Speech by the Executive Secretary of the Institution of Engineers Rwanda at the launch of female electrical engineers’ technical training 2022-03-08



Speech by the Executive Secretary of the Institution of Engineers Rwanda at the launch of female electrical engineers’ technical training

We are gathered here today for the launch of the Female electrical engineers’ technical training. This is series of trainings organized to help empower women with hands-on skill in the field of engineering.

The fact that this training was organized to coincide with the International Women Day was not an accident. As you know, this day is organized not just to celebrate achievement, but also raise awareness around women equality and lobby for gender parity across sectors.

Distinguished guests;

Despite the significant strides made in our country to empower women, we are still lagging far behind in the field of engineering. Today, we have just 210 women engineers registered with the Institution of Engineers Rwanda, out of over 2500.

This is a dismal representation; way below our national threshold of at least 30 per cent women in different sectors and, sadly, even far below the global average which currently stands at 28%.

This is not a place we are happy to be and we are doing everything possible to reverse this trend in the shortest period possible…and it is not an insurmountable task if we all work together towards this direction.

It requires an all-hands-on-deck approach, and that is why I have a humble request to all our stakeholders; those present here with us today and partners who are not.

To the Government of Rwanda; we want to request the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion, through relevant institutions, to commission a quick study on critical issues facing women engineers on construction sites and design appropriate action to counter these issues.

From our analysis, we still face a challenge where girls pursue science in high school, proceed to university and take engineering courses, but along the way, the number drastically reduces when it comes to those that come into professional practice.

To our development partners, our request is for you to support our different capacity building programs to upskill women engineers and increase their participation in the Infrastructure Development Sector.

Initiatives like this one we are launching today, are therefore needed and many others as we continue to develop a critical mass of women in the field of engineering.

To the private sector, my request to you is to help support us by offering industrial attachment opportunities to our graduate engineers, especially the women, this early exposure gives them the necessary confidence. This is actually a win-win situation because, most end up growing into very resourceful employees and we have many examples to that effect.

We also count on your support in raising the necessary funding for trainings like this we are opening today, with the support of our development partners.

My final last appeal goes to the few women engineers, please come on board and step up your role in nurturing and inspiring young girls, especially those who take STEM courses, to find a home in this noble profession.

Distinguished guests;

As I conclude, I want to emphasize that beyond gender equity, diversity is key in any place of work. When a team approaches challenges from the perspective of people of different sheds, it inspires innovation. That is why it is critically important to have more women engineers on our construction sites.

I wish you a joyous Women’s Day.

 


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