PALFINGER: Inspire Young Talent for Technical Careers with STEM Campaigns


Recruiting and retaining skilled workers is essential for every company. Especially in industry. With campaigns such as the “MINT Girls Challenge” (STEM Girls Challenge), “Neugierig ins Leben” (Curious Into Life), the Girls' Day in Upper Austria and the “Kindertag der Industrie” (Children's Industry Day), PALFINGER focuses on promoting technical learning at an early stage. These initiatives offer children numerous opportunities to discover the exciting aspects of science, technology, engineering and mathematics for themselves.

At PALFINGER, more and more young women are pushing into technical professions that were previously male domains. Emilia Bruckmann, for example, is a materials technician in Lengau who puts all forms of metal through the toughest tests to enhance product safety. “Chemistry and physics were my favorite subjects at school,” says Bruckmann. At PALFINGER, she turned her passion into a career. That is what the “STEM Girls Challenge” is about: to promote interest in technical careers among girls and young women between the ages of four and 19.

As part of this PALFINGER supported initiative, participants have the opportunity to actively and independently solve challenges by applying their knowledge of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). And the figures speak for themselves: the “STEM Girls Challenge” received more than 150 entries from over 900 girls and groups of girls from all over Austria. The best ideas, experiments and workpieces were presented on April 24 in Vienna at Palais Wertheim and were awarded prizes by Women's Minister Susanne Raab, Minister of Labor Martin Kocher, and IV Vice President Sabine Herlitschka. Maria Koller, Chief Human Resources Officer at PALFINGER, presented one of the twelve awards. “It was great to see how delighted the winners were to receive their awards. At PALFINGER, we are proud to support the ‘STEM Girls Challenge’,” says Koller. As an additional highlight, Maria Koller invited the winners on a tour of the PALFINGER site in Lengau.

More women for STEM professions

Demographic developments are exacerbating the current shortage of skilled workers on the labor market. That is why it is essential to get young people excited about technical careers at an early age. Especially young women, who are still underrepresented in these jobs. A situation that can be changed. “As a technical trainer at PALFINGER, I work with young, motivated people every day and see their enthusiasm for STEM subjects and their high level of commitment,” says Verena Lekl, a trained process engineer, about her practical experience. Maria Koller adds: “These girls are immensely important for digitalization. They often deal with technology differently and have a communicative and collaborative approach. They want to work with people, which is what STEM jobs offer: Working for and with people — supported by machines. We want to make this even more visible and tangible. That is why we at PALFINGER consciously promote talented young women, whether they are apprentices, students or graduates.”

Children as the future of tomorrow

PALFINGER supports a wide range of campaigns. On “Girls' Day” in Upper Austria on April 25, young girls were able to actively experience technical careers at PALFINGER up close at the Lengau site. The key objective here is to promote girls' interest in technical and skilled jobs.

The company also encouraged young girls to discover their interests and talents at the "Curious Into Life" event at PALFINGER's site in Kasern. Supported by the province of Salzburg and the Department for Women and Young People, 29 children between the ages of four and six took part in a varied program on April 25 to explore a wide variety of professional environments. There are different stations where the girls were shown how each type of crane works and how they are operated using the remote controls. They experienced marine cranes, access platforms and truck-mounted forklifts in action and took over control of the products using the PALFINGER remote control system. A first step towards generating long-term interest in the opportunities of an increasingly diverse working world.

Digitalization and Industry 4.0 (IoT) are opening up more and more new job profiles in STEM subjects, which PALFINGER draws attention to on “Children's Industry Day”. Together with other companies, PALFINGER is offering a workshop on June 25, where children can gain insights into the company in a fun way. Initiated by the Federation of Austrian Industries, “Children’s Industry Day” gives children and young people an insight into the many exciting aspects of STEM jobs.

“We have the expertise and the role models who promote the outlook of a new working world. This knowledge gives young people the courage for tomorrow. We would like to encourage girls and women to join our team and shape the technological world with us, but also for us,” emphasizes Maria Koller, CHRO PALFINGER.

Perfection in Action

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PALFINGER is an international technology and mechanical engineering company and the world’s leading producer and provider of innovative crane and lifting solutions. With around 12,700 employees (without contract workers), 30 manufacturing sites and a worldwide sales and service network of around 5,000 service points, PALFINGER creates added value from the challenges of its customers. PALFINGER is consistently continuing on its course as a provider of innovative, complete solutions that deliver increased efficiency and better operability, while leveraging the potential of digitalization along the entire production and value chain.

PALFINGER AG has been listed on the Vienna stock exchange since 1999, and in 2023 achieved record revenue of EUR 2.45 billion.



Katja Pötsch | Head of Public Relations & Executive Communication | PALFINGER AG
M +43 664 889 69 065  |