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Improving the Participation of Women in the Engineering and Technology Workforce A study of Ghanaian

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Title: Improving the Participation of Women in the Engineering and Technology Workforce A study of Ghanaian


1
Improving the Participation of Women in the
Engineering and Technology Workforce A study of
Ghanaian Women
  • Presentation by
  • Ing. (Mrs) Carlien Bou-Chedid
  • Executive Secretary, Ghana Institution of
    Engineers

2
A Preliminary Study of Attitudes
  • Presents the results of a study of Ghanaian
    Female Engineers
  • Examines their attitudes towards participating in
    the leadership and governance of the engineering
    profession.

3
The Problem - 1
  • Ghanaian female engineers are not very visible
    within the leadership and governance of the
    profession. The purpose of the study was to find
    out why and also to find the most appropriate way
    of bringing about change.

4
The Problem - 2
  • Current support structures for female engineers
    in Ghana have been successful in getting young
    females to consider engineering as an option.
  • Strategies are now required for supporting women
    in the field

5
Form of Study
  • Preliminary study involved conducting interviews
    with fifteen female engineers
  • Questions were aimed at determining the attitudes
    of women towards taking up positions in the
    leadership and governance of the profession

6
Information Obtained on Profile of Respondents
  • Age
  • Marital Status
  • Whether they had Children
  • Age of youngest child

7
Form of Questioning
  • Respondents were asked if they would be willing
    to take up positions that would place them within
    the leadership and governance of the profession.
  • Reasons were sought for their preference.
  • Respondents were also asked for their suggestions
    on how to encourage female engineers to opt for
    such positions

8
Response to Question
  • 11 out of 15 respondents readily expressed a
    willingness to take up such positions.
  • 4 out of 15 were completely reluctant to consider
    taking positions in leadership and governance.

9
Reasons given for Willingness to take up
Positions that place them in Leadership and
Governance
  • Would like the challenge.
  • Want to be in a position to effect change
  • Felt it was a natural progression.

10
Reasons given for reluctance to take up positions
of Leadership
  • All respondents disliked the Politics involved.
  • They had a perception that engineers in
    leadership positions in Ghana were often forced
    to compromise on standards or behave unethically.
  • They were not prepared to do this.

11
The Effect
  • 10 out of 15 of the respondents had either placed
    themselves out of places where they could be
    considered for leadership positions or were
    planning to do so principally because they
    disliked the politics involved where they worked.

12
What needs to Change ?
  • The way in which the engineering profession is
    being practiced needs a major overhaul.
  • Women need to be empowered to be able to work
    within an unfavourable climate

13
Empowering Women to Influence Change - 1
  • Training
  • Mentoring
  • Role Models

14
Empowering Women to Influence Change - 2
  • Training required to develop and improve
  • Assertiveness, Leadership Skills, Social Skills
  • Technical Skills
  • Financial Management etc

15
Empowering Women to Influence Change - 2
  • Mentoring required throughout career to
  • Reassure women when they are battling against
    odds.
  • Show them alternative ways of handling problems.

16
Empowering Women to Influence Change - 3
  • Role models required
  • Women need to see and hear about engineers who
    have managed to operate without compromising on
    standards.
  • Female role models are preferred but male role
    models should not be ruled out.

17
CONCLUSION
  • The fact that women seem to have such strong
    convictions about doing what is right serves to
    emphasise the need to ensure that more of them
    are placed within the leadership and governance
    structure of the engineering profession in Ghana.

18
Thank You
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