Between academia and the changing table
Austrian universities have developed several strategies for increasing the number of women in science and research and for holding onto them in the long term. One of these was to make it easier for women to balance their career with their childcare needs. Around 12 years ago, nearly all universities even appointed childcare officers and many founded children’s offices. In other words, the initial measures at the universities focused on making it easier to combine a career with children. However, this has changed over time. The compatibility measures are now aimed at all genders equally* and the range of options has also been extended due to the increasing number of people who (have to) provide care for relatives. The UniKid initiative provides measures for balancing children with work and studies but it also became apparent that those providing care to relatives also needed support. The UniCare initiative is already providing information and advisory services at many universities.
* It is still predominantly women who provide care so measures that make it easier to balance family and career are essential from an equal opportunities perspective.
A balance between academia/work and care
This is why TU Wien has been developing support measures for relatives who provide care since 2013 in addition to the range of options for members with childcare duties to make it easier for people to balance their research/career with their family. The contacts at TU Wien are the compatibility officer and the compatibility office:
Representative for Family-Work Balance Issues E917
c/o Argentinierstrasse 8/4th floor, 1040 Vienna
T +43 1 58801 18504
In October 2015, TU Wien was the first Austrian university to establish the role of compatibility officer, as stipulated in the women’s advancement/equal opportunities plan. The compatibility officer is available to answer your confidential questions relating to balancing family and career/studies, coordinates the in-house kindergarten advisory board, represents TU Wien in the ‘Family at university’ best practice club and advises the university management on the strategic alignment of matters relating to work-life balance. They are also responsible for getting TU Wien involved with the bodies that deal with these issues on a national and international level.
TU Kids & Care compatibility office and coordinator of the TU Kids & Care compatibility office
The compatibility office at TU Wien was founded in February 2016 and is available if you have any questions relating to organising your work and other commitments (e. g. childcare, caring for relatives). TU Kids & Care is also responsible for organising various events on childcare and balancing family with work/studies.
The Internet platform provides more information about childcare options and experts on balancing family and work/studies at Austrian universities: UniKid-UniCare Austria
Needs assessment on the childcare situation of TU Wien members
“Are the kids being well looked after while I’m getting stuck into academia? It goes without saying that parents can only work with a clear conscience if they can answer yes to this question.” *
The childcare options available at a university are crucial to ensuring that members can balance their career and their family. TU Wien carries out needs assessments regularly (2008, 2012, 2016) so that it can develop relevant measures in line with the requirements:
* From the article ‘Wie der Wiedereinstieg in die Wissenschaft gelingt’ [Re-entering Academia], ÖHZ [Austrian university publication], no. 2/2011
Balance? Easier said than done! Parental leave management road map
Care duties and academic careers have one thing in common: they demand a high degree of flexibility.
In many cases, care duties and working hours do not go well together. TU Wien supports the flexibility of its employees and wants to make it easier for them to balance their career and their private life. In addition to the option to work part-time (in non-academic roles), conditions have been established for remote working and flexible working hours. For more information or details, please visit our road map.
Online calculator "gleich=berechnet"
The online calculator provides guideline values for employed couples and should make it easier for you to decide how much leave each parent should take.
Parental leave for both of us – but where would that leave our household income? Get a quick estimate with the gleich=berechnet calculator.