As we celebrate International Women’s Month much focus has been placed on the accomplishments of women around world. In an inspiring twist, WomEng, a non-profit organization that was established ten years ago, aims to encourage young females to achieve their goals and become active members of society through the engineering field.
Founder of WomEng, Nadia Moosajee explained that organization has developed ‘GirlEng’, a programme at high school level for girls. These programmes are directed toward encouraging young girls to obtain engineering degrees.
At university level, the organisation has developed an innovation challenge that takes place every July. Moosagee further explained that WomEng has developed numerous leadership programmes for females that work in the engineering industry.
“We have been so successful in South Africa that we launched in Kenya three years ago. And this year we will go to Rwanda, Nigeria and Mauritius.”
Moosagee stated that females are deterred from entering the engineering field due to “the perception that it’s a man’s world,” further noting that families fear that engineers are sent to work in areas “far away.”
Within certain sectors of engineering, such as mining, individuals are sent to work away from home. Today, however, engineers mainly work within design officers and labs. The nature of engineering has, therefore, changed substantially.
“Engineering is such a wonderful field, there is so many different avenues that you can go into with an engineering degree.”
Moosagee further notes that unless an engineer works on a plant, working as an engineer allows individuals to work regular office hours.
She explained that engineers are increasingly being recruited by other industries since engineers are known to be “good at problem solving”. Moosagee further stated that many engineers have been employed as investment bankers based on their approach to problem solving.
Engineering students are concerned about limited employment. She, therefore, encourages students to apply to graduate programmes at least six months prior graduating.
Moosagee further notes that graduates need to invest in themselves find good mentors and work toward their futures.
“Follow your passion and do something that you love!”
On the 7 May 2016, WomEng will be hosting a GirlEng information session in Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg, and Polokwane
For more information or advice, please visit: www.WomEng.org
VOC (Thakira Desai)