Stakeholders seek improved female participation in STEM fields
Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Matthew Pwajok, has tasked all stakeholders in the aviation sector, as well as women and advocacy organisations, to inspire or motivate more young girls to embrace Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) as a career.
He said the move would create more opportunities for women and mobilise young girls to take up careers in engineering. Pwajok, who spoke at the launch of Sheengineer 30 per cent project organised by Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) in Lagos, noted that gender diversity and inclusion is the step in the right direction in Nigeria to preserve the industry and make it relevant for future generations.
He said that practical ways to promote gender diversity and inclusion in the aviation industry include removing recruiting and hiring biases, creating and emphasising non-discrimination and inclusion policies, offering inclusive benefits, introducing mentoring programmes and partnering with schools and other organisations.
Also, the grant awardee for the project, Dr. Felicia Agubata, said the project had earned APWEN respectability and its place on the table in the engineering community without depending on financial assistance to execute an impactful project.
She said that the programme would bring the issues of diversity and inclusion, gender parity in workplaces and the need to up-skill women for the work of the future to national relevance.
Chief Executive Officer, Ikeja Electric Plc., Folake Soetan, said the estimated global economic growth expected if women participated in the labour force like men is $172 trillion adding that there is a need to create policies that will encourage involvement of women in workplaces for increased productivity.
Chief Executive Officer, Heirs Holdings Oil & Gas Nig. Ltd, Osayande Igiehon, therefore, urged stakeholders to champion gender inclusion, especially in the technical fields, stemming from benefits derivable and not just to achieve industry or societal correctness.
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