International Women in Engineering Day 2022: Improving female representation in engineering

For many women all throughout the world, June 23rd is a significant day. This day, which was created for two purposes, is now known as International Women in Engineering Day. First, to recognize the women who have already chosen to study and work in fields connected to engineering. The second goal is to encourage more girls to pursue engineering-related courses and careers, which is in many respects even more crucial.

According to UNESCO, women make up 34–57 percent of STEM graduates in Arab nations, and in Saudi Arabia, they make up 59 percent of all students enrolled in computer science.

The increase in female graduates must be seen as a new potential for the Gulf countries' industry. Gender equality is more important than ever in scientific research. Arab women in STEM are undoubtedly an inspiration, and other nations trying to encourage female interest in the area might learn from their success stories.

Women engineers in the Middle East

  • In Kuwait, women make up 49% of engineering graduates.
  • In Oman, 46% of engineering students are female.
  • In Bahrain, 44 percent of engineering majors are female.
  • In Bahrain, 32% of engineering students are female
  • From 2.9 percent in 2012 to 24.9 percent in 2015, the UAE's engineering enrollment grew.
  • From 1% in 2000 to 10% in 2011, Saudi Arabia's graduation rates for women in engineering increased.
  • In Jordan, 40% of engineering students are female.
  • About 36% of Algeria's engineering students are female.
  • In Gaza, women study computer science and engineering at rates that are equal to or higher than those of men.

Closing the gender gap

In the last ten years, there has been a significant push in the area toward education, especially for women. Currently, 95.8% of women are literate, and 70% of graduates in the STEM fields are female.

Two-thirds of the employees in the UAE government are female, with 15% in technical and academic positions and 30% in leadership positions.

This is the outcome of a number of programs in the public and private sectors that have helped women take on more powerful roles in business, the military, and the government.

There have also been other plans. The Gender Balance Council was established by the UAE in 2015 to enhance the role of Emirati women both domestically and globally. Currently, 23,000 of these businesswomen manage projects totaling more than AED 50 billion (£10.5 billion) and make up 15% of the boards of chambers of commerce and industry nationally.

The Securities and Commodities Authority of the United Arab Emirates has issued a law requiring at least 20 percent of the board of any listed business to be female, the first such mandate in the region.

Amazing female engineers are working on some ground-breaking initiatives and combating gender bias in the area.

The female engineers who worked on the Museum of the Future project were honored in June 2020. They are responsible for the structural diagrams, the site-wide energy and renewable strategy, the complex dynamic energy modeling, the LEED compliance for Platinum certification, and the specialized lighting and facade design. Their work also includes the design of critical mechanical, electrical, and public health systems.

 

Knowledge-based economies

The move to knowledge-based economies has been prioritized by governments throughout the Arab world. According to a research, this pledge has been made by 17 of the 22 Arab countries, and the project's educational components have sped up women's admittance into STEM professions, including engineering in particular:

With established national education systems, nations have accelerated and significantly changed elementary, secondary, and post-secondary education systems in ways connected to STEM.

Test results, which are gender-neutral, are frequently used to determine admission to universities. Girls who perform well on tests advance in their areas of aptitude.

 

Where it shows up

The Imagine Cup is an annual app-building competition organized by Microsoft. Two of the three all-female teams in the 2013 competition—one from Oman and the other from Qatar—came from the Middle East, drawing attention to the event. More than the women themselves, onlookers were impressed by their presence at the competition. Latifa Al-Naimi, a 20-year-old Qatari team member, adds, "We really didn't think about it until we came and everyone was startled."

Since 2011, the Committee of Arab Women Engineers has held public celebrations to honor the achievements of women in the industry. Jordanian Princess Sumaya, who is also the head of the Royal Scientific Society in her country and serves as the board chair of the Princess Sumaya Institute of Technology, has been a steadfast supporter of the organization.

The seven-word online ad "Female engineers required to work from home" was posted by Jordanian mechanical engineer Nerman Fawzi Sa'd when she needed assistance with several projects. Within a week, she had received over 700 resumes. In response, she founded Handasiyat, a digital engineering consultancy that hires Arab women engineers. According to ArabianBusiness.com, the business was a smashing success and made her one of the top 100 Arab women in the world.

 

Final thoughts

Men still outnumber women in these fields despite a gradual shift in the ratio, which highlights how much work needs to be done. We, at Progressive Recruitment UAE are proud to be part of the STEM industries and support organizations committed to driving growth, solutions, inclusion and equal opportunities.

 

Get in touch

Whether you’re a professional looking for a job or a business seeking highly skilled STEM talent, the team at Progressive is here for you.







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