SOLANGE du bei Empowerment auf der Leitung stehst, bin ich Feminist:in.
AS LONG AS you block the flow of empowerment, I will be a feminist.
To mark International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021, our 15th AS LONG AS sentence was mounted on the facade of the old city hall in Salzburg’s historic city centre along the river Salzach.
Empowerment means taking back power: taking back responsibility, autonomy and self-determination. Women in Austria have a higher rate of education, but a lower rate of leading positions. They are blocked along their way to the top and often hit the so-called glass-ceiling. Thanks to their power networks and persistence men continue to keep a tight hold on positions of power – blocking women’s empowerment. Why else would they refuse to support and promote highly qualified women in their fields? It seems paradox that oftentimes, men with less qualifications become the boss, while over-qualified women are stuck in assistant positions.
This phenomenon could be alleviated with quotas to help women get into positions they’re eligible for. Countless studies have proven that individual achievement alone is not enough to get leadership positions.
Empowerment in the workplace starts much earlier: a fair and equal division of unpaid care work at home is a prerequisite for women to embark on their careers. And children learn what they see at home. The sooner we dismantle the structural inequality of women, the sooner they will be able to step into their full power at work.
AS LONG AS is always a site-specific project. In this case, the old city hall is a site of power, traditionally dominated by men. In the future, those who block women’s empowerment will have to learn that (gender) diverse teams are more efficient and that women in leading positions are a key to success, both economically and personally. As long as they block women’s empowerment, we will create the nets to remind them.
Come join us in spreading equality!
Stadt Salzburg, Karin Berthold, Stadträtin für Bauwesen,
Land Salzburg, Andrea Klambauer, Landesrätin für Wohnen, Kinderbetreuung, Wissenschaft, Integration, Frauen, Jugend & Generationen, Familien, Erwachsenenbildung und öffentliche Bibliotheken
Energieexpertin und Physikerin Brigitte Bach als Vorstandsmitglied der Salzburg AG
© photo credits: Alexander Killer, Andrew Phelps