Gender competence

The term "gender competence" could be misunderstood as being limited to the fact that people are able to express themselves on equal terms linguistically and that people of all genders are perceived and involved as equals at work/in life and that all actions are free from pre-judgement, stereotype and bias [cf. Unconscious bias]. However, as well as these abilities - strictly speaking, also social skills - existing knowledge and analytical abilities are also important, as they already feature in the discourse on "gender mainstreaming" (referred to as the "4R method" in the watch list): the perception of representation (symbolism, descriptions, etc.), resources (factual financial, space and time budgets) and regulations (legal, everyday and ethical concepts) as well as reality (the practical possibilities of different genders). This broader concept of social and gender competence is required at least where socially and gender-competent action takes place beyond individual moments: wherever planning and management, research, description and design are undertaken – even in the narrower technical domain, there is a need for gender competence.

The Austrian University Conference offers practical recommendations for expanding gender competence in universities. These are aimed at all university members: researchers, lecturers, management, students and administrative staff. Four areas of action are addressed: (1) gender-competent management, (2) gender-competent action, (3) gender-competent teaching and (4) gender-competent research.

The recommended reading can be found here:

In order to illustrate the effect of gender bias in appointment procedures, the Institutió CERCA, in cooperation with IST Austria, opens an external URL in a new window, has developed a video entitled "Recruitment Bias in Research Institutes, opens an external URL in a new window". A gender competence training course can counteract such errors of perception and influences.

The AKG provides support by way of a questionnaire on social and gender competence in order to assess applicants accordingly.