By Alexandra Jocham, RBI |

Women empower women. We asked successful women where they get their inspiration. And here’s what they told us. We have put together a compilation of inspiring books, women’s networks and podcasts for you. All our tips revolve around the topic of women empowerment and are personal recommendations from female experts and leaders. Have fun browsing through them. And feel free to write us your tips in the comments.

Women’s Networks:

Fondsfrauen

I can highly recommend the women’s network “Fondsfrauen“. Founded in Germany in 2015, it is now additionally established in Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg.

The largest German-speaking career network for the promotion and equality of women in the financial industry is strongly committed to the topics of career – including mentoring program, job offers as well as useful career tips; visibility – especially through the annual Fondsfrauen Award and financial education – protection against poverty in retirement and empowerment to take also care of financial matters as a woman. “A man is not a financial plan,” says Veronika Lammer (advisor to the Fund Women in Austria).

Christa Geyer

Head of Centre of Competence / CEE, Raiffeisen Capital Management

Zukunft.Frauen

I attended the 6th course of Zukunft.Frauen. In the meantime, 18 courses have been held. The training is divided into modules and is aimed at women in leadership positions, among other things with the goal of training them for supervisory board functions. The program is a joint initiative of the Ministry of Economy, the Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Austrian Industries. After the program, you can become a member of the Alumnae Club and attend interesting lectures and network!

Beate Wolf

Member of the Management Board of Valida Vorsorge Management

Women in Adria

Why Women in Adria? We support ambitious women in all career options: public sector, corporate world and entrepreneurship.  The power of network and synergies we produce are huge. We empower women to change the world.

Ivana Matić

founder and CEO of Women in Adria

Female Founders Vienna

Female Founders in Vienna is one of the first all-female startup accelerators in Europe. Its goal is to connect and inspire female entrepreneurs and organize funding activities.

Networking means for me: To meet like-minded people, a stimulating exchange of thoughts and ideas and to support each other. A give and take with a strategic background

I am part of the Female Founder Network to meet like-minded people. Strong women with strong visions and those who want to get one. In a good network, you ideally meet people who are already where you once want to be. Female Founders offers the opportunity to bring together women from different fields and career stages. The network consists of three pillars. Base F: A Low-key community for everyone who identifies themselves with an entrepreneurial mind. Grow F: An online startup accelerator for female-led ventures that shape the world of tomorrow and Lead F: A leadership accelerator.

This enables to look beyond our own horizons. Numerous (online) events, talks, educational newsletters contribute to new competencies, one discovers hidden potentials and learns things one might not have considered before and most importantly, you will get to know many inspiring women with the same vision: To shape the future while being economically successful.

Benedikta Schlange

RBI Group Communications

Podcasts:

Unlocking Us – Brené Brown

Brené Brown’s is a researcher and expert in vulnerability and courage but also explores topics like shame and resilience. This podcast is a mix of interviews with great guests and an exchange of thoughts and reflections on current events affecting many of us. I like her sense of humor, optimism and insights into latest research, which can be very inspirational or just deliver a bit of new perspective that can help looking at our issues differently.

Ágnes Tölgyes

CFO at Raiffeisen Bank in Hungary

FrauenFunk.at

I recommend the podcast FrauenFunk.at! 50 conversations with feminist women over 50 give interesting and instructive insights into the struggle for equal rights in Austria. A contemporary historical document and a great pool of female role models that we so desperately need. A completed podcast available from all the usual podcast providers.”

Sabine Macha

product manager at Raiffeisen Capital Management

TEDTalks:

I really love listening to the many diverse TEDTalks, but I particularly like the TEDTalks on feminism. “Why gender equality is good for everyone – men included” by sociologist Michael Kimmel is one of my favourites. Why? Firstly, because Kimmel conveys this topic with some laughter but without taking the seriousness out of it. Secondly, because we learn a lot about privilege here. Thirdly, because it’s just true and I experience this in everyday life. We all simply have to be more alert about gender equality because we’re all affected. And to cite Michael Kimmel here: “Making gender visible to men is the first step to engaging men to support gender equality.” And this must start early on, in childhood, no matter if girl or boy. We all need to be feminists to bring about change.

Patricia Lang-Schönberger

RBI Group Communications

Books:

Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders

The metaphor of “glass ceiling” has been in use since the 1980s, is extremely well-known and keeps remaining in place since then. The book “Through the Labyrinth: The Truth About How Women Become Leaders” by Alice H. Eagly and Linda L. Carli provides an alternative approach. The authors believe that the glass ceiling image is wrong on many levels as it suggests that there is an invisible barrier that prevents women from being promoted to high-level positions.

Instead they conclude that many women drop off from their career for a number of reasons from family, personal choice, lack of social capital or discrimination. The obstacles for women aren’t only at the top.
A career path is seldom a straight line and this is true for all of us. Instead we have to navigate through a web where we can bump into an obstacle at every angle but the good news is there is a way out of the labyrinth and barriers can be overcome.

Ágnes Tölgyes

CFO at Raiffeisen Bank in Hungary

Dear Ijeawele | A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I really liked reading “Dear Ijeawele | A Feminist Manifesto in Fifteen Suggestions” by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (the author of “We should all be Feminists”). The author actually wrote the manifesto for a friend who asked her how to raise her baby girl a feminist.

Women empowerment, in my opinion, starts with children (boys as well as girls).

Marlene Schloffer

RBI Group Communications

“What Works” by Iris Bohnet and “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg

When I started looking at feminist theories – after 50 years of practice – I found two books particularly interesting. Iris Bohnet’s “What Works” and “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg.

I would like to recommend both books here – both are already classics.

“What Works” made me realise how deep and complex the systematic discrimination of women still is, even in our highly developed society. Based on a multitude of studies, Bohnet offers possible solutions by changing the rules of the game, e.g. when hiring top-level jobs.

How does the word feminism feel to you? Awkward? Then you are in good company. It was the same for Sheryl Sandberg – COO of Facebook since 2008 – when she was young. In her entertaining book, she gives concrete examples of how to empower yourself as a woman. And she explains that you don’t have to be ashamed of being a feminist.

Veronika Lammer

RBI Markets & Investment Banking