• Martina Mara, robot psychologist from Linz, wins sixth BAWAG P.S.K. Women's Prize
  • ASFINAG awards prize for youth programming project "Jugend hackt" at joint event
  • Robot Pepper greeted around 80 guests from the business and financial worlds and society


VIENNA, Austria – October 19, 2018 – Yesterday, the BAWAG P.S.K. Women's Initiative invited guests to the award of the sixth BAWAG P.S.K. Women's Prize, which recognizes innovation projects and included a grant of EUR 5,000 for the first time this year.

Enver Sirucic, CFO of BAWAG Group, congratulated this year's winner, university professor Martina Mara. "We wish to spotlight the commitment and courage of women in initiating innovative projects and addressing key topics for our future. Martina Mara is both a model and pioneer in her groundbreaking research into robotics. That is why she is the winner of this year's BAWAG P.S.K. Women's Prize“, said Sirucic, explaining why the robotics researcher was chosen.

At most panel discussions about robotics, I’m the only female participant. I proactively address this fact on stage, because I think more women should be encouraged to go for jobs in the technology sector. That’s one of the reasons why I feel proud to be recognized with the “BAWAG P.S.K. Women’s Award tonight”, Martina Mara said at the award ceremony. She is a technology psychologist and researches at the “Linz Institute of Technology” (LIT) at Johannes Kepler University. Together with her team, she is examining how we experience robots and artificial intelligence: “In my job, I take a look at what needs to be done that humans feel com-fortable about technological progress and to implement insights from psychological research into the creation process of robots."

During the event, the humanoid girl robot Pepper, which was provided by the Austrian grocer MERKUR, gave a glimpse of the impressive technological progress that has been made in this field and greeted the roughly 80 guests from the worlds of business, finance, and society at the entrance to the main banking hall at BAWAG P.S.K.

 ASFINAG distinguishes project for more young programmers

At the event, ASFINAG presented the “ASFINAG Women's Promotional Prize” for the first time. ASFINAG recognized the project “Jugend hackt” which was launched in 2013 to promote up-and-coming-programmers in the German-speaking countries. The initiative has a focus on educating girls and women in technology and offers workshops in Linz. “With this award, we would like to emphasis the importance of pro-moting and supporting girls and women in their professional lifes”, said ASFINAG’s board directors Karin Zipperer and Klaus Schierhackl,this year we decided to recognize the crucial work of “Jugend hackt” initiator Magdalena Reiter and manager Ingo Leindecker. They encourage girls and women to seek for jobs in the technology sector and at the same time enhance equal opportunities.

Outstanding laureates

The BAWAG P.S.K. Women’s Initiative is an association comprising female experts and managers from all areas of the bank aiming to promote women in the bank and drive an exchange of experience, knowledge and networking within and outside of the company. The BAWAG P.S.K. Women’s Mentoring Program is organized on a regular basis to support female employees, experts, and female managers in their professional and personal development. The idea to organize a joint award event was created during last year’s mentoring program, as Tamara Kapeller, head of the Non-Financial Risk Management & Regulatory Compliance unit at BAWAG Group and member of the initiative, explained: “For the very first time, female BAWAG P.S.K. employ-ees, who participated in our “Women’s Mentoring Business Program”, were accompanied by external men-tors. ASFINAG CEO Klaus Schierhackl was one of them. Together we created the idea of organizing a joint event to recognize outstanding initiatives and projects for women.”

Last year, the BAWAG P.S.K. Women's Prize was awarded to university professor Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger, who was the first woman to be appointed as director of the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The winners since 2013 also include Katharina Norden, the founder and managing director of the financial educa-tion project Three Coins, Andrea Barschdorf-Hager (CEO, CARE Österreich), Andrea Brem (managing director of the Wiener Frauenhäuser counseling center for women), and Ildiko Merta, scientist at the Vienna University of Technology.


Manfred Rapolter (Head of Communications, Spokesperson)

Tel: +43 (0) 5 99 05-31210

Henriette Mußnig 
(Press Officer)

Tel: +43 (0) 5 99 05-32086

Doris Unterrainer
(Communications Specialist)
Tel: +43 (0) 5 99 05-32084

Press release (PDF)

BAWAG P.S.K. Frauenpreis
BAWAG P.S.K. Frauenpreis
BAWAG P.S.K. Frauenpreis
BAWAG P.S.K. Frauenpreis
BAWAG P.S.K. Frauenpreis
BAWAG P.S.K. Frauenpreis

Photocredits: BAWAG P.S.K./APA-Fotoservice