Background & causes

The test:

The “Implicit Association Test” (IAT) was originally developed by male and female researchers at the University of Washington, University of Virginia, Harvard University and Yale University as a tool to investigate the unconscious parts of human thinking and feeling. It is a way of measuring implicit or automatic associations. The test on the category of “gender” is particularly relevant in relation to the issues of equality discussed on this website. You can test your own associations at


The magic trick:

“Women in science, it’s a little like being a magician - take a look at the upper levels of the occupational ladder in science and technology: women disappear!” Janez Potočnik (2009)





[Translate to English:]

Quelle: How to keep Women (and Men) in Science? Petra Rudolf, Zernike Institue for Advanced Materials, University of Groningen, The Netherlands, 2013

Factors contributing to the “disappearance” of women

Several factors have been named for the “disappearance” of women from the academic hierarchy. Firstly, women are affected more strongly than men by the lack of support for emerging researchers. The consequences of career breaks due to parenthood, an unfairly negative evaluation of women's professional performances and exclusion from relevant networks are further reasons why women are not being recruited according to their skills and qualifications.

Figure from MAPPING THE MAZE: Getting more Women to the top in research. Direcotrate General for Research, Brussels, 2008


Distribution of women and men at TU Wien


Data basis: personal data relating to the 2016 calendar year, student data from the 2015/16 academic year;
Sources: TU Insight (personal data) and Unidata (student data); details