(Vienna, 07-03-2023) In Austria, Women's Day has been celebrated since 1911. Since 1978, the day has been counted among the International Days of the United Nations. On the occasion of International Women's Day, the Medical University of Vienna and the University Hospital Vienna draw attention to the status quo of gender relations and point the spotlight on the numerous women who are indispensable in research, teaching and patient care in both institutions.
As in other areas of society, women in medicine were not always a given, but they had to fight hard for their place. A little more than 120 years ago, women were admitted to study medicine in Austria for the first time, which had been reserved for men until then. Since then, the proportion of women has increased continuously, both among students and graduates. Today, women make up 48% of the scientific staff at the Medical University of Vienna across all career levels. The phenomenon of the leaky pipeline can be observed with increasing career levels: The higher the step on the career ladder, the lower the proportion of women. At the highest career level, the professorship, the proportion of women drops to 25%. In contrast, the share of women is highest in the third-party funded area, at 59%. If we look at the figures separately for employees with and without children, it becomes evident that parenthood has a negative impact on the pathway to higher career levels, especially for women.
The nursing profession in Austria is still primarily female. According to the Equal Treatment Report 2017 to 2019, a total of 30,915 people were employed by the Vienna Healthcare Group in 2019, 73% of whom were women and 27% men. In the nursing service, the proportion of women remained constant at over 80% during the reporting period. Management positions in nursing have also remained constant at 84%.
Gender equality in all areas and at all levels is one of the guiding principles of MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna and is a central concern for both institutions. Excellent specialists should be given every opportunity for career development in all areas of work and specialisms, irrespective of their gender. This is the only way to exploit the full potential and excellence in research, teaching and patient care be guaranteed at the highest level.
Women's Day 2023 actions
This year, the Medical University of Vienna and the University Hospital Vienna are once again joining forces to mark International Women's Day: a specially produced video on the social media channels of both institutions shows women who contribute their knowledge and skills in various areas at MedUni Vienna and the University Hospital Vienna. As a small token of appreciation, specially designed chocolates will be distributed to female employees at the exit of the University Hospital Vienna staff restaurant at lunchtime on Women's Day.