International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work
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International Handbook on Diversity Management at Work

Country Perspectives on Diversity and Equal Treatment

Edited by Alain Klarsfeld

Managing and developing diversity is on the political and business agenda in many countries; therefore diversity management has become an area of knowledge and practice in its own right. Yet all too often it is referred to as a unifying concept, as if it were to be interpreted uniformly across all cultures and countries. The contributors to this volume expertly examine the relationship between diversity management and equality legislation within the different participating countries’ national contexts. They advocate that such separation and sequencing between equality at work and diversity management is far from natural.
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Chapter 2: Austrian Perspectives on Diversity Management and Equal Treatment: Regulations, Debates, Practices and Trends

Regine Bendl, Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger and Roswitha Hofmann


Regine Bendl, Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger and Roswitha Hofmann Introduction Austria has a long history of being encompassed by a larger political regime, first as part of the Roman Empire, then under Habsburg rule as member of the Austrian–Hungarian Empire. This was followed by a brief period as a republic, then as part of the German Nazi regime. Throughout these periods Austria was embedded in highly culturally diverse environments. Since gaining its independence as a neutral state in 1955, Austria’s reputation has oscillated between a rather socio-romantic transfigured state defined by the waltz and Mozart, and a right-wing, conservative heartland, which disregards liberal and open-minded thinking. In order to provide a more complex and accurate picture of contemporary Austria, our text first offers a historical framing, which has shaped scientific and political debates during recent decades. In addition to providing structural data, we present an overview of the current political debates and the legal situation for diversity management and equal treatment. Next we focus on the university and practicebased diversity management discourse and research findings on the implementation of Austrian diversity management in for-profit and non-profit organizations. Specifically, this chapter will indicate the extent to which diversity management has been established in terms of knowledge, competences and practices in different Austrian contexts. Finally, we conclude our contribution with an outlook on future trends and driving forces in Austria. Historical contexts and current political discussions on equal rights and diversity in Austria Since the current Anti-discrimination Acts of the European Union1 consider...

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