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International Women's Day on 8 March

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(Vienna, 08 March 2021) One of MedUni Vienna's key objectives is to provide equal opportunities for men and women in all areas and on all levels. It aims to offer high achievers from all areas and disciplines every opportunity for career advancement, irrespective of their gender, in order to unleash their full potential and ensure excellence in research, education and healthcare.

The University Act 2002 also embeds gender equality and the advancement of women in the policies and functions of universities. The requirement to advance women (§41) prescribed by the Act stipulates a balanced ratio of men and women in all workplaces and this requirement is also reflected in the performance agreements between the universities and the Ministry.

Against this backdrop, the Medical University of Vienna has significantly increased its ratio of female professors at the University. The female professors appointed in 2020 come from a wide range of disciplines and demonstrate that there are outstanding female scientists in all areas:

The professorships include the specialist fields of clinical immunology, tumour biology, neuropathology, cardiologie, experimental oncology, dental and oral medicine, haematology and virology.

The path to universities and professorial chairs has not been easy for women: it was only in 1900 that women were first allowed to study medicine in Austria, following the precedent of the doctor Gabriele Possanner who, three years earlier, had been the first woman to graduate from the University of Vienna under a special exemption (she had completed her studies in Switzerland). In 1907, Romanist Elise Richter was the first woman to gain a postdoctoral qualification at the University of Vienna; she was appointed associate professor in 1921. It was not until 1956 that the first full professorship was awarded to a woman, namely to physicist Beata Karlik.

In order to underscore the ongoing importance of measures such as the "call for women" in the battle to achieve a balanced gender ratio to counteract the structural gender inequalities that have developed in society over many years, we are using the opportunity of International Women's Day to introduce some of the female professors who have been newly appointed as a result of MedUni Vienna's "call for women" in Autumn/Winter 2020 and to congratulate them on their appointment!

Need to promote gender equality
International Women's Day on 8 March draws the world's attention to the need to promote gender equality. Women continue to encounter obstacles in their careers and suffer greater professional consequences on becoming parents. Women still have to work a lot harder to gain the same recognition and promotion opportunities as their male colleagues. In many places, women do not receive the same pay for the same work and still provide the majority of unpaid care.

University Hospital Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna are taking the opportunity of International Women's Day to shine the spotlight on their female colleagues, applaud them for their commitment and achievements and to say thank you!