NAME: Gabriele Metz
ACTION/SECTOR: Politics / Science
POSITION: Originator and Manager of the Gender Institute (Graz),
ORGANIZATION: Gender Insititut
My Background and Career
After my graduation I started with various office duties. 1985, 1986, 1989 and 1990, my four children were born. During the parenting to 2001, I was active in event management, outdoor education such as Sahara Travels and I started a combination-study in pedagogy, psychology, adult education and women's studies.
By 2011, I was self-employed as adult educator (outdoor, team, communication training, coaching, woman empowerment), but also other activities such as the sale of web sites and the insurance operation secured my former income.
By 2005, I entered my first fixed job after maternity leave at the Women's Service Association.
From 2007 until today I am in the state coordination team KiB Children Care operates (which is a lobby for children's rights), incorporated as an independent trainer and event manager for women's advancement projects, gender expert for FEMtech projects and involved in district development project of the city of Graz.
At the same time I studied Interdisciplinary Gender Studies and earned my private pilot license inside.
Back in 2013 I founded the Gender Institute. Furthermore, the annual performance of the vocational orientation day called "Girls in Aviation – flying professions " is one of my projects too.
Since 2015 I am also the ombudswoman for girls and women in Graz.
Chances and opportunities
my chances are rooted in the following factors:
Professional activity in direct sales: good training to grow self-confidence as well as practicing a convincing appearance; increase self-confidence; I have learned to take advantage of contacts and networks.
Fixation on 1 professional theme (gender mainstreaming) with 100% Expertise: networks, contacts, deals -> ombudswoman for girls and women in Graz.
Project "Girls in Aviation": recognition, respect, media interest, offers at a board level (i.e President of the Women Association of Austrian pilots , Executive of the Aero Club Styria, Chairwoman of the Children's Office Styria)
The challenges I had to deal with were:
To find my clear professional goal
To pursue this goal tenaciously, although my partner thought that it is not a promising one
Many years of working at home and with limited space: but this arrangement was of advantage when it came to balance my family with my professional activities
I had to take on multiple jobs simultaneously to secure myself financially
I had to pull through projects which were not financially secured at the time, but in a long term perspective they promised 100% success.
To acquire the respect of men in powerful positions
Open-mindedness, openness, broad thinking, sociability, a certain gift for networking, negotiating skills
Structured and analytical thinking and working, self-organization
Courage to invest
To be at peace with myself, self-confidence, persuasiveness
To be "inspired" and still remain with both feet on the ground
Hints & Tips
You must love your idea and you need to be fully and totally convinced
You need to have a firm grasp in your professional area! Nothing is more embarrassing than being in loss of relevant arguments, facts and figures when selling your idea.
Dress appropriately for important meetings and go for a serious appearance, meaning: stay realistically and factually.
Establish contacts and networks: put yourself in the front row, approach important people, pitch your project and ask for a personal appointment to present your idea > less is more! During the first contact, it's all about, being seen and being heard.
You cannot force anything, some projects need time to grow, and other projects won’t grow no matter what. My experience has shown that both ways lead to your goal. T o let projects go and clear your head means that you are open for new ideas that require your full attention.
Take on a tactical point of view!
Be persistent if you are convinced of something, do not let yourself be intimidated and slowed down - remain respectful and sophisticated.
DELEGATE! Examples? Hire a tax consultant and/or someone for accounting, hire help for cleaning or a domestic help, a gardener, a babysitter, let your partner be of help (!) in the household, childcare and errands.