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April 21, 2024
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Members of Association of Professional Women Engineering Technologists (APWET)

Women engineers advocate equal representation, inclusive policies

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By Tosin Kolade

Association of Professional Women Engineering Technologists (APWET) has emphasised the need for strategic investment and  conducive environment to improve and retain women in science and engineering careers.

The Chairperson of the association, Hajiya Umma Jega, made the call at the inaugural seminar of the association on Thursday, with the theme “Professional Women and Society” in Abuja.

She said the seminar was aimed at exploring the diverse roles of women in technology, addressing technological advancements, innovation, and their significant contributions to society.

According to her, APWET, as the women wing of the Nigerian Association of Technologists in Engineering, is dedicated to promoting professional excellence among engineering personnel, advocating for women and girl-child education.

She said it was also to safeguard the interests of female graduates of engineering technology in the country.

She added that “the event is a significant step toward fostering a supportive community, providing networking opportunities, and encouraging collaboration.

“It is also to create a platform for professional women to connect, share experiences, and thrive in their careers, while maintaining healthy work-life balance.”

Jega thanked all for making the seminar possible, urging participants to learn, connect, and pave the way for a brighter future for professional women in technology.

Dr Elizabeth Eterigho, the Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, Federal University of Technology, Minna, expressed concern over under-representation of women in crucial leadership roles across various sectors in Nigeria.

This absence, she said, contributed to the lack of interest among young girls in engineering and other male-dominated professions.

Eterigho emphasised that boosting women’s representation in scientific leadership roles would enhance diversity, inclusion, and ultimately drive profitability, productivity, and creativity in key economic sectors.

She highlighted the potential to address skill shortages by encouraging more girls to pursue and retain engineering courses and careers.

“There is need to address and end stereotypes affecting women engineering technologies in all positions and developments.

“Infact, 30 per cent of female researchers are women, and it’s sad to note that women and girls are still underrepresented in critical spaces.

“So, the way forward is to be innovative. I am a girls’ rights advocate and I always tell them that they should have the ‘I Can’ mentality’, That is, nothing is impossible for them.

“There is also the need to invest more in women-led research. Also, tiers of government must support women in science to stay put. In fact, many have left because there is no enabling environment.

A Keynote Speaker, Dr Harmony Chimezie-Nwosu, emphasised the crucial need for work-life balance among female engineers, urging them to prioritise their mental well-being.

Recognising the significant contributions of women engineers to the nation’s economy, she also stressed the importance of safeguarding their careers and family life.

Chimezie-Nwosu pointed out that the challenges of balancing work-life, especially in the engineering field, often lead women to exit the sector.

“Juggling multiple roles as mothers, wives, daughters, and professionals pose difficulties,” she said. (NAN)(www.nannews.ng)

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Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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