Inaugural Address by Engr. (Mrs.) Hauwa Mohammed Sadique, MNSE, MNIAE during her Investiture as the 14th President of The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria
It gives me a great pleasure to welcome you all to this special and historical occasion. It especially gives me a lesson in humility giving that this event is a gathering of minority in a majority.
Women are seen as minority in engineering, but through dint of hard work we have managed to carve a niche for ourselves in the profession.
I seize this opportunity to congratulate every woman in engineering profession for coming this far against all the odds.
Gone were the days when the slogan “women education ends in the kitchen” gain credence. Today, women have been making rapid gains into the professional fields initially regarded as exclusively males’, including engineering and we won’t stop.
It was not long ago, specifically in1982 that a group of visionary women engineers led by Engr. (Mrs.) J. O. Maduka came together to initiate what is now known today as Association of Professional Women in Engineering. In those days, women in engineering were denied the opportunity to fully actualize their vision.
The courage and determination of a collective few have given us all a platform not only to actualize our goals as professional women in engineering, their brainchild, now known as APWEN is now one of the foremost divisions of Nigerian Society of Engineers and an internationally recognized professional body. We are also a member of the National Council of Women Societies. This is worth celebrating!
Today, women now have opportunities to work across broad spectrum of engineering fields from construction to women in the kitchen and not on construction sites or behind the desk carrying out engineering designs.
As we jointly look into the future to see where we are heading, while we set a goal target for ourselves and advance further in this noble profession, I cannot but appreciate our past successes and all those who helped us bring them to pass. Gratitude to our leaders and our founders who worked tirelessly to elevate this associated to where we are today. Without their labour of sacrifices and visionary steps, we still may be far off from where we are today.
My predecessors have accomplished a lot for our Association and have made my work much easier for me and my team. Thank you Engr Nnoli Akpedeye FNSE for your hard work and selfless services.
I also extend my very deep appreciation also to our past Presidents:
Engr. Joanna Olu Maduka FNSE
Engr. Nkechi Isigwe FNSE
Engr. Azuka Ovwuhorie FNSE
Engr. Idiat Amusu FNSE
Engr. Onachukwu Okoli FNSE
Engr. Ola Sulyman FNSE
Engr. Bisi Oyenekan FNSE
Engr. Patricia Opene-Odili FNSE
Engr. Valerie Agberagba FNSE
Engr. Monica Nwakaego Ojukwu FNSE
Engr. Iniobong Usoro FNSE
Engr. Olayinka Abdul FNSE
As we match forth in the course of time, taking further steps and decisions toward elevating our profession to uplift the welfare of women in engineering profession, even as we are a minority by our gender, I implore you to ride with me along this journey to achieve more success collectively, because the more the merrier and sweeter. My team shall, with every resources within our disposal, and your supports, leave no stone unturned as we project our members to professional limelight.
In the course of this journey, indulge me to outline our programme focus in this dispensation:
“Introduce girls of secondary schools to engineering”
Without doubt, one of the best ways to increase women participation in engineering is to instil in the girl child the can-do philosophy and to make her aware of her potentials at an early age. APWEN will continue to work at national and state level to increase in our engagement with girls in the secondary school and prepare them for career in engineering through counselling and mentoring through hands-on activities.
We shall double our efforts in our mentorship program for our undergraduate and graduate members across the country through their respective tertiary institutions. It is our desire to ensure that the north-eastern part of Nigeria, which has been ravaged by crisis over the years having women and girls as the most conspicuous victims.
As part of our contribution to the redevelopment of this region, we shall be launching the girl -child education programmes aiming at encouraging them to pursue career in STEM field.
We recognize the importance of collaborating with like-minded organization to achieve our goals. We shall continue to work with other professional body globally toward evolving programmes and activities that impact our member’s professional and personal fulfilment.
Our corporate members in active engineering career would benefit from our professional development programs. We shall work towards career development for corporate members
SDG 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls – Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision making in political, economic and public life. –
While the world has achieved progress towards gender equality and women’s empowerment under the Millennium Development Goals (including equal access to primary education between girls and boys), women and girls continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world.
Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world.
Providing equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes to the female gender will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
APWEN has existing relationship with many international community and regularly participated in World Women Engineering and Society for Women Engineers annual Conference.
APWEN, at inception in 1982, had only six (6) members. The membership has grown over the years to over 1700 with members spreading all over the country. We believe this is grossly inadequate in a population of approximately 170 million people. Our goal therefore is to launch massive membership drive including targeting members from universities and encouraging graduates of engineering to practice their profession.
We are aware there are many women in engineering who are yet to register as engineers due to some constraints. APWEN will put strategic machinery in motion to establish the reason behind their apathy and assist them.
Industrial and Technical Visits
We will continue to sustain and increase industrial visits to technical industries, career-counselling sessions for female students of primary, secondary and tertiary institutions to increase awareness and encourage girls to study science and engineering.
I implore you to volunteer and participate as role models and mentors in the various programmes organized by engineering students in their various citadel of learning.
We shall work towards attracting more corporate partners while we strengthen the existing ones. This is an interesting time in the history of our dear country with the global oil and gas dwindling market which is impacting bitterly on all sectors of the economy.
I stand before you now looking both backward and forward. I am joining a once historical community, present and a community that is present among us at this moment and seeking your unrelenting support.
I thank you for your good wishes and ask for your advice and support in the months and years ahead as we together, work to make APWEN everything our founder has aspired.
God bless APWEN
God bless NSE
God Bless Nigeria