Chairman, First Bank of Nigeria, Mrs. Ibukun Awosika has called on women engineers in the country to combine their skills and passion into ensuring that they create value that will make the profession more exciting for the next generation to come into.
The move, she said would make the next generation innovative and better exposed to the right knowledge.
Awosika, who made this known, recently at the investiture ceremony of the 16th president of the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Mrs. Funmilola Ojelade, in Lagos, enjoined them to use their engineering training to rebuild the society in a way that would ensure continuity.
According to her, “What is important is how the women who are into engineering should understand that their education only affect certain ways of doing thing as they are trained for the rigours and their approach to life and work. But it is about how they are able to combine their skills with their passion to change the world and do something great.You need to open your eyes to see how else to create value and make engineering more simpler for the next generation to understand that it is not as difficult as it seems.
“The entrepreneur and public speaker however expressed concern about the shortage of women in the area of science and engineering saying that in order for success to be achieved in such area, the diverse views of gender are needed.”
In her inaugural address, the President of the association, Mrs. Funmilola Ojelade promised their readiness to exploit opportunities that are reserved exclusively for women saying, “Multinationals seeking to increase the percentage of female engineers in their employ; we will help our women develop the required skills to take up those vacancies, funding for academic fellowships, apointments, among others. It then becomes a case of what a man can do, a man can do really well. But what a woman can do, a man cannot do.”
She added that the association will take steps to obtain a national secretariat building to further strengthen it as an organisation.
“This will be in Abuja or Lagos. We are declaring this today because we will need help from from some of the people here. There are those in position to get us the land, even the building preferably. We need all the support we can get.”
She emphasised some of the programmes APWEN had embarked on in the last two years which included the ‘Invent it, Build it’, for girls in the primary school and ‘Introduce a girl to Engineering’ programme for girls in secondary schools, adding that it will intensify its work on engineering students and young engineers.
“We are introducing the Town and Gown mentoring programme for this group to help them develop the skills required in the industry and make them employable,” Ojelade said, adding that such town and gown programme, supports SDGs four, five, eight and 10 of the UNDP which include quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth; as well as reduced inequalities.
In her valedictory remarks, the immediate past President of the association, Dr. Felicia Agubata recalled all the activities carried out by her administration saying that the association is driven by energy, enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mills in difficult and demanding circumstances in pursuit of its set objectives.
“In APWEN, we do not get tired, we do not give up and we do not give or accept excuses. This is an attribute that kept us going the entire two years of my watch. We inspire each other and also stand in the gap for each other,” she said.