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HOW IT ALL STARTED

Women who leave family and friends behind in order to relocate to a foreign country show tremendous courage. We’re faced with various situations – perhaps a new job, or relationship, or a completely different lifestyle. The culture is unfamiliar, and in many cases so is the language. We arrive with dreams. And, as we slowly settle in we eventually yearn and cultivate new aspirations that are fitting for our new home and brand-new lives.

This is as true today as it was in 1990 – 25 years ago! Shortly upon arriving, one lone woman reached out inviting women with professional work interests to her home in the autumn of 1990. Nanci Cederbaum’s aim was to connect with other English-speaking women in similar situations. The dozen or so women who responded so enjoyed themselves that a decision was taken to meet on a regular basis.

By March of the following year a committee was formed and the name Professional Women’s Group of Basel was selected. The initial committee was comprised of just four women: Nanci Cederbaum (Chair), Sue Flotow (Membership), Jan Hawley (Facilities), and Cathlyn Darley (Advisor). As the club grew, so did its leadership team. Today’s Committee consists of ten to twelve women.

Programs

As the monthly meetings progressed, so did the meetings format. At the early gatherings, it was local expat women who spoke on a theme of their choice. Today, the Committee tries to satisfy the interests of the members by offering a wide range of cultural, professional and personal topics delivered by women (and occasionally men) from across the region.

Long-held traditions were also born from those early programs. The very first gathering was a wine & cheese party. To this day, every monthly meeting and annual general meeting still offers a ‘wine & cheese’ or apéro setting.

The first networking cocktail party was held in a beautiful private garden, replacing the regular meeting format. Today, our annual June Social is always held in a pleasant setting and husbands, partners and significant others are invited to attend our annual December Holiday Social.

Community ties

As the monthly meetings progressed, so did the meetings format. At the early gatherings, it was local expat women who spoke on a theme of their choice. Today, the Committee tries to satisfy the interests of the members by offering a wide range of cultural, professional and personal topics delivered by women (and occasionally men) from across the region.

Long-held traditions were also born from those early programs. The very first gathering was a wine & cheese party. To this day, every monthly meeting and annual general meeting still offers a ‘wine & cheese’ or apéro setting.

The first networking cocktail party was held in a beautiful private garden, replacing the regular meeting format. Today, our annual June Social is always held in a pleasant setting and husbands, partners and significant others are invited to attend our annual December Holiday Social.

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