Women Engineers' Empowerment
 
About the Programme Objectives and KPIs Achievements Press Release Register
 

About the Programme

The Objectives is create awareness of the role of women engineersin taking up career and their contribution to the economy and Inspire women engineering students through successful Omani role models from industries and organization. A five-year strategic plan aligned for gender inclusivity and gender balance in all aspects of Teaching & Learning of Omani Women Engineers and engineering students with each year focusing on specific theme. The Goals is to empower women engineers through leadership opportunities and engage women educators in purposeful programs and projects by connecting with the stakeholders and influencers in the local community. The Key Results Areas is increase membership by 10 percent each year, MoU with Women Engineers Chapter at Oman Society of Engineer, Oman; increase participating in technical competitions by 15%each year.

In the recent years, Oman has recorded increasing female enrolment in higher education - a promising sign towards further inclusion in workplaces. According to the Oman Education Council’s Higher Education Report 2016, 45,029 female students were enrolled in private colleges and universities, compared to 23,723 males during the 2014-15 academic year. Oman is already seen as a pioneer in female empowerment in the Middle East and this is very much underpinned by the unwavering support and wise leadership of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos bin Said who has stressed upon the importance of the role of women in society, and in supporting the economy. Since then, women have increasingly and impressively contributed to the country politically, economically and socially.

The College of Engineering has 52 percent female students enrolled in various engineering programmes in 2019. A large number of these students are sponsored by the Ministry of Education. These students and future engineers though ambitious are yet to enhance their confidence in taking up careers that are still male dominant and machine heavy. There isn’t enough research that shows how many of these female graduates find work on industries and if they at all go back to work. Often students come to say that many parents and male members in the family are not keen to send their daughters and wife to work in industries. Some industries still do not have any written policies on percentage specified for female workforce. Sadly, when our female graduates graduate after their four years of study, we are unable to track graduate destination and employment percentage as we are not able to trace them.

While studies in Oman reveal that the number of women students surpasses male students in the colleges in the country and while this trend is a promising one and reflects a society where women are active contributors to the society, sadly this is not the case in reality. 2014 statistics show less promising figures for the private sector where women form only 2.3% of the workforce compared to 35.1% of the public sector workforce and 32% of the total workforce (National centre for statistics and information, 2014). The Government and sponsors invest in the education only to find that the women do not take up a career in engineering which can actually contribute to the economic growth significantly.

The need of the hour is to find women leaders who can become motivators, change agents and thereby inspire, engage and empower women engineers’ right from the time they are in the college under our care through their onward journey. The initiative to start Women in Engineering Chapter has received the much needed backing from the College Executives and the heads of Departments who have invited women staff to support this project because they are in this privileged position to inspire young minds. We are also aware that any such initiative must fall under a local approved body. Hence, we have collaborated with Oman Society of Engineers’ Women In Engineering Oman’s Chapter.

Objectives & KPIs

The Objectives of the Women Engineers Empowerment Programme is as follow:

  • Establish an active Women Engineers Forum at College of Engineering
  • Create awareness of the role of women in taking up career and their contribution to the economy
  • Inspire women engineering students through successful Omani role models from industries and organisation as Guest Speakers
  • Equip women engineers with skills and competencies needed to succeed in men dominant industries.
  • Empower them through workshops and local and international networking
  • Support the women engineering students with the ecosystem to balance their professional career and home.

This is a five-year strategic plan aligned for gender inclusivity and gender balance in all aspects of Teaching & Learning of Omani Women Engineers and engineering students with each year focusing on specific theme. The project was launched in 2017 with the following Goals

Goals 2020

  • Empowering women engineers through leadership opportunities
  • Engaging women educators in purposeful programs and projects
  • Providing strategies and resources for the integration of programs and projects that provide personal and professional growth to women engineering students,
  • Encouraging programs/activities that advance increased awareness of and involvement in changing global issues
  • Collaborating with educational, governmental, social agencies and stakeholders to promote
  • Leadership and advocacy

Methodology:

  • The strategy to meet the above-mentioned goals will be by connecting with the stakeholders and influencers in the local community. Thus women in Engineering and women in STEM are identified and invited to come and share their experiences with the students.
  • Women Engineers Forum has collaborated with Women in Engineering Chapter under Oman Society of Engineers for wider network, visibility and opportunities.
  • Bi annual Women Engineers Forum is organized at the College and students are invited to network and learn from successful role models.
  • Female students are encouraged to participate in innovations, competitions and projects both in the country and abroad and showcase their talents.
  • Membership to the activities club are publicized to increase women engineers’ participation and enhance their organization, scheduling, planning and leadership skills whist maintaining a balance with academics.
  • Omani national women staff are identified for Professional Development courses and encouraged to take up roles of higher responsibility
  • Inspire women engineers to become entrepreneurs and game changers

Key Results Areas

  • Joined with Women Engineers Chapter at Oman Society of Engineer, Oman
  • Over 400 female engineering staff and students both from College of Engineering and from other institutions attended the four Women Engineers Forum
  • Omani women engineering staff were sent for Professional Development and Training Programmes
  • Female Students have shown increasing interest in participating for technical competitions and won awards and recognitions.
  • Number of well known Women in STEM supported the project by coming in as Guest Speakers and encouraging women engineering students on the work-life balance.

Achievements

Press Release

Register your interest

We are always looking out for dynamic Omani female role models in the community from STEM background who have made a mark in their profession through their determination and grit. If you are interested in getting involved with us, providing opportunities for our women engineers to showcase their talents, or just come in as a motivational speaker, we will be delighted. Please register your interest with us. Please email me at perkerthipanikar@nu.edu.om. I look forward to getting connected.

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