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Wise Women of WU: New Mentoring Program for Aspiring Women Leaders

In Aus­tria, wo­men are still blatantly un­derrep­res­en­ted in top-­level man­age­ment pos­i­tions. Sup­port­ing wo­men who aspire to high-­pro­file ca­reers as busi­ness lead­ers is there­fore a key pri­or­ity for WU and WU Rector Edel­traud Hanap­pi-Eg­ger. For this reason, WU has launched a new ment­or­ing pro­gram en­titled “Wise Wo­men of WU.” The pro­gram is tar­geted at high-­po­ten­tial WU alum­nae in early stages of their ca­reers. Un­der the pro­gram, these prom­ising wo­men are coached by suc­cess­ful fe­male ex­ec­ut­ives who are them­selves WU alum­nae and have ex­per­i­ence as man­aging dir­ect­ors or mem­bers of ex­ec­ut­ive or su­per­vis­ory boards. The pro­gram not only aims to im­prove the ca­reer pro­spects of fe­male WU gradu­ates, but also to in­crease the num­ber of wo­men in senior man­age­ment pos­i­tions in the long run.

Ac­cord­ing to the 2018 Frauen.Man­age­ment.Re­port is­sued by the Vi­enna Cham­ber of Labor, men hold 81.5% of all su­per­vis­ory board pos­i­tions at Aus­tria’s top 200 com­pan­ies by rev­enue. “Wo­men are still less likely to be con­sidered as po­ten­tial can­did­ates for such pos­i­tions be­cause they are not part of the rel­ev­ant net­works. All too often, their ca­reers hit a ceil­ing in second or third-­level man­age­ment pos­i­tions. And this is ex­actly where our new Wise Wo­men of WU ment­or­ing pro­gram comes in,” says WU Rector Edel­traud Hanap­pi-Eg­ger. Be­fore her ap­point­ment as rector, Edel­traud Hanap­pi-Eg­ger car­ried out com­pre­hens­ive re­search on these is­sues and pub­lished ex­tens­ively on the topic. As part of the pro­gram, 10 well-es­tab­lished, high-­pro­file WU alum­nae will share their in­sights and strategies with wo­men gradu­ates who are in­ter­ested in boost­ing their per­sonal devel­op­ment and ca­reers and who are fa­cing pro­fes­sional chal­lenges or ma­jor ca­reer de­cisions.

Net­work­ing and ex­change of ex­per­i­ences

The ment­ors and mentees en­ter into a one-on-one ment­or­ing re­la­tion­ship to ex­change ex­per­i­ences. The pro­gram is based on a give-and-­take ap­proach to make sure that ment­ors and mentees can be­ne­fit equally from the ex­change of know­ledge and ex­per­i­ence in­volved in the re­la­tion­ship. The ment­ors sup­port their mentees’ ca­reer devel­op­ment and share in­sights into their per­sonal suc­cess strategies, while at the same time broad­en­ing their own ho­ri­zons by en­ter­ing into a dia­log bridging gen­er­a­tional and hi­er­arch­ical bound­ar­ies. Aside from build­ing strong net­works among WU alum­nae, one of the pro­gram’s ad­di­tional goals is to in­crease the vis­ib­il­ity of wo­men busi­ness lead­ers as role mod­els.

How the pro­gram works

Wo­men WU gradu­ates in­ter­ested in be­com­ing mentees can ap­ply on­line start­ing on August 7. After a se­lec­tion pro­ced­ure, the ten best can­did­ates are ad­mit­ted to the pro­gram and each is assigned a per­sonal mentor. The core ele­ments of the pro­gram are one-on-one meet­ings between mentor and men­tee, a net­work­ing din­ner with all cur­rent pro­gram par­ti­cipants, and an­nual net­work­ing meet­ings with the rector and dis­tin­guished speak­ers from busi­ness and aca­demia. The pro­gram is car­ried out in one-year cycles. The first cycle is sched­uled to start in Novem­ber 2018. Ap­plic­a­tions are be­ing ac­cep­ted until Septem­ber 30, 2018.

The roster of ment­ors in­cludes Silvia An­gelo, El­friede Bau­mann, Christine Cata­sta, Bet­tina Glatz-Krem­s­ner, Sabine Hogl, Monika Kircher, Sandra Kolleth, Tat­jana Op­pitz, Re­gina Pre­hofer, and Birgit Rech­ber­ger­-Kram­mer.

Click here for more in­form­a­tion on the pro­gram

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