On the 7th of February, the Institution of Engineers of Kenya(IEK)- Coast Women Engineers (CWE) branch in Conjunction with 'Engineering Her Future' held a talk with the Ladies Engineering Student's Association (LESA) at TUM. Over a hundred young women attended the event which was officially opened by the Dean of Engineering & Technology, Dr Sameer Kamrudin Bachani, Architecture Mwatu, and Patron of the Engineering Student's Association (ESA TUM).
The female Engineers from CWE provided mentorship, guidance, and tips to the ladies on how to thrive in a male-dominated industry.
The guests who graced the event included: Eng Catherine Kawe- chair of CWE and Senior Engineer from KPA, Eng Monica Atemba, Eng Elizabeth Waweru, and Eng Flora Nyaga from the Ministry of Roads, GE, PET, Bibiye Mahmoud, a TUM lecturer from the department of Electrical Engineering and an official of KETRB (Kenya Engineering Technology Registration Board) and IETK (Institution of Engineering Technologists and Technicians (Kenya) also shared valuable information with the students.
The ladies were taken through professional registration and were enlightened on different Engineering bodies and societies, such as EBK, IEK, and IETK, KETRB. They were shown the importance of registration with the relevant professional bodies and understanding the best paths to take according to one's interests.
In a field such as Engineering, a lady must stand out in her performance and actively participate in different seminars and conferences to acquire growth and job opportunities. The Engineers also emphasized the importance of making a good first impression, dressing and acting professionally, and finding mentors and role models in their careers.
The prospective engineers were advised to constantly network and build professional connections, to be innovative and proactive, and to be willing to start somewhere.
Many industry challenges faced by female engineers were shared such as marriage, and motherhood, and the importance of having a balance between social and work life. The ladies were also urged to report any harassment they face in the field from the first instance it happens, to ensure such actions don't go on.
Emerging opportunities in the industry such as WiFi, Fibre, Energy Management, and affordable housing government projects among others were shared by Eng Catherine. She encouraged prospective engineers to utilize their time wisely, especially on the internet, and find career opportunities on websites and newspapers such as ‘My Gov’.
Eng Flora from the Ministry of Roads promised the ladies to link them with career opportunities and attachments, as long as they prove themselves to be focused and hardworking.
With the rise of mental health issues among the youth, the guests found it prudent to talk to the ladies about HIV, drug abuse, and mental illnesses that could derail their progress. The core advice was that girls should be content with what they have, and not seek quick life fixes or money that could affect them mentally.
All the guests voiced the importance of taking the attachment period very seriously, instead of just filling the logbook. Where one is attached could be a potential employer in the future, or even if not, they could be the link to the ladies' bright future.
The Coast Women Engineers gave a very insightful, inspirational, and important talk to the female students in Engineering and Technology that will guide them on the right choices, avenues, and character to take as they progress forward into their respective engineering fields.
In attendance were female Engineering and Technology students from Certificate, Diploma, BTECH, and