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THE FUTURE OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY IN SOUTH AFRICA 5TH SAWomEng Conference 2010 CAPE TOWN

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Title: THE FUTURE OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY IN SOUTH AFRICA 5TH SAWomEng Conference 2010 CAPE TOWN


1
THE FUTURE OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
IN SOUTH AFRICA 5TH SAWomEng Conference
2010CAPE TOWN
  • Hannelie Nel
  • 19 July 2010

2
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES
  • Global Goal Three of the United Nations
    Millennium Development Goals is the promotion of
    gender equality and the empowerment of women
    across the globe by 2015. The attraction,
    education and retention of women in science,
    engineering and technology are paramount to the
    socio-economic development of all countries.
    http//www.un.org/millenniumgoals, accessed 24
    January 2010.
  • China The Economist of 12 July 2010 state that
    the rise of the Chinese economy is directly
    related to the education and empowerment of
    Chinese women over the past twenty years The
    Economist, 12 July 2010.

3
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES
  • United Kingdom The loss to the UK economy of
    women scientists, engineers and technologists who
    are unemployed, inactive or working below their
    level of qualification is estimated to be 2
    billion.
  • The UK must continue to invest in women in
    science, engineering and technology, to overcome
    barriers, build on achievements and accelerate
    results. http//www.ukrc4setwomen.org/html/reso
    urces/ukrc-publications accessed 16 July 2010

4
GLOBAL PERSPECTIVES
  • United States of America At the end of her
    campaign to become Americas first female
    president in 2008, Hillary Clinton remarked that
    her 18 million votes in the Democratic Partys
    primaries represented 18 million cracks in the
    glass ceiling. Women make up almost half of
    American workers. They earn almost 60 of
    university degrees in America and Europe.
  • Women continue to lag seriously behind men in a
    handful of subjects, such as engineering and
    computer sciences, where they earned about
    one-fifth of degrees in 2006. Female Power, The
    Economist, 30 December 2009

5
SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE
  • South Africa The Centre for Research on
    Science, Engineering and Technology (SET) in
    South Africa found that women represent fifty two
    percent of the African population, estimated at a
    total of 800 million.
  • In South Africa, the number of female student
    doctoral enrolments and graduates are the lowest
    in the Natural Sciences and Engineering sectors.
    Women are under-represented in SET industry, and
    in academia women represent less than 30 of the
    workforce.

6
SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE
  • South Africa Engineering Women are
    significantly underrepresented in all Built
    Environment professions. For example, in
    Engineering less than 3 of the registered
    professionals are female. Dr Franks, CEO of
    the ECSA, 16 July 2010
  • South Africa - Mining In South Africa,
    legislative barriers prevented women from working
    underground until relatively recently. Apart
    from various legislation introduced in recent
    years to promote and ensure equity in the
    workplace, the South African Mining Charter has
    specifically tried to redress this imbalance from
    the past by setting a target that women should
    make up at least 10 of mining companies total
    workforce by 2009. AngloGold Ashanti Report to
    Society 2007 Employment
  • South Africa Construction Over the past four
    years, 1031 more women have sought to pursue a
    career in construction. This is great news for
    the industry and the country as a whole. For too
    long, women have been made to feel that they
    could not pursue a career in construction simply
    because of their gender. The Workplace,
    Business Times, dated 18 April 2010

7
SOUTH AFRICAN PERSPECTIVE
  • South Africa Construction From a paper titled
    Influences on Womens Choices of Careers in
    Construction A South African study by Kolosa
    Madikizela and Professor Theo Haupt, 2010
  • Almost all respondents reported that females
    were afforded the same rights, benefits and
    opportunities as males in their organisations,
    had separate facilities such as toilets and
    ablutions and were afforded equal advancement and
    promotion opportunities. However, substantially
    less reported that there was available funding
    targeted at improving the status and
    qualifications of female employees, written
    gender equity policies in place, and
    gender-placed educational material provided.
    These findings suggest a lack of visible and
    tangible commitment to empower women in their
    organisations.

8
FROM SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND
TECHNOLOGY
  • South Africa Dorina Ionescu, Senior Lecturer,
    University of Johannesburg, Email dated 14 July
    2010
  • My personal experience in Rumania was that the
    ladies must be pretty and nice and be pleased
    with a middle management position. I know the
    same perception prevails in France as my sister
    in law is an academic at the University of
    Avignon. When I was at the Lille conference in
    2008 (women in engineering) I met with some of
    the ladies from Korea. Nearly all of them were
    very disappointed about the progress done in the
    field. Quite a few of them were replaced by
    males in their management positions and basically
    struggled to be heard. In conclusion we have an
    awful lot more to do before we achieve
    something.

9
WIEBE 2007Engineering as a career choice
Danai Magugumela, CEO BKS Group, with her staff
on-site
10
FROM SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND
TECHNOLOGY
  • South Africa Danai Magugumela, CEO BKS (Pty)
    Ltd, Interview 2008
  • I must say Im pleased that we are getting more
    women to enrol in engineering programmes. So over
    time I think we should just work hard at
    mainstreaming women to the extent that they
    proliferate. I dont really think that theres
    anything particularly magical that needs to
    happen, other than ensuring that women remain,
    are retained in the industry and I dont think
    there needs to be any particular law of labelling
    of very substantial gender equality steps. I
    think weve got quite an appropriate environment
    just to allow those people to establish.

11
FROM SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND
TECHNOLOGY
  • South Africa Venetia Davids, RLM Central Region
    Wagons, Transnet Email dated 16 July 2010
  • In any company, especially in Transnet our most
    senior positions are held by men, however, as
    with time changing more females are rising up to
    the challenge of managing businesses and
    portfolios that were previously the perceptions
    that only a man can do that job well. My current
    experience makes me believe that we have broken
    that glass because although we still want to be
    pampered and respected as women, we also want to
    be acknowledged as your colleague and not a
    number to complete the management team.

12
FROM SOUTH AFRICAN WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND
TECHNOLOGY
  • South Africa Meera Joseph, Senior Lecturer,
    University of Johannesburg, Email dated 14 July
    2010
  • 'Excellence' is crucial for women engineers
    nowadays, as you are entering the man's world
    in any Engineering environment.
  • Make yourself clear on what your job entails and
    explain to your boss what you can contribute to
    the company. Insecurity on the first few months
    is natural.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Failure is the stepping
    stone to success.
  • Measure your outputs on a weekly basis/ reflect
    on what you achieved on a weekly basis. Reflect
    what you could not achieve on a daily basis
  • Support, mentor and guide other women in your
    team or any women who is willing to take
    Engineering job.
  • Be vocal. This is crucial in the man's world.
    Your voice and opinions should be 'noted' by
    your colleagues.

13
WIEBE 2008Passionate about engineering and the
built environment
Dr Anita Venter welcomes guests to the 2008 WIEBE
Summit
14
WIEBE SUMMIT 2008
Sponsors included Group Five, The Sandvik Group,
BKS Limited, gtz, MCTS, Tshumisano
15
KEY THEMES IDENTIFIED BY SA WOMEN ENGINEERS IN
2008 FOR SUCCESS IN ENGINEERING
  1. STIMULATE EXCELLENCE
  2. CELEBRATE OUR FEMININITY
  3. EXTENDED FAMILY SUPPORT / FLEXIBLE WORKING
    PRACTICES
  4. GO BEYOND CURRENT BARRIERS
  5. FEAR THE DRIVER OF SUCCESS
  6. ENCOURAGE WOMEN MENTORSHIP
  7. ENGINEERING IS A PEOPLE ORIENTATED FIELD

16
FUTURE OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
  • United States of America
  • Many women are forced to choose between
    motherhood and careers. America provides no
    statutory paid leave for mothers and only 12
    weeks unpaid. Female Power, The Economist, 30
    December 2009
  • Job segregation by race and gender in the
    science and engineering professions can be
    understood better from the more like us
    argument. The assumption underlying this
    argument is that people with similar racial,
    gender, or educational background tend to think
    and act alike. When there is imperfect
    information on the potential of a prospective
    candidate, employers or managers would generally
    prefer to hire or promote someone who look and
    think like them Homosocial Reproduction From a
    paper titled The Glass Ceiling in Science and
    Engineering, Joyce Tang, 1997.

17
FUTURE OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
  • Europe
  • Many professional women reject motherhood
    entirely in Switzerland 40 of them are
    childless.
  • Austria, the Czech republic, Finland and Hungary
    provide up to three years of paid leave for
    mothers. Germany has introduced a parents salary
    to encourage mothers to stay home. More than 90
    of companies in Germany and Sweden allow flexible
    working.
  • Britain, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and above
    all, the Netherlands are keen on mothers working
    part-time.
  • ...Iceland, have added a further wrinkle by
    increasing incentives for fathers to spend more
    time caring for their children.
  • Female Power, The Economist, 30 December 2009

18
KEY FACTORS THAT AFFECT THE FUTURE OF WOMEN IN
ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
  • Production versus reproduction combining work
    with child care (The Economist, 30 Dec 2009)
  • Skill-dependent economies and an ageing skill
    set.
  • Perception of engineering.
  • Homosocial reproduction (Tang, 1997).
  • Technology that enables home-working and
    flexibility.
  • Changes in career structure and retirement age.
  • Alternative promotion practices.
  • Legislation.
  • Mentorship.

19
FUTURE OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY IN
SOUTH AFRICA a personal view
  • Promotion of SET careers amongst primary and
    secondary school children.
  • Revised school curricula to attract young girls
    to SET.
  • Mentorship and role models.
  • Revised employment practices to retain women in
    SET i.e. alternative recognition, improved
    childcare, revised school hours and holidays,
    family care, return-to-work policies, work from
    home practice, extended retirement age.
  • Re-thinking building and work environments.
    Improved and increased sanitation.
  • Engaging in effective employment practice to
    challenge homosocial reproduction.

20
FUTURE OF WOMEN IN ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY IN
SOUTH AFRICA
  • South Africa Dr Oswald Franks, CEO ECSA, Email
    dated 16 July 2010
  • We need to find the female role models across
    colour line and to hold them up to our female
    engineering students and young graduates in order
    to create the belief that the goal of being a
    female engineer or technician is achievable.
  • You could challenge the profession, both male and
    female, to address some of the areas I mention
    above in order to transform the engineering
    profession to be more representative and
    egalitarian.
  • The Engineering Council of South Africa is
    willing to play a role in facilitating or serving
    as a catalyst to establish such an initiative,
    but we require the volunteers to come forward and
    make a difference.

21
It always seems impossible until it is
doneNelson Mandela
03
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ATTENTION!
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