President, Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), Funmilola Ojelade, has urged the federal government to provide an enabling environment for female engineers to thrive in the country.
Ojelade, made the call while addressing journalists ahead of their annual international conference, with the theme “Women Engineers Driving Digital Transformation in Nigeria”, scheduled to take place from September 21 to 23rd, 2021, in Abuja.
According to her, the government should make the schools and infrastructure available, provide the resources to get the technical education needed to be there, adding that “The job of encouraging and inspiring them is for a non-governmental organisation like us and we have taken over that and it is not the government.”
She noted that “For the engineering profession to be attractive, it is not just that we need industries themselves, but we need to be creative to bring something out of something. Our creativity, combined with policy in place is what can make this profession attractive.”
Speaking about the conference, she said, the conference which is a single female engineer in Nigeria provides the opportunity for learning, networking, and unwinding, and hundreds of practicing female engineers as well as graduates from various universities across Nigeria have arrived.
She said, “We will be having our flagship programme for young engineers called ‘town and gown’ where they will interact with employers of engineers, a large organisation who will mentor them with the aim of helping them develop employability skills.”
She, however, stated that as long as the students remain connected to the organisation, they would continue to have training and retraining because APWEN is an education organisation.