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Helene Wastl Medical Mentoring Program


Same-gender, one-to-one mentoring for female physicians and junior researchers at the Medical University of Innsbruck

Target groups

other /

Implementing organization

Innsbruck Medical University - Coordination Office for Non-Discrimination, Promotion of Women and Gender Research /


Office for Women’s Empowerment and Mentoring, Claudia Beyer; claudia.beyer@i-med.ac.at


It has been in existence at the Medical University of Innsbruck since 2006; the 13th consecutive mentoring cycle will start in 2018.

Relation to gender equality targets

Central results of M. Hochleitner’s 2002 female doctors’ survey conducted on issues of work situations and obstacles faced by female physicians necessitated response.

Organizational and legal basis at Medical University of Innsbruck: Plan for the Advancement of Women, Development Plan, Performance Agreement 2016-2018

The objective(s) of the tool

The Helene Wastl Medical Mentoring Program was established with the aim of improving the career opportunities of women in medicine and thus increasing the proportion of women in management positions. Conceptualization and implementation were realized in adherence to established quality standards of the university. Helene Wastl (German content only) has been selected as the program’s “symbolic mentor” and namesake.

The medical junior staff development program can provide dedicated female doctors and researchers in the field of medicine and natural sciences with targeted support during planning and development of their scientific careers, particularly in transitional and decision-making situations. The Innsbruck Medical Mentoring Program’s concept is based on the principle of same-gender mentoring as well as on formal, internal, interdisciplinary one-to-one mentoring.

Sustained networking and (self-)empowerment of women in medicine represent key objectives: The Helene Wastl Club provides the framework in which the networks established during the course of the joint mentoring year are to be continued and maintained.

Description of the tool

Mentees conclude a one-year target agreement with a renowned mentor at the Medical University of Innsbruck and participate in seminars and events relevant to their careers. Individual mentoring partnerships last for two semesters and focus on horizontal and vertical networking, strategic knowledge and personal career planning. Consulting, support and process assistance provided by the program coordinator serve as connecting elements.

Since 2006, the Helene Wastl Club – a platform for long-term networking of all previous participants in the program – has been systematically expanded. It is specifically intended to develop and support relationships of women in Medicine.

How the tool works, practical experience

Eleven mentoring cycles have been completed and evaluated since 2006: the program’s satisfaction rates remain very high (90-100%) perpetually, both mentees and mentors recommend the program without restriction (100%).

Special Thanks

Special thanks go to the initiator and director of the Coordination Office, lecturer, and doctor, Professor Margarethe Hochleitner.


Further information on the mentoring program (in German only) and the Helene Wastl Club (in German only)