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Publication

Women in the Innovation Ecosystem Zooming in on Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia

The Women in the Innovation Ecosystem: Zooming in on Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia aims to shed light on the role of women in the innovation ecosystem, identify common challenges for entry and sustained participation, and advance recommendations to various stakeholders for improvement of gender equality and the inclusion of women.

A special focus is placed on tracing commonalities and differences between the current innovation ecosystems in Central Europe, particularly Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Furthermore, the report concentrates on women entrepreneurs and investors—an integral part of the ecosystem. The report, to this end, seeks to address a data gap in the region.

Some pressing questions guiding this review:

  • Why are gender equality and inclusion important to the innovation ecosystem?
  • What is the current state of women in the innovation ecosystems in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia?
  • What barriers are preventing women’s participation and inclusion in the innovation ecosystem?
  • What are examples of positive developments and best practices?
  • How can the entry and sustainable participation of women in the innovation ecosystem be improved upon?

While women in Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia participate actively in political, economic, and social pursuits, gender equality has not yet been achieved. Even though women are important contributors to the innovation ecosystem, they are underrepresented across all segments in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Austria despite the high demand for talent. The CEE region in 2020, for instance, saw only 1% of funding go to women-founded start-ups and less than 1% of capital managed by all-women general partner (GPs) teams.

This report aims to provide an overview of the current state of affairs for women in the innovation ecosystem, with a focus on Austria, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. It also puts forward policy recommendations to various stakeholders directed at improving gender equality and women’s inclusion. The report, furthermore, sheds light on the participation of women entrepreneurs and investors.

Read more in the report below.

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