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240 High School Girls Empowered Through Engineering

By: Dolly Menas

The WomEng, a women in engineering organisation, in partnership with De Beers Group and Debmarine –Namdeb Foundation, recently hosted an engaging half-day GirlEng micro workshop at the NamPower Convention Centre.

About 240 high school girls from 12 schools in the Khomas Region attended the workshop.

Hendrina Mouton, Namdeb deputy community development officer, said the program provides for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and trains for future careers in the engineering Industry.

“The event is a high school intervention program to provide STEM and STEM awareness for girls and a specific focus on future careers in the engineering and tech Industries,” she says.

She also said that female engineering students and professional engineers shared their stories with the high school girls during the workshop.

“They spoke about their work and, most importantly, what made them choose engineering as a career. All these are to inspire, create awareness and provide more information on engineering as a career option,” Mouton said.

Mouton also said that the workshop includes the pink hardhat challenge, which uses the hardhat as a tool for visioning, personal branding, and reflection for the students.

“These sessions are designed as an introduction to the world of engineering,” she says.

She adds that they hope that the half-day workshop evokes an interest in STEM field protocols so that the girls are now aware of the diverse career opportunities in STEM, at least build a career confidence or sense of self, and break down stereotypes around STEM.

De Beers Group country representative Daniel Kali says De Beers Group is delighted to continue its partnership with WomEng to help unlock girls’ full interest and participation in STEM careers.

“As the global leader in diamonds, we know that the world’s sparkle can only be fully illuminated when all members of society have equal and unhindered access to opportunities,” he says.

Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation chairperson Brent Eiseb says their vision is to accelerate economic inclusion and support diverse voices to help shape the future of their business, communities, and society.

“Through strategic partnerships, we will continually strengthen our programmes to support equal opportunities across all forms of diversity, including gender, race, age, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity and expression,” Eiseb says.

Naadiya Moosajee, WomHub Co-Founder, said they are ecstatic to continue building on the work they have done through their partnership with De Beers. She adds that it takes an ecosystem approach to support diversity, equity and inclusion within the engineering industry, and it is incredible to work with a partner who understands and who supports them in developing women and girls for bright futures in the sector.

Following the event, more workshops will be held to reach and engage girls in STEM in other parts of Namibia, ensuring that 600 girls are equipped and supported to pursue engineering and technology careers over three years.

Debmarine-Namdeb Foundation says it will continue to have deliberate and focused efforts to improve inclusion and diversity through such programmes, also expanding on AWOME (Accelerating Women-Owned Micro-Enterprises), which includes training and supporting entrepreneurs in Namibia.

Dolly Menas

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