Research by the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is predicting that several women will be out of their traditional jobs because the future of work will be heavily tilted towards skill-sets dominated by males.
To save Ghanaian women from this rather disturbing prediction, the International NGO has begun putting in a series of interventions to train, support, and mentor young Ghanaian women in the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics where the chunk of jobs are expected to explode.
As part of this agenda, Ladies studying Engineering in tertiary schools in Kumasi were on Tuesday, August 23, 2022, assigned to Women in Engineering drawn from the Institution of Engineering and Technology Ghana for grooming and guidance.
The flagship INVEST IN HER MENTORSHIP Program was launched under WUSC’s Innovation in Non-Traditional; Vocational Education and Skills Training cut short INVEST.
Public Engagement and Advocacy Officer for the WUSC INVEST in her project, Juliana Ohenewaa Amoako Twum pointed out that a wave of scholarships, Business Support Services and Mentorship drives are expected to be conducted in Kumasi, the national capital Accra and the twin cities of Secondi – Takoradi to change the narrative.
“We have conducted a lot of research and our findings are that there are numerous opportunities for women participation. However, we have also identified some barriers inhibiting the entry of these women into male-dominated sectors obviously because of social norms and public perception. Basically, the INVEST project is challenging these stereotypes,” she assured.
Session after session, seasoned Female Entrepreneurs discussed the public perceptions and cultural beliefs that continue to discourage women from venturing into male-dominated fields.
The launch also allowed the ladies to ask questions about their career paths, future prospects for their various engineering disciplines, balancing their lives with their biological and cultural roles as females, and networking to get a footing in the job market after school.
Expressing optimism about the future, a Mentor and Electrical Engineer with the Electricity Company of Ghana Engineer Madina Seidu Adams pointed out that the campaign will be an uphill task as societal norms and cultural perception about gendered segregation of male and female-oriented careers remains entrenched.
“I remember when I was entering school, you had people who will tell you that you will become so stiff and boyish so you will not get any man to get married to and this is a big deal for us Africans. To date they still call us names like Iron lady, ‘obaa gengen’ but I encourage our ladies to prove them wrong,” she told Ultimate News’ Ivan Heathcote – Fumador.
Keynote speaker and Dean of the Faculty of Technical Education at Akenten Appiah Minka University of Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Development, Prof Engineer Humphrey Danso expressed concern females in Engineering in Ghana only constituted a fifth of the profession with some 80% dominated by males.
He pointed out that it was antiquated for society to continue thinking Engineering was a Muscular profession reserved for males with the strength to lift loads and control heavy machinery.
Prof Ing. Danso emphasized; “Today’s Engineering is not about carrying weights and using masculinity. We use brains, we design and we supervise so engineering practice falls squarely within the domain of females.”
Some of the ladies who spoke to Ultimate News shared how they were coping and overlooking the comments that make them feel like misfits in their classrooms.
Francisca Kaku, the only female among 200 students in the Electronics and Electrical Engineering class in the Kumasi Technical Student narrated how she was still taunted by the same gender stereotypes that mocked her predecessors.
“Some even call us tomboys because I am the only female in a class of 200 males. But society will always talk. We only have to keep focused on our careers,” She recounted.
The project funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC) is targeting some five thousand (5000) women with market-oriented demand-driven skills that should put them on a sustainable career path to avert this looming forecast.
Source: Ghana/Starrfm.com.gh/103.5FM/Ivan Heathcote – Fumador