Yesterday evening the 10th anniversary of the VERBUND Women’s Stipend was celebrated at VERBUND headquarters. Chairman of the Board Wolfgang Anzengruber presented the award to three outstanding female TU students. The winners can enjoy customised support for their careers over the course of one academic year. On the occasion of the anniversary, for the first time a Special Stipend was also announced for students with disabilities.
The proportion of women in technical professions is still minimal. By awarding the VERBUND Women’s Stipend, with which three versatile and committed female students are supported for one year, VERBUND is consciously contributing to promoting talented women in their technical training and offering them a chance for additional personal and specialised training to complement their basic university training.
"Excellent achievements arise from the interplay of diverse talents. Particularly in the technical sector, however, women are still underrepresented. With the VERBUND Women’s Stipend, for the last 10 years we have been encouraging talented women and supporting them with their technical training. We see diversity as a valuable contribution to long-term corporate success and would like to attract more qualified female technicians to VERBUND," emphasises VERBUND Chairman of the Board Wolfgang Anzengruber.
On the occasion of the 10th anniversary, a Special Stipend was also announced for students with disabilities. "Diversity is just another word for opportunity. VERBUND has set itself the goal of actively promoting diversity in the company in order to increase the economic corporate success and to promote a constructive market- and customer-oriented corporate culture. At VERBUND, Diversity Management is established practice – we have even been certified for it by TÜV AUSTRIA since the beginning of the year. On the occasion of the 10th VERBUND Women’s Stipend, we therefore also announced a Special Stipend for students with disabilities," as Anzengruber explains the motives behind it.
"Nearly a third of all students at the TU Vienna are female, which is a historically high value. But there are also fields of study where we do not achieve this percentage. In the so-called ‘engineering sciences’ such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and civil engineering, women can even now be considered ‘pioneers’. Creating positive and career-enhancing conditions for these women and motivating girls and young women to start technical studies is a special concern of the TU Vienna. Scholarships such as the VERBUND Women’s Stipend support this goal in the best way. We thank VERBUND for supporting us so actively with its Women’s Stipend which has been very successful for many years;" says Michaela Unger, Managing Director of the TU Career Center.
The three winners convinced the selection jury with excellent academic performances, practical and international experience, and with great social competence. Bachelor candidate Barbara Sarközi, Master candidate Konstanze Altenburger and PhD candidate Simone Schuler are the proud recipients of the VERBUND Women’s Stipend. The Special Stipend goes to Said Awad.
Bachelor stipend recipient Barbara Sarközi is studying Software & Information Engineering. What fascinates her about her field of study? "I’m especially fascinated that in a sense, all tasks can be solved through logical reasoning. What excites me the most about my field of study is programming, particularly the fact that I get visible results from the hours of meticulous work," enthuses Sarközi about the technology. She would definitely advise women interested in technology to choose a technical profession, even if they are hesitant about it, because women are certainly in demand and it is really fun to be active in a technical field.
Master stipend recipient Konstanze Altenburger is studying Civil and Structural Engineering. "Already as a child I was interested in technology and wanted to know why and how things work as they do. Visits to museums of technology and to various power plants fueled this interest further," Altenburger explains the beginnings of her interest in technology. She applied for the VERBUND Women’s Stipend because it offers opportunities for further development, and this already during the application process. It can be viewed as preparation for similar situations that one will experience as part of a professional career.
PhD stipend recipient Simone Schuler is an Electrical Engineering student. "What especially appealed to me was the aspect of personal development, since that typically remains more in the background during studies. In addition, VERBUND is a company that is known and respected throughout Austria. Being able to include the stipend in my CV was therefore another motivating factor," Schuler explains her reasons for applying for the VERBUND Stipend. She would like to use the stipend for courses in rhetorics, further training in project management, and to improve her language skills. She sees a particular benefit especially in undergoing further education beyond subject-specific boundaries.
Said Awad is the winner of the Special Stipend. He knew already as a child that he wanted to be a mechanical engineer someday. It was clear to him even then that he wanted to live out his great interest in machines in his professional career. For this reason he started his studies in Mechanical Engineering at the TU Vienna. But they were interrupted by a serious accident. Because of a cervical fracture, he is now paralysed to a great degree. In the winter semester of 2018 he would like to return to his studies, and the stipend will help him get started.
Comprehensive multi-step selection process
40 highly qualified female TU students applied for the VERBUND Women’s Stipend. The applicants first completed a telephone interview. The best qualified participants were invited to a hearing. During this selection process, the three winners impressed a top-class jury composed of HR experts and top VERBUND executives as well as TU Career Center experts, within the context of presentations and team exercises, among other things.
Customised career planning
VERBUND and the TU Career Center will now develop specially tailored support packages for each of the three Women’s Stipend recipients and the winner of the Special Stipend. These packages include selected conferences as well as seminars on personal development. In addition, the students will be reimbursed for material costs, for example specialist books or travel costs, plus the semester ticket for public transportation.
Photo material is available at: www.verbund.com/mediathek