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Career coaching program


Individual career coaching combined with gender equality Workshops.

Target groups

general staff/administrative staff / scientific staff / artistic-scientific staff /

Implementing organization

Danube University Krems - Office for Gender Equality and Gender Studies /


Michaela Gindl; michaela.gindl@donau-uni.ac.at


It has been offered at the Danube University Krems since 2007

Relation to gender equality targets

The career coaching program is part of the Performance Agreement 2016-2018, committed to in “A4 staff development/structure: Career coaching program for female employees”. Briefly described as “specifically developing employees’ careers in individual and/or group coachings;” intended to be conducted annually. The program is also specified in the 2015-2020 Development Plan: “Career coaching mentoring programs support female employees of the Danube University Krems in the areas of responsibility that are material to their professional integration and career development.”

The objective(s) of the tool

  1. Providing individual career support (defining a goal, planning, negotiation, conversation (preparation) skills, support in conflict situations, strategic execution, etc.)
  2. Raising awareness related to the positioning and importance of gender issues at the University for Continuing Education Krems
  3. Improving participants’ gender competencies via workshops

Description of the tool

Research assistants represent the target group, the program’s duration is six months. Led by external coaches with explicit background in gender equality, a total of ten participants each receive four individual coaching sessions 50-60 minutes in length. Concomitantly, two workshops related to issues of gender (e.g. gender aspects in research and teaching, gender at the Danube University Krems, gender-sensitive/inclusive language in research and teaching, etc.) are attended. By tailoring the workshops to the respective target group, people who have thus far concerned themselves with aspects of gender only marginally, are successfully engaged. In this way providing them with essential information and perspectives related both to possible interconnections with their work and to the broader positioning of gender at Danube University Krems.The coaching is completed by a meeting in which the program managers invite the entire group to give qualitative feedback verbally. A written evaluation is conducted via EvaSys (evaluation software at Danube University). A final report is filed by the external coaches, incorporated into the general review of each run; if required, the review will be submitted to the rectorate, including an anonymous summary of the coaching sessions’ central topics.

How the tool works, practical experience

105 employees have participated in the program since 2007 (two of them were men; the program was opened for male employees only in 2016/17). The courses are offered to non-academic university staff and academic staff alternately. All cycles are evaluated verbally during a final discussion session as well as in written form via the EvaSys evaluation system. The program is beneficial for its participants both personally and professionally (important aspects: stimulating conflict resolution and personal development). The gender workshops have consistently been assessed positively. However, encouraging people to engage gender issues as part of a career program requires persuading. Structural impact: for many years, participants’ assessments and recommendations concerning the university’s central fields of action have been forwarded to the Rectorate. In this way, “individual sensitivities” are transformed into recurring statements that remain visibly concrete for years, serving as reference points for future work.