Women engineers in Kenya have been challenged to embrace technology and innovation instead of striving to compete with their male counterparts.
Speaking during an event organized by the Institution of Engineers of Kenya (IEK) women chapter in Nairobi to sensitize women engineers on their role, Chairperson Eng. Rosemary Kung’u said women in the profession should be creative and at ease in adopting technology to boost their skills.
“As women engineers we should be in the forefront in regards to using computer aided engineering software in a bid to stay relevant in the current fast changing world,” She said.
Urging women engineers to register massively as members of the Institution of Women Engineers, Eng. Kung’u said their strength relied on their numbers. “Together we stand divided we fall,” she cautioned.
She urged women engineers from all over the country to come out and enjoy their profession despite all the responsibilities that surrounds them especially at family level.
The event sponsored by the Kenya Roads Board and Safaricom Foundation was aimed at gauging the level of awareness on the current technology trends among women engineers in Kenya.
Safaricom runs network of passionate ambitious women working within Technology related careers across industry, dubbed Women in Technology where they mentor, support and enhance their skills.
Speaking at the same event, IEK Chairman Reuben Kosgei, said that since its inception in 1972, the body has continued to support engineers at all levels.
“Over the years, we have endevoured to support engineering professionals in Kenya. He thanked the women chapter for supporting women engineers saying that IEK will continue working with them to ensure the profession attracts more women.”
The chief guest of the event was Kenyatta University Vice Chancellor Professor Olive Mugenda who advised women to be strong and focused. In her speech dubbed women and leadership, Prof Mugenda Mugenda noted that few girls were being enrolled in the engineering course translating to few women in the profession. And this is because they do not excel in mathematics and sciences subjects necessary for one to take the course at university level.
“Over the years, girls have performed poorly in sciences and this has deterred them from studying engineering,” She observed.
Prof Mugenda told women that nothing comes in a silver platter urging them to be well prepared for opportunities.
The IEK Women Engineer Chapter was formed in March 2013 to distinguish women engineers in Kenya from men engineers and also encourage women to pursue a career in engineering.
Statistics show that out of the slightly over 2,124 registered engineers in the country, only 170 are women, this is only 8 per cent of the total. In a move to improve these numbers, the Women Engineering chapter seeks to recognize and honor women in the engineering sector; acknowledge employers who employ women engineers as well as organize conferences and seminars.