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What drives young female researchers


Image credit: United Nations - UN Women/YIHUI YUAN

AIT depends on the best employees and must be an attractive employer. In this context, the promotion of diversity and equality is of particular importance. On the occasion of the "International Day of Women and Girls in Science" on February 11, we present eight young female researchers who are ingenious in their research fields and who are taking AIT a big step forward in many respects.

Employees are the most important factor for any company, especially in times of immense international competition. This is all the more true for a research and technology organization that plays a prominent role on the international innovation stage. "Science is becoming increasingly multidisciplinary. It takes interdisciplinary teams with different mindsets and needs to consider and integrate all facets of a development in a timely manner. This is only possible in mixed teams - interdisciplinary and intercultural as well as with different genders," explains Elke Guenther, head of the Center for Health & Bioresources and currently gender officer at AIT. 

Female researchers in the early stages of their careers make a significant contribution to this: working as diploma students, doctoral candidates, post docs and junior scientists, they are part of the backbone of science and take important steps forward in their respective fields of work. 

Gender equality and the empowerment of women are not only important for fair and equal participation in science, society and politics. Women also make a significant contribution to solving our major challenges for the future and achieving the internationally agreed development goals.

While women make up half of the world's population, they are less than 30 percent (2019) represented in global research. According to the UN, numerous studies have found that women publish less in STEM fields, are paid less for their research, and do not advance as far in their careers as men. To provide women and girls with equal access and full participation in the field of science, and to further strengthen their role in research, the UN has declared February 11 as the "International Day of Women and Girls in Science."

The day of action is titled: "It is time to acknowledge contributions. It is time to open opportunities." In keeping with this motto, we introduce you below to eight exciting young female researchers at AIT, their visions and their impact. 


Junior Scientist, Chemist and Laboratory Manager 


My Impact: Develop state-of-the-art rechargeable magnesium batteries to make our world more sustainable.

My Vision: Revolutionize the concept of "energy storage" for a sustainable future.


Junior Scientist, Agricultural Economist

My Impact: Enabling innovative solutions by getting different actors talking to each other and breaking down barriers.

My vision: More cross-border, cross-sector projects.


Junior Scientist, Spatial Planner


My Impact: To increase road safety for (unprotected) people through new systems and forms of mobility and to create real benefits.

My Vision: Vision Zero, i.e. a world without traffic accidents with fatalities or serious injuries.


Junior Scientist, Data Scientist


My Impact: To develop AI-based methods for the (early) detection of hate speech - an important factor against discrimination.

My vision: To create awareness and curb hate on the web with transparent approaches.


Junior Scientist, Cognitive Scientist.

My Impact: to develop AI algorithms for better, automated analysis of brain activity.

My vision: to more closely intertwine medicine and technology to more rapidly treat diseases such as dementia or epilepsy.


PhD Candidate, Computer Scientist


My Impact: To develop mechanisms to automatically detect disinformation even earlier.

My vision: To support users with our tools to correctly classify information on the web.


Junior Research Engineer, Energy Engineer

My Impact: to set up simulation and calculation models to evaluate energy systems in order to contribute to 100% renewable electricity in Austria by 2030.

My Vision: To make sustainable measures for energy generation more profitable and thus drive the energy transition.


Junior Scientist, Cognitive Scientist 


My Impact: To develop participatory co-creation methods for socially sustainable technologies that actively involve users in the design process. 

My Vision: Socially relevant research that strengthens inclusive technology development and is used, for example, in medical first aid.

Strategic advancement of women at AIT

Equality of all genders has a fixed place in AIT's corporate understanding - as an organization in which equal opportunities, fairness, communicative openness, empowerment and committed participation in the design of processes and structures are of great importance. It is a binding goal of AIT to particularly promote women and to support them in their personal advancement across all career paths. This is considered a management task that is shared across all hierarchical levels. "Through its ongoing Gender & Diversity initiatives, AIT is actively contributing to sealing its own leaky pipeline, creating an environment that enables individual women's careers and empowers women. We have already achieved a lot, but there is still a lot to do," Guenther said.

In 2020, the AIT Equality Measures Program received the "equalitA" seal of approval for the internal advancement of women from the Federal Ministry for Digitalization and Economic Location. This recognizes companies that promote women within the company, ensure gender equality within the company and promote and make visible women's careers.