The Career² initiative was launched in 2008 at the instigation of the Federal Equal Opportunities Programme (module 3). The project is the result of a close collaboration between the universities of French and Italian-speaking Switzerland. The aim is to make it easier to reconcile an academic career with a family, as more and more university women are living in a “tandem couple” – a couple where both members are pursuing high-level professional careers.
Switzerland is internationally renowned for its excellence in the field of research and teaching. In a highly-competitive global market, and in a context of increased academic staff mobility, the country has to facilitate professional opportunities for mobile couples, so that partners are not disadvantaged in their careers paths. The effectiveness of dual career support programmes can make a difference in recruitment procedures when it comes to attracting the best researchers – it’s a new challenge for university institutions.