Experts task women engineers on capacity building
To strengthen skills, experts in engineering profession have urged practicing women engineers to invest in training and retrain themselves for relevance in the ever-changing engineering world.
President of Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Dr. Elizabeth Jumoke Eterigho, led the charge at a capacity building workshop under the SheEngineer 30 per cent Club organised by the association for practicing engineers. The workshop was sponsored by Royal Academy of Engineering, Britain.
She explained that engineering offers diverse opportunities to explore and express personal ability, adding that by building skills, practitioners are showing the way to the next generation of women and men, that gender should not be an excuse when it comes to contributing to local and national development.
Eterigho said APWEN as an association believes in gender equality and decided to change the narration of underrepresentation of women in leadership positions, by championing the integration and implementation of 30 per cent females in leadership positions using the aviation, auto-mobile and energy sectors as pilot engineering organisations.
“Knowing that capacity-building is the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that organisations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast changing world, APWEN through this workshop has put in place strategic machinery to achieve gender equality and empower all women in engineering into leadership positions at all levels and prepare the young engineers for such responsibilities.
The Keynote speaker/facilitator, Dr. Evi Visa of Quality/Project Management, University of the West of Scotland, said practicing engineers must map out professional development plan: assess self, set goals, develop strategies, gather resources, create timeline, track progress and revise.
She encouraged practitioners to get further education such as master’s and PhD degrees, submit self for mentorship, seminar, set long and short term goals, carry out SWOT analysis, as well as other professional qualifications.
The Project manager for SheEngineer 30 per cent Club, Dr. Felicia Agubata, said the initiative by APWEN and sponsors would tackle women underrepresentation in the engineering sector and engineering education, skill shortage exacerbated by underrepresentation, gender inequalities in engineering education and practice in Nigeria and gender barriers in accessing engineering as a career for women.
Agubata disclosed that benefits of the scheme include improving diversity and inclusion in STEM-based organisations, drive profitability, productivity, creativity and reduce skill shortage by encouraging more girls to take up STEM-based careers and build engineering talent pipeline with the necessary skills to respond to local challenges.