Vienna hinges public procurement on the promotion of women

The City of Vienna sets a milestone in the promotion of gender equality and in closing the gender pay gap. After two years of preparatory work Vienna started in September 2010 to link public procurement to the implementation of corporate measures to promote women. This initiative is considered to be a decisive leverage in challenging companies to implement measures for the advancement of women. Businesses are put in charge to give priority to gender equality if they want to obtain a contract by the City of Vienna.

Measures for the promotion of women are qualified as social implementing provisions (“soziale Ausführungsbedingungen”) in the procurement process. In other words: a company that is awarded a contract by the City of Vienna, binds itself to implement – according to its size and branch – certain women promoting measures within a certain period of time.
Which contracts are affected?
Public service contracts with a minimum contract period of six months and of a contract value of more than 40,000 EUR awarded to companies with more than 20 employees.
Additionally, the City of Vienna will push two further instruments in its efforts to realize gender equality through public procurement:
On the one hand, women’s concerns shall be included as early as in the specification of services (Leistungsbeschreibung) and on the other hand, gender competence shall be a qualitative contract award criterion (Zuschlagskriterium).
Clearly, these developments bear challenges for the affected offices at the municipality in Vienna. To cope with this, public officials are supported by a comprehensive set of back-up measures such as trainings at the Vienna Administration Academy or the provision of specific publications by the City of Vienna Women’s Department like a manual and a toolbox for the promotion of women at company level.



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