At this year’s ViennaUP, all program partners are committed to ensuring diversity and equality on stage and in the audience. That’s a commitment that the City of Vienna made long ago as well, which is why Vienna was named as one of the best places for female founders by the Startup Heatmap in 2019. And while there’s still plenty of work to do, the numbers have improved drastically: Around 40% of Austrian companies are led by women, and in the startup scene, over 35% are founded by teams that include women.
How do we explain the uptick in female entrepreneurship?
First, Vienna makes the extra effort to promote women in leadership positions. For over 20 years at the Vienna Business Agency, offers have been tailored to encourage female leadership. This goes from women-specific funding opportunities to additional support for any project or businesses where women are in charge. Members of project selection juries take trainings in unconscious bias. There are business consultations specifically for women. It can take extra work to make sure that women are equally represented, but it is those additional steps that make all the difference.
Secondly, Vienna is a family-friendly city. That’s good news for women with children, who tend to shoulder the child-care burden. Excellent public transportation, plentiful parks, and completely subsidized kindergartens and elementary schools make life easier for all parents to balance work and home life; the relatively low cost of living makes it more enjoyable for everyone.
Lastly, the city is lucky to enjoy the tireless efforts of civil society actors – including the work of ViennaUP partners like Female Founders, Female Factor, Womentor, and WeDo5, all of which are hosting events at ViennaUP’22. Thanks to their hard work, ever more girls and women around the world are motivated to strive for top positions and become founders themselves – with the guidance of mentors who have gone before.
Want to join the movement to support women in business – especially in the startup scene? Join us ViennaUP’22, and consider stopping by one of the events hosted by some of the festival’s toughest partners:
- May 30: Find your female co-founder (WeDo5).
- May 31: Collaboration > Competition (WoMentor)
- May 31: Leadership Fair – The career event for future leaders (Female Factor)
- June 1-2: Lead Today, Shape Tomorrow (Female Founders)