Something amazing happened. The world of celebrity connected with the world of education. While the boys were playing with the IEDs and Typhoons in the sandpit of Syria, the women were looking at education. Global Education Partnership continued their drive for girls education across the world.
Former Prime Minister Julia Gillard joined a panel of women in New York on Monday, at the Nurfahada Peace Envoy for Plan International including First Lady Michelle Obama and Hollywood star Charlize Theron, as they discussed the future of education for girls. Despite several UN resolutions of Equality for Women, women are increasingly locked out of professions, and top positions of power, such as politics and law.
Another recent milestone, is the first women to head up IET, the world’s largest global engineering organisation. Institute for Engineering and Technology.
Naomi Climer, says “Britain is facing a serious shortfall in engineers. Figures suggest that the country will need to recruit almost two million over the coming decade. At the same time the nation is facing a serious shortfall in numbers entering the profession.
“In the past, most professions – including medicine and engineering – were predominately male domains,” jobs in medicine are now divided fairly evenly between the sexes. By contrast, engineering has remained stubbornly stuck in the past. Men still hold down 94% of jobs. That is simply not acceptable. Indeed, it is harmful. if we are effectively excluding half the population from taking part.”
“What so many young people don’t realise is that engineering will give you work wherever you want: in the office or out of doors; on your own or as part of a team; working with computers or without them. You could work with food, chemicals, machines, electronics, bridges or railways or design software. It is an amazing range. Young people need to be made aware of that.”
Climer qualified with a degree in chemistry from Imperial College London, but became an engineer in 1987 because the BBC was encouraging women to join the profession. Affirmative action.
While she was saying this, a woman surgeon was commenting on the extent to which women are excluded or ignored in the operating theatre. So it is not just STEM where women are lacking, and this country is lagging behind.
The recent Mayor of City of London, Fiona Woolf, examined the role of the gatekeepers, in excluding or facilitating women promotions. Vanessa Vallely shines a bright light on the pipeline, with her rising stars. Women who are a shining example of achievers, in 50 over 10 different fields including sport and insurance, here are the role models for young women of the future.
Not however, at the RSA which has awarded 5 free fellowships to male engineers. the women weren’t good enough.
“As the Prime Minister has said, “where the potential and perspective of women are locked out of the decisions that shape a society, that society remains stunted and underachieving”.
We need to remember that Boko Haram translates as “no education for girls”, so it behoves women world leaders such as Gillard and Obama, to take up that challenge.
As Dame Athene Donald says If you only do one thing today, look at your place of work. Does it ignore, Iexclude, or disparage, women or girls. here is where you can act.
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