International Women's Day: Women in Higher Education

March 8th marks International Women's Day, a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. Since its inception well over a century ago International Women's Day (IWD) has gathered support from across Europe, North America and beyond.

To join in the conversation about how academic institutions can achieve gender equality, we have asked two current MU Vienna students to share their take on why it is important for women to pursue higher education:

Erin Stewart (MBA - Major in Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Leadership)

Deciding to study business as a young woman can be daunting, with dismal statistics like only 4.2% of Fortune 500 companies run by women in 2017 or the gender pay gap in which women earn substantially less for men in similar positions.

A recent study shows that women earn less than men in 74% of UK firms – and this in 2018. Products marketed to women can run a higher price tag than nearly identical products in the men’s line, e.g. razors, and women can be coerced into taking a worse deal for something such as buying a car, simply because they are female and the seller sees an easy target.

By studying such topics as the economy, marketing, and finance, learning how to take the reins in leadership courses or start your own business and become an entrepreneur, a Master of Business Administration helps to build the skills necessary to compete in a male-dominated environment and to confidently tell the patriarchy where to go. Many of the courses in the MBA are taught by accomplished women, both from academia and the industry, who are positive and inspiring role models. The student body also reflects a good gender balance of people from a variety of ages and backgrounds, so it’s great to see a lot of fellow females following a classically male path.

Ilona Beliatskaya (PhD Researcher and External Lecturer)

Speaking from a viewpoint of a young female researcher at MODUL university Vienna, I want to point out that nowadays women are unfortunately still under-represented in science. There is still a huge gap between female and male academic scholars. It can't be denied that we still live in a male-dominated world with a male-dominated culture. But the time is NOW for gender equality in all areas, including science.

Dear beautiful and smart ladies, embrace your intelligence and beauty. Show the world that being a woman in higher education and academia can be super cool and trendy! The need for female scholars in science is larger than ever. The time is now to join the conversation and express your voice on how we can make science equal for all. After all, science has no gender! Being equally recognised in work/study/research is something that benefits everyone.

For more information on what MU Vienna are doing to make our University a safe place for all students, faculty and staff please contact the Equal Opportunity Working Party (EOWP).