EFA World of Women*

2 R529 NL

29 Mar, 2024


The European Forum Alpbach (EFA) strives for bringing together different voices. A democracy must listen to all of its citizens’ perspectives in order to represent them. This is why the EFA is taking extra efforts to encourage non-male contributors, both in programming and participation.

Women* still are underrepresented in many aspects of public life. It is common sense that a society cannot prosper, politically or economically, if half of its population is entirely or partially excluded. Feminism has made this deficit visible in the past decades – and it is our task to do something about it. The European Forum Alpbach has a long history of great minds and high-level discussions. Unfortunately, feminist issues have missing for far too long: the first official record of a working group on gender questions only dates back to 1986.

From 2023 to 2025, we are bringing together all efforts to increase the visibility of women* at the EFA event in our initiative named “World of Women* (WoW*)”. We are convinced this effort will result in a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the challenges Europe is facing. We firmly believe that our world needs everyone – male, female and non-binary – on board to find solutions to the multiple crises of our time: climate change, challenges to democracy, the financing of our future, and geopolitical security issues.

We also aim to provide professional networking opportunities for women* in Alpbach to increase their possibilities in the working world. The EFA World of Women* is carried by all female board members and was initiated by women* from the EFA Board and Council, the Forum Alpbach Network, our partner organisations, and members of the EFA Association. The European Forum Alpbach applies the diversity criterion “gender parity” to every EFA session and women* are especially encouraged to take a seat and speak up in network sessions.

Female* talent development: The significant gender gap in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM subjects) is addressed by inviting emerging talents from this realm to participate in the EFA event: emerging talents under 30 for the scholarship programme, female leaders between 30 and 40 for the Alpbach in Motion leadership lab, and the general audience of the annual event.

Gender count: EFA will publish numbers related to gender distribution among participants. In 2023, 54.9% of the scholarship holders, 53.2% of the contributors, 44.24% of all other participants were female*.

Collaboration with partners: To equip women* with skills, abilities and the willingness to take leadership roles, we are cooperating with the Female Future Festivals under the motto “(Be)Come a Leader: Equipping Women for the Moment of Truth” in the following panel discussions:

  • “The power of networks: How the right contacts help to achieve professional success,” in Munich (April 18).
  • “Building resilience: Dealing with challenges and resistance as a female leader,” in Bodensee (April 25).

Sessions at EFA24:

  • Empowering Women and Disadvantaged Groups through Financial Literacy on 29 of August at 6:30-7:30 p.m Access to financial education remains a privilege, particularly for women and socio-economically disadvantaged groups. In Austria, women face a pension gap of 48 % and a wealth gap of 30 % compared to men. Vote for innovative projects that promote financial equity and decide which teams will receive seed funding to further develop their projects
  • WoW* connects at EFA: As part of the EFA initiative World of Women*, the EFA makes a special effort to encourage female contributors in both programme planning and participation. From the Austria in Europe Days to Europe in the World Days, one hour a day is moderated by women who are involved in the wider EFA network. This offers the opportunity to network, reflect and take action.

At the annual EFA event, there will be activities with “SHEconomy” and “The Female Factor” onsite in Alpbach.