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Insights Breaking barriers- Women and girls in science

The UN International Day of Women and Girls in Science is celebrated annually on February 11th to recognize and celebrate the achievements of women and girls in science and to encourage their participation in the field. Women and girls remain underrepresented in science and continue to face significant barriers to entry and advancement across the world.

We caught up with Sara Hasan, Shaikha Alqamri, and Mohsenal Alyami to share their thoughts and experiences.

Shaikha Alqamri, site mechanical engineer on DEWA (Al-Sheraa project)

What message would you give to girls and women pursuing a career in science?

In the beginning, you may find it difficult in the field, but if you are certain, confident, and believe in yourself, then you will certainly excel in the field of science. This field depends on you and what your inclinations, ambitions, and goals are. Your goal must be clear to reach it. Then comes the role of the external environment you live in. We naturally like to receive encouragement from family and people close to us to help us progress in our careers. The field of science is large and broad and a field in which you can be creative, innovate, and think outside the ordinary.

Sara Almarzooqi, Junior Electrical Engineer at Al Sheraa - New DEWA Headquarters Building. 

How can we encourage more girls to pursue STEM education and careers starting at an early age?

Encouraging more girls to pursue STEM education and careers starting at an early age is crucial for fostering diversity and inclusivity in these fields. We can implement targeted outreach programs, collaborate with female STEM professionals for mentorship, introduce interactive and diverse STEM activities, and challenge gender stereotypes in educational materials. Building a supportive environment that highlights inclusivity and showcases successful women in STEM can inspire early engagement and sustained interest.

What inspired you to pursue a career in science?

My interest in science was sparked during a high school project where I had the opportunity to conduct hands-on experiments. The joy of discovery and the endless possibilities in unraveling the mysteries of the universe captivated me. Additionally, the guidance of a passionate science teacher played a crucial role, inspiring me to pursue a career dedicated to exploration and understanding in the realm of scienc

Mohsenah, Management Consultant, Strategic Advisory

As we celebrate International Day of Women and Girls in Science, what achievements or advancements in science by women do you find inspiring?

Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid Al Qasimi is an excellent example of a successful and accomplished woman from the UAE. Sheikha Lubna has held several influential positions in both government and private sectors, showcasing her leadership and dedication. Notably, she served as the Minister of State for Tolerance in the UAE and was previously the Minister of State for International Cooperation and the Minister of Foreign Trade. Her remarkable achievements and contributions have not only broken barriers but have also paved the way for other women to excel in various fields, making her an inspiring figure in the UAE's success stories. Another example Shamma Al Mazrui is representing the success of women in the UAE. At the young age of 22, she made history by becoming the youngest member of the UAE cabinet, showcasing not only her exceptional capabilities but also breaking age barriers in leadership roles. Her journey from Minister of State for Youth Affairs to Minister of Community Development reflects her commitment to making a positive impact across various sectors. Shamma's active involvement in youth-related matters, her role as the UAE’s COP28 Youth Climate Champion, and her contributions to shaping policies demonstrate her dedication to fostering positive change. Her achievements underscore the opportunities available for women to excel in diverse fields, making her a notable example of success in the UAE. 

What changes or improvements would you like to see in the future to further support women’s contributions and success?

 Looking ahead, fostering an inclusive environment that encourages girls and women to pursue STEM (Science, Technology, and Engineering) education is crucial. Implementing mentorship programs, creating networking opportunities, and establishing supportive policies within academic and professional spheres will further empower women in science. Additionally, initiatives that showcase successful role models and celebrate their achievements can contribute to breaking down gender barriers in STEM fields. 

Breaking through barriers, these remarkable women in science, including government leaders and young pioneers, inspire and vividly exemplify the transformative impact women continue to have in various scientific arenas. 

Every day, we’re striving to be more inclusive, more collaborative and more innovative in how we drive change. To find out more click here to view our ED&I program.