VIENNA, Austria - October 09, 2019 – Yesterday evening, Karoline Iber, CEO of Vienna University Children’s Office and founder of the initiative “KinderuniWien”, was awarded with the BAWAG P.S.K. Women's Prize at a festive awards ceremony. This is the seventh time that BAWAG P.S.K. Women's Initiative has presented the prize, which is endowed with € 5,000. The award recognizes innovative projects from various fields headed by courageous and committed women.
"The project “KinderuniWien” brings together children from all social backgrounds and motivates them to be curious and eager to learn throughout their lives. Thus, the project initiated by Karoline Iber, which also we as bank strongly supports, delivers a very important message to the next generation: Education is the best investment for the future! Education supports people in making self-determined decisions and – as an example – has a positive influence on how we handle money matters for example. For us it is important to support visionary and remarkable projects in the education sector, which is why we recognize Karoline Iber with the BAWAG P.S.K. Women’s Prize tonight”, pointed out Enver Sirucic, CFO of the BAWAG Group, at the award ceremony.
With its program, the project “KinderuniWien” is one of the largest and most comprehensive projects of its kind in Europe and a role model for many international educational initiatives. For two weeks, seven Viennese universities open their doors to children aged between 7 and 12. The workshops, seminars and lectures provide the young participants with a close look into various scientific areas and let them dive into exciting areas of research work. "The experiences we collected with the project “KinderuniWien” have led to many educational projects in the Vienna University Children's Office, which all have the same goals: Encouraging children to ask critical questions, keeping up children's joy in learning and their creativity, and especially strengthening children who have difficult access to education. I am very happy that BAWAG P.S.K. gives importance to the topic of equal opportunities in education with the Women's Prize 2019, underlining the social responsibility of all of us for this topic," said the prizewinner Karoline Iber.
In his eulogy, Jürgen Czernohorszky, City Councilor for Education, Integration, Youth and Personnel in Vienna, paid tribute to Karoline Iber's innovative strength and wide-ranging commitment to social inclusion and the promotion of diversity at universities: “The project “KinderuniWien” and the Vienna University Children's Office build a bridge between society and university. They give access to universities as exciting and interactive places of learning, which is especially important for children growing up in families for which universities are a foreign place. Karoline Iber and her team always meet the children at eyelevel and deliver an important message: Children are an equal part of our society and have the right to participate. Their voices and opinions must be heard."
For the first time, this year’s event took place at THE ICON VIENNA, the new headquarters of BAWAG Group at Vienna Central Station. Guests from the worlds of business, finance and culture celebrated in festive atmosphere and with a magnificant view over Vienna at night. The award ceremony was followed by a panel discussion, which also focused on education as the best investment in the future. The experts discussed the contribution of educational institutions, politics and business to promote social inclusion, general economic knowledge and equal opportunities.
Promoting innovative projects and brave ideas
Last year, BAWAG P.S.K. recognized Martina Mara, Professor of Robotic Psychology in Linz, for her pioneering research in the field of robotics with the Women’s Prize. Other winners since 2013 include Edeltraud Hanappi-Egger (Rector of Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration), Katharina Norden (founder of Three Coins), Andrea Barschdorf-Hager (CEO of CARE Austria), Andrea Brem (CEO of Vienna Women's Shelters) and Ildiko Merta (scientist at the Vienna University of Technology).
BAWAG P.S.K. Women's Initiative is a network of female experts and managers from all departments of the bank aiming to promote women within the bank and driving the exchange of experience and knowledge within and outside the company. This year – with the support of top-class mentors from the business world – BAWAG Group is organizing a mentoring program for female managers and experts for professional and personal development.
Manfred Rapolter (Head of Communications, Spokesperson)