TU Wien Informatics

20 Years

TU Wien Informatics Receives Europe-wide Equality Award

  • By Theresa Aichinger-Fankhauser (edt.)
  • 2022-10-27
  • Women in Informatics

Our successful initiatives for women in informatics have been honored with the Minerva Informatics Equality Award 2022.

Dean Gerti Kappel received the award on behalf of the faculty
Dean Gerti Kappel received the award on behalf of the faculty
Picture: Fabian Hammerl

Since 2016, the Minerva Informatics Equality Award has sought to celebrate successful initiatives that have had a measurable impact on women’s careers in informatics research and education. Organized by Informatics Europe and sponsored by Google, the Minerva Award was presented at a ceremony on October 25, 2022, during the 18th European Computer Science Summit (ECSS 2022) in Hamburg, Germany.

Gerti Kappel, Dean of TU Wien Informatics, received the Award on behalf of the Faculty and presented the scope and impact of their gender-equality initiatives. She declared, “With tailored funding, mentoring programs, dual-career support, and a family-friendly working environment, TU Wien Informatics constantly improves its gender balance. With 25% female full professors, our faculty allocates special funds for Ph.D. and postdoctoral positions for women and implements a tenure-track program for women academics. Since 2017, we have hired six female tenure-track professors, yielding a 54% gender quota on the tenure-track level. We are in the process of doubling our current female tenure track positions in the near future.” As the first female dean in the history of TU Wien, Gerti Kappel feels especially grateful that not only TU Wien Informatics but TU Wien as a whole is honored with this year’s Minerva Award. She is convinced that “the excellence program led by TU Wien’s Rector Sabine Seidler to promote high-potential female researchers is key in developing the careers of our female faculty.”

Laura Kovács, Professor of TU Wien Informatics, also expresses her gratitude for the Award. “We believe that the large proportion of women in our faculty, including leading roles, serves as a role model for any further activity in promoting gender equality at TU Wien Informatics and beyond. We carry out gender-sensitive hiring procedures and offer extensive work-life balance solutions, including on-site child care, flexible working hours, relocation support, and travel stipends. Our gender-equality initiatives are a central part of the faculty’s development plan, aiming to further improve gender balance on all levels of seniority. This award encourages us to further push our endeavors, creating an equal and diverse academic work environment for the generations of researchers to come.”

Recruit, Promote, Retain

Professor Karima Boudaoud (Université Côte d’Azur, France), Co-chair of this year’s Award Committee, congratulated the Award winners. She said, “the Award Committee was pleased to receive a diverse range of applications that addressed the issues around developing the careers of female faculty. The applications made clear that there are a number of different barriers that can impede and deter women from progressing in their academic careers. These range from stereotypes and a lack of role models through difficulties in achieving work-life balance to open problems of bullying and harassment. Collectively the applications articulated mechanisms to address all these challenges. In completing our evaluation, our Committee assessed each application against the clarity of objectives, evidence of impact, sustainability, and the extent to which the initiative can serve as a template for other departments and organizations.”

“Our Committee particularly valued TU Wien Informatics’ strong faculty commitment within their project, its sustained nature, and the demonstrable results to recruit, promote and retain female faculty,” Boudaoud added.

The Minerva Award is sponsored by Google and carries a prize of 5,000 EUR for the winner to carry out further work on promoting gender equality. This year, TU Wien Informatics was part of a double win with the Gender-equality and Anti-harassment Committees at IRISA and Inria Center of the University of Rennes. To celebrate the Award’s success, Google has generously doubled the prize this year to a total of 10,000 EUR, where each winner received a prize of 5,000 EUR to carry on their excellent initiatives. “Google is proud to support the Minerva Informatics Equality Award again and congratulates the winners on their achievements”, declares Dr. Beate List, Program Manager for CS Education at Google and alumna of TU Wien Informatics.

About the Minerva Informatics Equality Award

The Minerva Informatics Equality Award, organized by Informatics Europe and sponsored by Google, recognizes best practices in Departments or Faculties of European Universities and Research Labs that encourage and support women’s careers in Informatics research and education. On a three-year cycle, the award focuses each year on a different stage of the career pipeline: developing the careers of female faculty, supporting the transition for Ph.D. and postdoctoral researchers into faculty positions, and encouraging female students to enroll in Computer Science/Informatics programs and retaining them. The winners are selected by a prominent team of international experts in an evaluation process that run each year from May to August.

About Informatics Europe

Informatics Europe represents the academic and research community in Informatics (or Computer Science) in Europe. It brings together university departments and research laboratories, creating a strong voice to safeguard and shape quality research and education in Informatics. With over 160 member institutions across 33 countries, Informatics Europe promotes common positions and acts on common priorities.

Curious about our other news? Subscribe to our news feed, calendar, or newsletter, or follow us on social media.