International Women’s Day: Ombudsperson Gaby Schwarz demands more women in leadership positions

March 8, 2024

The Austrian Ombudsman Board leads by example: 70% of the team is female. Ombudsperson Schwarz calls upon the business world to put the principle of ‘fifty-fifty in leadership positions’ into practice and encourages women to be brave.

“Around 70% of the team of the Austrian Ombudsman Board consists of female employees; whether they are legal advisors, administrative trainees, chiefs of cabinet, or assistants. The Austrian Ombudsman Board is female and this is something we can be proud of,” says Ombudsperson Gaby Schwarz on the occasion of International Women’s Day.

Gaby Schwarz takes this opportunity to call for more commitment from the business world. “We cannot afford to miss out on the potential of women,” says the Ombudsperson and reminds us that women more frequently complete their education and professional training, and often with better results. “It is time to put the ‘fifty-fifty’ principle into practice in relation to leadership positions,” the Ombudsperson continues and requests a more active commitment from institutions and the economy. So far, the potential of women is only insufficiently utilized. “More and more women are better educated than ever before. However, they are still underrepresented in leadership positions compared to men – this has to change.” The Ombudsperson also calls upon the women themselves: “Be courageous! While men seize an opportunity right away, women tend to ponder whether they are sufficiently qualified. This way of thinking has been instilled in us over generations and we have to change this as a society.”

Gaby Schwarz considers a better offer for childcare as one of the key factors to break the glass ceiling. “The government has already taken first steps in this area, but others must follow; as many as it takes to ensure that women are able to seize career opportunities without feeling guilty or remorse.”