The Project Director and Grant awardee of the Royal Academy of Engineering UK of SHEENGINEER INVENT IT, BUILT IT, Dr. Felicia Agubata says female students have the opportunities to change the world through engineering.
According to her, for the girl child to excel in the engineering profession, they must be good and have passion for science, technology, engineering and Mathematics, STEM subjects.
Speaking at the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria, APWEN, STEM student’s workshop in Abuja, Dr. Agubata stressed that engineering makes the world from bridges to engines, IT systems and cosmetics, adding that engineers design products and solve problems that affect humanity.
In a statement, she said unfortunately, a research carried out in 2019 revealed Engineering to be the most-male dominated profession in Nigeria with women making up only 13% of the engineering workforce.
The RAE UK awardee on SHEENGINEER INVENT IT, BUILD IT however noted that when it comes to studying Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects at school, Male and female were virtually at par in terms of performance but Unfortunately, this parity does not always carry over into the professional world thus leading to a significant gender gap in the science and technology workforce.
“Imagine the greater advances that could occur in engineering if men and women were working consistently together and using all the skill sets in the pool.”
Dr. Agubata who is also an Assistant General Manager, Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA stated that, Important as it is to investigate what deters young women from pursuing STEM careers, it was also key to take a closer look at how to encourage secondary school girls to follow their dreams and flairs with regards to the Sciences.
” This would introduce a broader range of knowledge and ideas when developing STEM innovations. This will definitely help girls overcome perceived gender role barriers.”
She explained that the STEM student’s workshop was for junior secondary students to ignite their passion in STEM, inspire them to be creative and innovative and in all pursue a career in Engineering.
Dr. Agubata emphasized that the task of nation building required the selflessness of all and SHEENGINEER is a call to closing the gender gap in STEM, adding that since APWEN and the Royal Academy of Engineering cannot do it alone, the support of all, the government, philanthropists, corporate organizations and well-meaning individuals was needed to assist them in their bold steps of producing female engineers.
At the end of the workshop, three Junior secondary schools in Abuja emerged winners.
The first prize was won by Junior secondary school Gwarinmpa, 2nd position to Junior Secondary school Maitama and 3rd position to Junior secondary school Area 11.