The ULES Engineering Ladies Day

“It is increasingly obvious that there are certain challenges facing ladies in the engineering profession however these challenges are particularly unique. From a 3 point perspective, there will be challenges faced as a professional woman, challenges faced as an engineer and challenges faced due to our environment. Certain common sense principles can make you more effective in dealing with these challenges.”

-Zansi Adebowale

A few months ago I had the pleasure and privilege of speaking to a group of female engineering students at the University of Lagos. The program was organized by the University of Lagos Engineering society (ULES) and I was invited as a member of Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN).

The theme of the event was “The Lady Engineer and the 21st century’. I get really excited when I get invited to events like this a little too excited so I jumped to my computer and started typing away line after line and preparing myself for this my ‘amazing’ presentation about how awesome and amazing engineering is,how the future in engineering is so bright and all the magnificent things engineers are doing around the world. On my way to the event, I had a light bulb moment, while this ‘amazing’ presentation was amazing with pictures and videos and all I decided to speak from another angle.. 3 angles to be precise
1. The challenges facing the Engineering profession
2. The challenges facing Female engineers
3. The challenges faced due to this environment

So while I will not go into detail of everything I spoke about here are some extracts

Time: Time is finite. It ends so we need to plan our time better.

Capacity: Do you have what it takes? What are you bringing to the table? Investing in yourself, improving yourself is not being selfish. You are your greatest asset.

Hardwork and Character: The basics matter a lot. Respect, Attitude, Hygiene, Vision and so on

Environment: Chaos is a sign of a solution it all depends on the way you approach it

And above all decide your path; management, innovation, research, consulting and pursue it.

One of the most intriguing questions I got at the end was when a young lady asked how to deal with discriminations in the workplace especially as regards climbing the corporate ladder. This wasn’t my response but this is what I wish I said. I wish I told her to have the courage to search for a solution to climbing that ladder, to be creative about it and do what she could to get the power to change the situation. Simply take your ladder and lean it on another wall… it could take a year and it could take five years but at the end it’ll be worth it.

So in all I really want to congratulate the spirited engineers that put the event all together and all the other speakers at the event (I can’t remember all of them)

The representative of Engr Sandra Aguebor Ekperuoh; The Director Lady Mechanic Initiative.

Mrs Dolapo Aolabi; The Director of Afara Leadership Development Programme.

Engr Nimot. Muili is a Principal Engineer with Arup Nigeria and Chairman Apwen Lagos branch.

And a special shout out to Subomi  and Fatima …you Rock! … Kisses mmmwah!!

Love Zansi

Twitter: @zansisgroove

Website: http://www.zansisgroove.wordpress.com

Email: zansisgroove@gmail.com

Engr Nimot and Myself  flanked by some of the engineering students

Engr Nimot and Myself flanked by some of the engineering students

ULES 2

Zansi doing her thing!

If you will like to learn more about the Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN), their events and the work they are doing please visit their website by following the link.

WESCI 2014: My 2 Cents

A few weeks ago I attended the World Engineering Conference on Sustainable Infrastructure (WESCI 2014) with the theme: Development of Sustainable Infrastructure in Africa hosted by The Nigerian Society Engineers (NSE) held 2nd-7th of November 2014 in Abuja. This was the first time I was away from the kids for more than two days. I was very apprehensive and high strung but after the first day in Abuja I decided to let go and enjoy the experience.
MY HIGHLIGHTS

The launching of the Young Engineers Forum of Nigeria (YEFON), an arm of the Nigeria Society of Engineers which intends to carter for its young members. You can read more about this on their website here

The NSE Presentation by Ing. Malcolm Pautz; The Vice President South African Institution of Civil Engineering on Producing Infrastructure Score Card: The South African Experience

MY WATCH OUT FOR MOMENTS:

Ibrahim Ogundeko; The Winner of the Young Engineers Project Award for Humanitarian. I have had the pleasure of working and interacting with Ibrahim. He is eloquent, respectful and passionate. Listening to him speak about his project was extremely delightful especially because this is my present field of engineering and He spoke on his project on a Solar Powered Refrigerator with Solar Tracking Incorporated for Optimal Power Generation. I see bright things in his future.

Engr Kunle Adebajo; The Chairman Ove Arup and Partners: It was a absolute delight to hear Engr Adebajo speak. Taking out time to speak with young engineers was admirable and a lot of the things he spoke about especially about dealing in the work environment and in the engineering industry were absolutely on point.

YEFON: this was my first time of seeing such a huge turnout of young engineers at ANY NSE programmes. Bravo!

MY DISAPPOINTMENTS

Social Media: There was little to no presence on social media. There were so many keynote speakers during the parallel technical sessions from all over the world. You’d have to be a serious “winchy” to attend all the sessions. The use of YouTube could have helped out.

Recycling: Nothing was done with the waste produced well except it was done in secret.

The Exhibition: I would love to see more ‘stuff’ at the next exhibition.

I am looking forward to the 2015 National Conference to hold in Akure, Ondo State “The Sunshine State” 7th – 11th December, 2015.

All in all, It was nice experience. I didn’t take too many pictures on purpose because I really wanted to experience the event. It is easy to miss out on what is been said when trying to get pictures.
At the end of the day, it is nice to be back home with some very spicy kilishi (local sun-dried meat)!!

 

wesci abuja

Love Zansi

Twitter: @zansisgroove

Website: http://www.zansisgroove.wordpress.com

Email: zansisgroove@gmail.com

If you will like to learn more about the NSE or the World Federation of Engineering Organizations WFEO (The WFEO are the organizers of the World Engineering Conferences), their events and the work they are doing please visit their websites by following the links below

http://www.nse.org.ng/

http://www.wecsi2014.org/index.php

http://www.wfeo.net/