APWEN encourages students to embrace engineering as career
Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) has charged students in secondary schools to develop a career path in engineering as part of its efforts to increase the number of women engineers.
The association, in its programme, ‘Mayen Adetiba technical boot camp for girls’, with the theme, “Structural integrity – the role of building materials”, stressed the need to increase the number of girls in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) in schools.
APWEN president, Elizabeth Jumoke Eterigho, said the three-day programme is to encourage girls to start early, adding: “They will think about engineering as a career option. We need to catch them young.”
She explained that the programme was named after one of the association’s courageous founders, Mayen Adetiba, who has soared in the engineering profession, stating: “We need an increase in the number of women in engineering as engineering is a problem-solving profession.”
Eterigho added: “The development of any nation has to do with technology. Technology is the application of science to meet human needs and if you look at it, there is an evolvement in technology. It is the role of the engineers to meet up with technologies, designs and so on. We must embrace engineering because it is the bedrock of development and it has a ripple effect on the economy of the nation.”
The second secretary general of APWEN, Engr. Funmilayo Kadiri added that engineering is one of the ways Nigerian can actually develop.
“A lot of engineering work done in this country are not done by Nigerians, we don’t have enough capacity we need young people who will come with innovation, a different way of seeing things, thereby women have to be involve because men are not always conscious of sustainability, but women think about the family, the children. Women engineers think a little different from men engineers, we are looking at the future and the sustainability,” she said.
Deputy President of Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Margaret Oguntala, decried on the low number of girls in STEM.
“There is this feeling which is not so that engineering and STEM generally is for men, because it is more tasking intellectually but some of us have proved to the world that engineering is about the intellect, men are not necessarily more intelligent than women and because of the socio cultural issues that we have and the challenges of believe, many girls don’t go into engineering. So we are doing this to encourage girls in STEM and engineering in particular.
Oguntala further urged the government to make a deliberate effort to encourage young girls to go into STEM and particularly engineering, saying “in that way, we will have more of them because women have been proven to be more focus in whatever they do, to be more determine and diligent so if we have more of them in courses like engineering, in STEM then we would be investing in a better future in Nigeria and indeed in the world.”