Female engineers must take younger girls under their wings: PM

Premier SaaraKuugongelwa-Amadhila has appealed to female engineers to take younger female engineers under their wings as understudies as it will prove crucial in their career development and progression.

The Prime Minister (PM) made this call during the Namibia Women in Engineering Annual Conference in the Northern town of Ongediva on Friday.

In her speech, which was availed to this agency a day later, the PM said the importance of mentorship in any profession cannot be overemphasised and that the field of engineering was not an exception.

Mentorship becomes even more important when it comes to younger women professionals, she said.

I want to appeal to women engineers to take the younger professionals in the engineering field under their wings and provide the much-needed advice and mentorship, she appealed.

She reiterated: Mentoring of young engineers is crucial for their career development and provides confidence and impetus for them to build successful careers in this field. Young girls also need to be encouraged to take an interest in the study and ultimately practice engineering. This can be done by holding career talks to target age groups particularly at public schools.

Kuugongelwa-Amadhila noted that in most cases, engineering is misunderstood by the average Namibian girl.

Too often, school-age children see the engineering profession as being confined to jobs in construction, transport, and manufacturing [sectors]. However, engineering can also be about developing products such as computing, healthcare, medical and environmental protection products, she said, adding that there is room for diversification the profession.

The conference is aimed at celebrating women's excellence in the field of engineering as well as motivating young girls to fearlessly pursue careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) fields.

I view this annual conference as very important as it creates a platform for women in engineering not only to share ideas but also promote career opportunities available for girls in STEM. This platform also raises the profile of women engineers to serve as role models to other women in this male-dominated field, she said.

The event took the University of Namibia's Jose Eduardo do Santos Campus (Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology) which since its inception in 2009 has produced 250 engineers.

This number, when seen together with the 200 engineers produced by the Namibia University of Science and Technology (NUST) illustrates the gains we have made as a country in promoting students in STEM which is indispensable for technological advancement and economic growth.

These achievements are also if great significance seeing that before independence engineering qualifications were not offered in Namibia to all and those who wanted to pursue this field of study were forced to go outside the country, she said.

Source: Namibia Press Agency