Woman's Own

October 12, 2023

IDGC: Increase girls’ representation in engineering for nat’l growth —GCEI 

NSE confers Fellowship Award on Amazon Energy Group Chief, Engr Oluwatimehin

By Ebele Orakpo

Including more girls in engineering promotes gender equality and brings diverse perspectives to the table as research suggests that diverse teams, including women, are more likely to generate innovative and effective solutions, according to the Founder, Girl-Child Engineer Initiative, GCEI, Engr.  Terese Ihenachor at this year’s International Day of the Girl-Child with theme: Invest in Girls’ Rights: Our Leadership, Our Well-being.

Although there are myriad challenges facing the girl-child, GCEI, with the vision to empower and promote the girl-child to study engineering and be technologically innovative, is exploring opportunities for improving resourcing to girls and the issues that affect them.

 ”When you empower a girl-child through engineering education, it will improve the technological advancement of the nation and drive economic growth. Girls have long been underrepresented in the field of engineering despite possessing the same potential and capabilities as their male counterparts and we cannot afford the cost to our national development in the 21st Century.

“Providing opportunities and access to engineering education for girls will empower them to pursue fulfilling careers in technology and ICT,” the GCEI boss said. 

She noted that encouraging girls to develop problem-solving skills, critical thinking and innovative approaches required by engineering, can help build their confidence and self-belief.

“Cultivating a supportive and nurturing environment where girls are encouraged to voice their ideas without judgment is vital in shaping their future as engineers.

“Closing the gender gap in engineering starts with early exposure and engagement. Encouraging girls to explore STEM-related activities in school and leisure time can foster their interest and aptitude for engineering from a young age.

“GCEI was able to achieve this through the Pet program called Catch them young for Engineering by providing resources, excursion to industries, mentoring and scholarships specifically tailored to the girl-child, we can bridge the gender gap and create a more inclusive engineering community,” she stated. 

The UN General Assembly on December 19, 2011, declared October 11 of every year the International Day of the Girl-Child to recognise the rights of girls and the unique challenges they face.

Ihenachor believes that empowering girls to join the ICT economy through engineering education is an essential step towards creating a more equitable and prosperous society.