Young aspiring female engineers motivated

Creating the next generation of engineering leaders in society
WomEng works internationally, developing targeted programmes and interventions to address the severe shortage of women in engineering.
Michelline Nawatises
Last week, a workshop was held in Windhoek for 240 girls in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The workshop, which took place at at the NamPower Convention Centre, is part of a three-year partnership to engage 10 000 girls and women in STEM by 2030. It was hosted by the Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation in collaboration with WomEng, a non-profit subsidiary of WomHub.

The workshop provided over 200 high school girls with an opportunity to learn about future careers in STEM, and provide them with a chance to engage with women engineers by asking them their burning questions about a day in the life of an engineer.

The event included engineers from Debmarine Namibia, professionals from the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) and the University of Namibia (Unam) and young women engineers from the Southern Africa Fellowship.

The keynote speaker was education ministry deputy executive director Edda Bohn, who stressed the importance of strengthening girls’ participation in STEM subjects at primary and secondary school level.

Daniel Kali, country representative of De Beers, said the group is delighted to continue its partnership with WomEng to help unlock the full interest and participation of girls in STEM careers.

“As the global leader in diamonds, we know that the world’s sparkle can only be fully illuminated when all members of society have equal and unhindered access to opportunities.”

Meanwhile, Brent Eiseb, the chairperson of the Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation, said their vision is to accelerate economic inclusion and support diverse voices to help shape the future of business, communities and society.

He added that through strategic partnerships, they will continually strengthen their programmes to support equal opportunities across all forms of diversity including gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression.

WomHub is ecstatic to continue building on the work it have done through its partnership with De Beers, co-founder of WomHub, Naadiya Moosajee said.

“It takes an ecosystem approach to support diversity, equity and inclusion within the engineering industry and it’s incredible to work with a partner who understands this, and who supports us in developing women and girls for bright futures in the sector.”

The WomEng programme focuses on training students across Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. Founded in South Africa in 2006, it is a multi-award-winning organisation working to attract, develop and retain the pipeline of female engineering talent.

WomEng works internationally, developing targeted programmes and interventions to address the severe shortage of women in engineering. Beyond the focus on increasing the numbers through their proactive and needs-driven approach, WomEng is creating the next generation of female engineering leaders in society.

More workshops are set to be held to reach and engage girls in STEM in other parts of Namibia, ensuring that 600 girls are equipped and supported to pursue engineering and technology careers over three years.