It is not only around Women’s Day that we focus on equal opportunities at A1. Various initiatives ultimately aim to break down structural and individual barriers and both make professions in the STEM environment attractive and inspire women to take on management positions. Last time Karin and Melanie told us about the mentoring program, this time Katalin and Maria introduce the A1 Female Empowerment Program (FEP) at A1 Austria.
«We have deliberately developed a training with the aim of empowering women on their way to a leadership position. The success so far shows us that we have met a need.»
Sonja Wallner, CFO A1 Austria
Strengthening with effect
Many of the participants, who were also nominated by colleagues to take part, share a more or less latent desire for a career change. From different units, they know A1 from diverse perspectives and can benefit from each other despite or precisely because of this.
When did you get in contact with the FEP, Maria?
Basically, I always had on my personal agenda the desire to be a manager one day. Because I like to concentrate 100% on something, I first devoted myself to my daughter until she was out of the woods and put my career ambitions on hold. Then a professional dissatisfaction spread and at the right moment last year the info about the FEP appeared.
Why did you participate in the FEP, Katalin?
Actually, my manager nominated me. I had already attended a leadership workshop before and supplemented it with the FEP. My wish to take on responsibility as a manager then came true faster than expected in the course of the FEP.
What were your highlights from the program?
Maria: All the participants were incredibly appreciative. For me, the opportunity to take the next step in my career arose during the program. The empathy as well as the open, honest exchange within the group was incredibly supportive throughout the application process.
I am convinced that we need more safe spaces like this.
Katalin: I enjoyed the training times to deal intensively with myself. We spent a lot of time analyzing strengths and weaknesses and exploring the question: How do I achieve my goal?
What advice do you have for other women?
Katalin: Change is often a mixture of the right time and the right place. This applies to appropriate training as well as career moves. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect. I myself am gaining leadership experience as a maternity replacement, many see this as a disadvantage, but for me it fits.
Dare and take the challenge.
Maria: First and foremost, I want to encourage other women. It is so important to feel confident and to trust in your own abilities. Take advantage of the support that is available — especially within the company. By participating in the program and the output from it, I feel very empowered in my current job. Change always takes courage, but it’s nothing to be afraid of.
Thank you guys for sharing! And we take away: network and support each other, coupled with courage and curiosity and a few more changed frameworks and the future belongs to women :-)
Photocredit: Daniel Hinterramskogler