Global initiative focused on empowering women in STEM hosts first Middle East event in Dubai
Dubai - UAE: 30 October, 2019 – Dubai Science Park (DSP), a science- and healthcare-focused business community, joined forces with Covestro, one of the world’s leading polymer producers, and global non-profit organisation greenlight for girls (g4g) to host the first g4g Day in the Middle East, aimed at getting girls interested in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) – areas where women are traditionally underrepresented.
The day-long event drew the participation of more than 120 girls aged 12-15 from several schools across Dubai. The agenda featured seven hands-on workshops that included experiments covering all aspects of STEM, such as Human DNA and robots, with a focus on Covestro’s speciality – polymer chemistry.
This event, which is in line with the UAE leadership’s efforts to empower women in STEM, reflects DSP’s mission to support local talent growth and develop the local science industry by enhancing its appeal among the youth. Thanks to initiatives such as this, women in the country are ahead of the global trends - 56 percent of graduates in STEM programmes in the UAE are women.
Speaking on the collaboration, Marwan Abdulaziz Janahi, Managing Director of DSP, said: “As the UAE strengthens its knowledge-based economy, STEM industries will surely play an important role in achieving this feat, which is why it is critical that we look to foster interest at a young age. As a keen supporter of the nation’s vision, Dubai Science Park is proud to support this important initiative which inspires the youth to pursue STEM careers while fostering critical thinking and problem-solving skills. With the UAE being a leader in female empowerment in the region, Dubai was the logical choice to host the first Middle East edition of this world-class event.”
Mohamud Kasil Ali, General Manager and Head of MS Global AG Dubai Branch at Covestro, said: “Covestro has long been committed to advancing STEM education. We are extremely delighted that we will be hosting the first g4g event in the Middle East to inspire young girls in the UAE to pursue a STEM education. We are proud to do our part to increase the representation of young women in STEM, which has been growing steadily over the years due to effective initiatives by the local governments.”
For her part, Melissa Rancourt, Founder and Chairman of g4g, said: “Wherever g4g is able to conduct an event around the world, we see how profoundly interested girls are in STEM. Our goal is to capture that interest and encourage girls to think about the possibilities of careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics in order to build a future talent pipeline of female STEM leaders worldwide.”
Since 2010, over 200 g4g Days have taken place on six continents, reaching out to more than 32,000 girls. Together, g4g and Covestro have hosted more than 20 events across the globe – from Mumbai and Moscow to Houston and São Paulo – that have engaged over 4,600 girls, including 3,000 in India during the STEM4GirlsFestival in fall 2018.
According to the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2018, occupations that significantly benefit from the use of technology, such as analysts, scientists and application developers, are poised to experience considerable demand. In addition, 38 per cent of the businesses surveyed plan to add productivity-enhancing roles to their workforce, and more than a quarter expect automation to lead to the creation of new positions in their enterprises.