‘I could not do it without support’

Based in Geneva but employed by a Japanese corporation, Miho works in a Japanese office culture. Miho Habel

Miho Habel, 57, launched the Geneva branch of Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) in 1997. Since then, she has been leading the development of the airline’s Swiss market. She says that she could not have achieved her career without the support of her family. 

This content was published on August 9, 2020 - 11:00

Based in Geneva but employed by a Japanese corporation, she works in a Japanese office culture. In other words, overtime work is commonplace. After putting her young son to bed at 8pm, she often returned to the office and worked until midnight. She also had many business trips and social events to attend. 

Her Swiss husband, an experienced journalist, never complained about her busy work schedule. Her in-laws were happy to take care of her son. "I can’t thank them enough for their support,” Habel says. “However, every woman struggles with the balance between home and work, I think."  

ANA’s Geneva branch has increased its sales 16 times since its beginnings. "When you have overcome difficulties, it makes you stronger. My job enriched my life,” concludes Habel. 

Although the percentage of women active in the Swiss job market has grown in the past 20 years, Habel sees that many of them greatly value their role in the family and seek ways to balance their responsibilities.  

"I think it’s possible that not just part-time work but also the education level affects women’s promotion chances,” says Hable, citing the fact that foreign women on average have achieved higher levels of education than Swiss women. 

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