US Ambassador Victoria Reggie Kennedy
The official start signal was given in September Transatlantic Initiative “EmpowerHer” by the American Chamber of Commerce in Austria in cooperation with the US Embassy. The “MentorUS” and “ConnectUS” programs were presented, which aim to promote equal opportunities in the field of business and accompany and support women on their path to leadership positions. Leading American companies operating in Austria, such as IBM, Accenture, Oracle, Pfizer, Microsoft, 3M, Medtronic, and Ketchum, participate in this initiative.
Victoria Reggie Kennedy, US Ambassador to Austria, stressed that “only through full equality of opportunity for men and women at all levels will we be able to overcome the challenges of our time.” “When women are excluded from our decision-making processes, not only do women lose, but the economy loses as well. We all lose. We lose the opportunity to benefit from breakthrough innovations that have not yet been developed, and life-saving technologies that are not available. Through the EmpowerHer Initiative, the Chamber is committed to US Commerce is creating positive change to transform the lives of countless new women leaders and improve the prospects of participating companies.This is an exciting new initiative that builds on the strong economic ties between Austria and the United States.
Communication and mentoring as key to women’s leadership
“Our common goal is to enhance women’s skills and opportunities and increase the proportion of women in leadership positions,” said Carmen Greider, member of the EmpowerHer initiative and country leader for 3M in Austria. “We therefore offer young talent the opportunity to network and learn from experienced leaders as part of our support programs,” adds Sebastian Murth (Medtronic), Co-President of the ConnectUS Program and member of the EmpowerHer Initiative.
The ConnectUS program connects talented employees of both genders from AmCham member organizations across all industries and fosters professional relationships among the next generation of leaders. The network’s activities focus on creating awareness of the strong role of women and promoting gender equality.
The MentorUS mentoring program specifically targets female employees. Senior managers from Austrian-American companies support talented women who want to achieve outstanding performance in leadership and management positions as part of mentoring partnerships lasting several months. Mentoring creates a safe space for personal and professional growth and provides valuable guidance and insight to help women become the leaders they want to be.
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