Expert talk from Upper Austria Insurance: “Leadership is not a question of gender”

Expert talk from Upper Austria Insurance: “Leadership is not a question of gender”
V.l. to the right: Susanne Dickstein (OÖN editor-in-chief), VP regional councilor Christine Haberlander, Silvia Dirnberger-Puchner (alphaTeam), Kathrin Kühfahrer-Leitner (board director of OÖ Insurance), Iris Schmidt (AMS OÖ), Angelika Garstenauer (Franziskanerinnen Vöcklabruck) and Paul Eiselsberg (IMAS)

Women in leadership positions must be a given”said State Governor Christine Haberlander (VP) at the third expert talk of the Oberösterreichische Versicherung in Linz. With the exception of pollster Paul Eiselsberg, the panel was female, and the more than 75 guests were also mainly women. Eiselsberg presented the results of a study, 400 Upper Austrians between the ages of 20 and 39 were surveyed.

“Men are somewhat more able to imagine a leadership position than women. The main obstacle for women continues to be childcare. The expectations for the characteristics of the manager are similar – honest, trustworthy, communicative and solution-oriented”said the pollster. However, women and men are judged differently in leadership positions: While men are solution-oriented, constructive and humorous, women are considered trustworthy, careful and appreciative. “Leadership is not a question of gender”said Kathrin Kühtreiber-Leitner, board director of OÖ Versicherung. Personality is the deciding factor. The statement by business mediator Silvia Dirnberger-Puchner was met with approval: “A leader without empathy is incompetent.”

Sister Angelika Garstenauer, superior general of the Franciscan Sisters of Vöcklabruck and responsible for 5,000 employees, talked about changes in the church: Today, conflicts are discussed more openly and there is more involvement in the decision-making process. Leading is a challenge, as Iris Schmidt, who heads the AMS Upper Austria with 940 employees, also knows: “It is a constant work and self-reflection, there is no pattern.” Women often question themselves too much, said OÖN editor-in-chief Susanne Dickstein. “A female role model is important: it gives other women the feeling that if she can do it, I can do it too.” (miv)

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