High school girls learn about careers in science, tech and maths
Around 250 high school girls were given the chance to discover potential career paths in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) during a half-day workshop on 30 August in Gobabis.
The event was organised by WomEng in collaboration with the De Beers Group and Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation. The workshop provided the girls with a chance to engage with women engineers who are already in the profession and working for Debmarine Namibia by asking questions about a day in the life of an engineer.
Country Representative, of the De Beers Group, Daniel Kali said they are delighted to continue in this partnership with WomEng to help unlock the full interests and participation of girls in STEM careers.
“I would like to encourage the girls to study science and mathematics to pursue a career in engineering. Namibia faces a myriad of challenges, from inadequate housing to food insecurity. We need to deploy our very best human skills to find solutions to this challenge. Science and engineering can play a critical role in finding solutions to many of these challenges. 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,” added Kali
Co-founder of WomHub, Naadiya Moosajee said they are ecstatic to continue building on the work they have done through their partnership with De Beers.
“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,” said Moosajee.
Governor of the Omaheke Region, Honourable Pio Nganate said as regional leadership, it is their wish to see more girls engaged in STEM because this will not only contribute to women’s empowerment but ultimately to women’s equal participation and diversity and this will also accelerate the development of STEM education.
“These sectors are critically important and hold high potential for our economic and sustainable development. The girl child, I want you to remember that your dreams are valid. Elevate yourself and claim your rightful place in society,” he emphasised.
Executive Manager at te Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation, Nora Ndopu said the Foundation is the implementing agency of the WomEng programme in Namibia and since the inception of the STEM awareness programme in 2019, they have reached approximately 1500 girls.
“We intend to take the programme to all 14 regions of the country and thus far we have been to three regions, namely, the Khomas, Kharas, and now Omaheke. We must continue to make the Namibian girl’s child aware of careers in STEM. When they are unaware of the career opportunities, they will continue opting for jobs that are likely to be replaced by technology,” said Ndopu.
Omaheke Regional Education Director, Connie Wantenaar reiterated that the GirlEng micro workshops are not only an investment in the future of the girl-child, but a noble intervention for a diverse, equitable and inclusive engineering and technology workforce for Namibia. “It is my considered opinion that one of the spin-offs of this awareness session would be that many female learners will opt for careers in the fields of engineering and technology,” said Wantenaar.
The workshop included professional female engineers from Debmarine and young women engineers from the Southern Africa Fellowship, a WomEng programme powered by De Beers Group focused on training university students in Namibia, Botswana and South Africa.