Promoting and encouraging women in the private sector
Women on supervisory boards of state-owned enterprises
The Federal Government is committed to ensuring that a set percentage of seats on the supervisory boards of state-owned enterprises are occupied by women (i.e., to introducing a quota). For these purposes, "state-owned enterprises" are defined as companies in which the Austrian state holds at least 50 per cent of the shares (e.g. ASFINAG, ÖBB, OeNB).
Initially, the government set the target of ensuring that 25 per cent of the seats on supervisory boards of state-owned companies were held by women by the end of 2013, rising to 35 per cent by the end of 2018. On 3 June 2020, the Austrian cabinet adopted a resolution stating this quota should rise to 40 per cent. However, the quotas only apply to individuals posted from Austrian government ministries to the relevant company's supervisory board, not for all appointments to supervisory boards.
The Federal Government's self-imposed regulations on promoting and encouraging women in the civil service are codified in the Public Corporate Governance Code (→ parlament.gv.at).
Women on supervisory boards of private enterprises
When seats on the supervisory boards of publicly listed companies and companies with more than 1,000 staff become available, there is a legal requirement for at least 30 per cent of seats to be filled by women (incidentally, the same quota also applies to men). Where this target is not met, the 'empty chair' rule applies, meaning that the post remains unfilled.
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