again fearlessly set off from the Zurich financial jungle into the African bush: in the summer of 2018, Isabelle successfully completed her training as a licensed safari guide in Botswana. She has since become an entrepreneur and employer with her two sustainability-focused tourism companies in South Africa and Botswana. Furthermore, she is president of the Swiss aid organization “Small Village Botswana e.V.”, which is a non-profit organization for female empowerment and disadvantaged people in Botswana locally. Isabelle currently divides her time between Switzerland and Southern Africa.
5 Questions for Isabelle Tschugmall
Which areas do you cover at GGX?
I am happy to contribute my deep passion for communication, marketing and partnerships to GGX. It is enormously important to me that we can live a value-oriented corporate culture.
What were your ESG moments?
During my stay abroad in China, I experienced a number of aha or even shock moments. During the landing in the industrial center of China, when I left the airplane only to be immersed in a cloud of exhaust fumes and could only leave it again during take-off. In my work as a safari guide in the wilderness of Africa, I experience the rare moments when I am allowed to be part of nature again. I am allowed to understand again, to connect the dots again, to recharge my batteries from a planet that is worth protecting.
Where do you see the most potential for a more sustainable world?
Creating knowledge. So that a change in one's own actions follows from one's own understanding. We will not be able to change the whole world, nor is that our task. Let's start by creating knowledge.
What bothers you most in the ESG discussion?
Sometimes there is wrong information or even conclusions floating around on the subject. We have to address the critical and important issues, even if they are unpleasant topics. Above all, I sometimes feel there is a lack of transparency in this area.
What do you do in everyday life for more sustainability?
I've been living a minimalist lifestyle for a good five years now (i.e. no apartment of my own, no car of my own, etc.) and love the principle of “sharing is caring”. I always try to critically question myself when making decisions. To adapt my behavior and be open to learning moments. I am not perfect in the topic of sustainability, not by a long shot, but I am convinced that there is power in small things.