Some Initiatives to Improve the Situation of Women in Physics in Austria

Claudia Berkmann, Paola Ayala

Austria's geographical position in Europe makes it an interesting mixture of concepts in various ways. It is a country with a longstanding scientific and research culture and a number of famous physicists in its history. A number of Austrian women have also shined and produced great contributions to the development of physics. This means that female role models in physics exist for this nation, and their success could potentially inspire the new generation of female physicists, but this has not been fully exploited yet. Changes have certainly been observed in the last two decades, and women are more often seen in leading positions in physics, yet old boys networks have an effect on the promotion of women's careers in this scientific area. Also, popular beliefs about science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers (physics in particular) still impose an invisible barrier for society to help more women pursue this career path. This paper presents an overview of the numbers related to the presence of women at all career stages in physics in Austria distributed among universities. Also, a report on initiatives that have taken place at the University of Vienna as an example is included.

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Austrian Fields of Science 2012
103010 History of physics, 504014 Gender studies
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