TU Wien Informatics

20 Years

Women in Informatics

We actively support and encourage women and girls in informatics through a set of initiatives—in school, student life, and their academic careers.

Picture: tomozina1 / stock.adobe.com

Our Aims

The goal of gender balance in informatics is not just a matter for women. It is equally in the interest of men. For example, more and more companies are looking to improve existing labor and research conditions by introducing mixed teams. Our central tasks in the field of women’s advancement are the sustained increase in the proportion of women among scientific staff as well as an increase in the number of female students and graduates. Both are a social goal and a requirement of the economy.

We have a long history of opening doors for women and girls in informatics, from the classroom to the laboratory. We achieve this by considering the different life situations and interests of women and men in research and teaching. The actions we take to foster the advancement of women make an impact and raise awareness in every stage of life.

Actions We Take: In School

To inspire girls at a young age, we offer and participate in low-threshold introductory programs.

To inspire female pupils, we offer and participate in low-threshold introductory programs such as Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCS), Daughter’s Day, FIT info events, techNIKE-Workshops, online mentoring, ADA and its “Diary of a Computer Scientist”, and the dedicated introductory course “Programming For Female First-Year Students”.

Our Programs


In our eduLAB, we develop and offer various educational activities for pupils and teachers. In age-appropriate workshops, we encourage young people to explore the basic principles and methods of informatics playfully. A permanent exhibition, “Abenteuer Informatik,” introduces kids to the fantastic adventure that is informatics through entertaining puzzles, magical tricks, and group activities. The Buddies@School program provides teachers with educational material, didactical methods, and tutoring right in their classrooms.

MOOC: Programming with Processing

Opened in 2017 and part of the eduLAB, our Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC) Programming with Processing 1 and Programming with Processing 2 help all aspiring students make their way into informatics. While the courses were originally intended to phase in first-year students, we widened the MOOCs’ scope to specifically reach girls in school and young women who consider a bachelor program in informatics. Therefore, we put an emphasis on a gender-sensitive design of the courses. Our MOOCs are available at iMooX.at. With a simple and free registration interested persons–above all pupils, lecturers, students of all fields of study as well the general public–can access the MOOCs for free.

Programming for Female First-Year Students

Since not all first-year students bring the same prerequisites from their schools, we offer a preparatory course: Programming for Female First-Year Students. This course is one of our women’s advocacy activities. It offers a week-long intensive introduction to Processing and Java, usually in mid-September. Participants are subsequently introduced to the basics of Java. This interactive and extensive course switches between lectures and practical exercises.

ADA - Algorithmen denken anders

The ADA project stands for the creative engagement with computational thinking that is increasingly crucial for innovation and growth. One of its activities is the “Diary of a Female Computer Scientist”, a workshop held at schools that inspires girls between the ages of 13 and 16 for technology and informatics. Coordinated by TU Wien, we collaborate with TU Graz, JKU Linz, and the Universities of Klagenfurt and Salzburg.

TU Wien Programs

Daughter’s Day

On the annual TU Wien Daughter’s Day, schoolgirls between the ages of 11 and 16 have the opportunity to gain authentic insights into our everyday life in informatics and technology.


As part of TU Wien’s techNIKE program,we offer summer workshops for girls aged 10 to 14 to get them excited about technology.

Online Mentoring for Female Students

With TU Wien’s Online Mentoring , schoolgirls and first-year students can find out more about the day-to-day student life at TU Wien from advanced students.

Other Programs

FIT Career Orientation Days for Girls

For schoolgirls between 15 and 19 we offer workshops as part of the FIT Career Orientation Days for Girls, where we provide insights into and information about our bachelor programs, research fields, and the professional life at the faculty.

Actions We Take: In Student Life

We support our female students with measures that highlight and reward their excellence, raise gender awareness, and involve them in research.

We support and promote our female students with measures that aim at highlighting and rewarding female excellence, and with raising awareness among students and faculty alike: We award the annual Siemens Award for Excellence and the Helmut Veith Stipend to excellent female students, hold lectures on gender awareness and offer dedicated student research assistantships.

Our Programs

Siemens Award for Excellence

Since 2014 and in generous cooperation with Siemens AG Austria, outstanding female students of both bachelor and master programs are honored with the annual Siemens Award for Excellence. The grant, endowed with € 1.000, is given to the best female students of the academic year at the prestigious Epilog event. Students do not apply for this award since the sole criteria are progress in studies, weighted grade average, and acquired ECTS.

Helmut Veith Stipend

The Helmut Veith Stipend is awarded annually to motivated female students in the field of informatics who pursue (or plan to pursue) one of our english-language master programs. Students who are awarded the Helmut Veith Stipend, receive € 6.000 annually for a duration of up to two years and TU Wien’s tuition fees are waived. It is dedicated to the memory of the eponymous outstanding computer scientist and colleague who worked in the fields of logic in computer science, computer-aided verification, software engineering, and computer security.

Undergraduate Assistantships

To give qualified and interested female students the opportunity to provide an initial introduction to research, we allocate positions for undergraduate assistants. Each research unit can apply for a maximum of one such position per year, and since 2016, seven such assistantships have been created.

Involve Female Students in Research

We specifically address individual female students to involve them as predoctoral assistants in research projects, bring them to conferences, and to promote their potential career with us.

Strategy And Teaching

Causal Research: Fixing the Leaky Informatics Pipe

A Herculean task is fixing the leaky pipe that are our bachelor programs: Just under 20% of first-year students are female. Even worse: Only half of those eventually graduate. Based on the Strategy Document on the Advancement of Women in Informatics (2016) , we are therefore planning a meaningful empirical investigation, which shall provide information about causes, falsify or verify existing assumptions, and enable us to counteract.

Gender-sensitive Teaching

To keep female students, we implement gender-sensitive and inclusive teaching, which refers equally to the interests and topics of the heterogeneous student group, especially of female and male students. In the first step, we survey the status quo of the technical methodology in select representative first-year courses. The result will form the foundation for a catalog of ideas to develop productive gender-sensitive teaching methods and contents. The module “Transferable Skills” of the informatics curricula shall help our students develop qualifications that play a significant role in everyday professional life and go beyond the typical technical knowledge and skills. Since the 1990s, this catalog has included courses in the field of gender awareness.

Actions We Take: In Research

We are strongly committed to promoting women in research, and will continue to push for gender equity in informatics. Talent has no gender.

We are convinced that to bring more women into our faculty, we need to take a variety of actions. We regularly post job openings specifically dedicated to the promotion of female researchers. Since 2006, we have filled more than ten post-doctoral and created four doctoral positions. We have established a tenure track position exclusively for women, introduced a mentoring program for female researchers, promote women’s participation at conferences, and implemented a women’s quota for guest professorships.

Our Actions

We are convinced that to bring more women into our faculty, we need to take a variety of actions. We regularly post job openings specifically dedicated to the promotion of female researchers. Since 2006, we have filled more than ten post-doctoral and created four doctoral positions. We have established a tenure track position exclusively for women, introduced a mentoring program for female researchers, promote women’s participation at conferences, and implemented a women’s quota for guest professorships.

Our Programs

Pre- and Post-Doctoral Positions for Women

Since May 2006, we regularly offer pre- and post-doctoral assistant positions dedicated specifically to women. This special measure has already helped to increase the proportion of women among the scientific staff of our faculty by creating over 10 post- and 4 pre-doctoral assistant positions. According to our Plan on Women’s Advancement in Informatics , post-doctoral positions shall continue to be explicitly advertised for women. We have set ourselves the goal of being able to announce such dedicated post-doctoral positions every two to three years.

Tenure Track Positions

In a TU Wien competition, the faculties were called upon to submit sustainable gender equality concepts. Our concept paper convinced the rectorate and in 2016, we have been awarded a tenure track position dedicated exclusively to women. In 2017, we were able to announce yet another such position.

Promoting Role Models

We bring young female pre-doctoral assistants to the forefront and position them as role models. One measure of this is the offer to partially cover the funding of conference participation from faculty funds if a woman gives the lecture.

A Women’s Quota for Guest Professorships

For guest professors, i.a. at the TU Wien Informatics Doctoral School, a women’s quota has been implemented. At least one of 5 positions shall be awarded to a woman.

Gender Competence as Professional Requirement

We regard gender competence as a central and important quality in our faculty. We therefore explicitly require a demonstrable methodological and theoretical competence in gender-relevant qualities in all our job openings, especially for professorship vacancies.

Raising Awareness Among Our Faculty

In order to raise awareness of the topic of promoting women among our faculty, we need to further develop our members’ gender competence. For this purpose, they are encouraged to actively participate in competence workshops at least once per year and unit. Over the next few years, the foundation of gender competence within our faculty shall be continuously and sustainably developed.

TU Wien Programs

Online Mentoring

We are actively involved in TU Wien Online Mentoring, our university’s mentoring program for female scientists.