PRESS ADDRESS BY PRESIDENT ASSOCIATION OF PROFESSIONAL WOMEN ENGINEERS OF NIGERIA, ENGR. FUMILOLA OJELADE, FNSE, FNSChE ON THE MAIDEN EDITION OF INTERNATIONAL WOMEN IN ENGINEERING DAY.
Welcome to the Maiden edition of International Women in Engineering Day hosted by Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria and sponsored by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the SheEngineer Invent It, Build It Project. It is indeed historic to have this event which is designed to bring into reckoning the very commendable contributions of Women in Engineering all over the World.
INWED is an international awareness campaign which raises the profile of Women in Engineering and focuses attention on the amazing career opportunities available to girls in the engineering world. National Women in Engineering Day was launched for the first time in the UK on 23 June 2014, by the Women’s Engineering Society (WES) – a partnering organisation with The Royal Academy of Engineering, to celebrate its 95th anniversary. Since its launch in 2014 the event has grown enormously over the years to attract UNESCO’s patronage in 2016.
In 2017, National Women in Engineering Day became internationally recognised due to the interest and enthusiasm demonstrated by international community of scientists and engineers in the previous years after the commencement of the well lauded initiative.
In same vein, APWEN which is a non-profit, non-governmental educational service organisation and a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers is happy to join the international community to celebrate our women 23rd of June of each year. It is delightful to mention that, APWEN entered into a productive partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering, United Kingdom in 2019 with the SheEngineer Invent It, Build It Project.
The SheEngineer Invent it, Build It is the first APWEN grant from the Royal Academy of Engineering UK under the GCFR African catalyst programme which is in phase 3 presently. This project is a capacity building program of APWEN funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering UK for female engineers, STEM teachers and public secondary school pupils in JSS1 & 2 in the six geo political zones of Nigeria.
The aim of GCRF Africa Catalyst programme is to strengthen professional engineering bodies in sub-Saharan Africa to effectively promote the profession, share best practice and increase local engineering capacity to help drive development. Hence, our desire to meet the global requirement of promoting diversity, has provided APWEN with the impetus to be the first association to advocate for girl child STEM education in Nigeria and also among the first few professional engineering institutions in Nigerian to develop a gender and diversity policy to encourage the inclusive growth of members from diverse backgrounds- for this we indeed are grateful!
Today’s event is laden with a handful of interesting activities, which include presentation of APWEN safety kits, social media profiling of Women Engineering pillars in Nigeria, mentoring walk across the 34 APWEN chapters in Nigeria as well as a Webinar at 12noon where eminent men and women will be discussing “The Role of Women in Shaping the World.
We will also kick start discussion on Diversity and inclusion with stakeholders, policy makers and industry leader’s e.t.c to ensure equal opportunity for all.