The 50% female quota
In accordance with the amendment to the Federal Law Gazette (Novelle BGBl.) I 2015/21, the principal members of all collegial bodies must incorporate a 50% female quota.
The quota is to be calculated in accordance with § 20a (2) of the Austrian University Act (UG): in the case of a collegial body being composed of an uneven number of members, the 50% quota shall be applied to the number of members reduced by one. For example, if a collegial body consists of 9 members, the quota is met if at least 4 of the members are female.
Immediately after being constituted, every collegial body must contact the AKG to inform it of its gender composition. The AKG shall file a complaint of omission against collegial bodies that fail to contact the AKG immediately after being constituted.
In cases of collegial bodies which do not meet the 50% female quota, the AKG has the option of filing an objection with the arbitration committee within 4 weeks. From the time when an objection is filed, any decisions made by the collegial body shall be invalid.
In terms of the political mandate of Gender Mainstreaming, the intention is not for the 50% female quota in collegial bodies to be met mainly through members of the non-professorial staff and students; rather, the Austrian government regards it as especially important for women to be represented among professorial staff and at top management levels.