Ingrid Läderach Steven, for the past 30 years, has owned and operated Swiss Master Chocolatier selling “Beautiful Chocolates to Beautiful People”, which are flown in from her native country, Switzerland.
“In this time, we have built up a most loyal clientele from all walks of life, which is one of the reasons I still continue coming in six days a week. It is not just a business but a true labour of love where, according to customers, Swiss Master is a sanctuary where one can find hope, kindness, and of course the best chocolate”.
What is your experience of a glass ceiling?
There are so many different answers regarding one’s experience of a glass ceiling. The best way that I can explain it is from my belief in how one should live and conduct oneself in business. In other words, to me a glass ceiling is transparent, yet it can also break easily. So don’t pretend to be a certain way and do things and then without rhyme or reason choose to do the exact opposite.
What advice do you have for others in business, particularly women?
The best advice for women in business and in life is to remember that hard work does pay off, and to combine this with honesty and a sense of humour.
What is your opinion on quotas and the gender pay gap?
Being in my own business for over 30 years, I have not been at the receiving end. My feeling however is that no matter sex, what race, what pay, we should all be treated according to our abilities – anything else should never come into the picture whatsoever.
Are you aware of government certifications and schemes for women in business?
I am not aware of any schemes directed to woman as far as the government is concerned. Again I say, everyone and I mean everyone, should be treated honestly, with respect, with kindness and no strings attached.