Can we raise cultural awareness? An Update from SIETAR Switzerland’s “Value Recognition for the Profession” Working Group

Within Sietar, we know the power and value of intercultural knowledge and skills.  We believe intercultural knowledge is beneficial to everyone working, living or making decisions internationally.  Unfortunately, this belief is not universal, and many fail to see the importance of our field of expertise.

Who are our supporters? Who are the non-believers and the minimizers?  And how can we, within SIETAR Switzerland, use our collective voice to promote the importance of cultural awareness and increase the prominence of the profession?  These are the questions that the “Value Recognition for our Profession” Working Group addresses.  Just as any new discipline requires positioning and visibility to achieve credibility, so does the intercultural field. We agreed to focus first on business training in Switzerland, but the initial interviews also include academics. Here is our challenge and plan:

Our Challenge:

  • Raise awareness that intercultural knowledge and capabilities are critical for business success, and
  • Increase the strategic positioning of a relatively new profession and promote the inclusion of intercultural training in professional and educational development plans.

The 5-step Plan:

The 5-step plan involves conducting semi-structured interviews with volunteers from SIETAR Switzerland‘s membership (both business trainers and academics/researchers) and collecting well-researched information and examples* that support the critical role of intercultural knowledge in business and education. From this data we will develop a webinar to present to the SIETAR members who participated in the survey. Ultimately, we expect to develop an implementation plan.

As an association, can we make a difference?  We believe we can.  Help us to make our voices louder and stronger.  Please join us by supporting this research and the webinar tentatively scheduled for August 27, 2020.  We believe that with our collective knowledge we can meet this challenge.

This announcement was submitted by work group co-leaders and SIETAR Switzerland members Kimberly VanLandingham and Veronica de la Fuente

*Please send us information about any research you are involved with.

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