By Nosa Alekhuogie
Co-founder, Afro-Tech Girls, a non-profit organisation, Adeola Shasanya, has stressed the important roles women play in the study of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM).
According to her, this is a necessary requirement to develop the skills of women that will enable them participate in creating solutions that will address Nigeria’s diverse economic challenges.
Shasanya, who spoke about the importance of women in STEM education during a recent conference that was held in partnership between Afro-Tech Girls with IHS Nigeria to commemorate the International Day of Women and Girls in Science, applauded women in science for the critical role they are playing in the current pandemic despite its challenges.
The maiden edition of the conference, which was sponsored by IHS Nigeria, a subsidiary of IHS Towers, hosted female speakers from the medical, science and technology sectors to an online interactive session with over 100 participants in attendance and a further 100 girls from public secondary schools watching from their classrooms. The event was also used as a soft launch of a longer-term partnership between Afro-Tech Girls and IHS Nigeria.
Giving credence to the theme: ‘Women Scientists at the Forefront of the Fight against COVID-19.’Shasanya said: “We are grateful for organisations like IHS Nigeria that have committed to improve STEM outcomes in Nigeria particularly within young females. We are confident that their support will go a long way to ensure these females are equipped with the skills required to compete and contribute immensely in STEM related careers.”
Some of the speakers at the commemorative event included; Managing Director, Paelon Memorial Hospital, Dr. Ngozi Onyia; Director, Sustainability and Corporate Communications, IHS Nigeria, Ms. Cima Sholotan among others.
The online event also discussed critical issues faced by young females looking to build careers in STEM, with a view to addressing them, in the hope that confidence and soft skills will be improved to drive more interest and participation in STEM education among young females.