General Electric Pushes for Women Inclusion in STEM Studies Across Africa
By Adedapo Adesanya
Premier digital industrial company, General Electric (GE), is pushing for younger African women to major in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) studies.
At a Women in STEM mentorship roundtable held in Abidjan, Cote D’Ivioire, female students from the Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny (INPHB) were mentored by four leaders in energy with exemplary resumes and combined decades of wisdom.
The mentees were guided by Mmes Kristin Carvell, the Global Communications Leader, GE Gas Power; Kadidjatou Diallo, Managing Director, La Compagnie Ivoirienne de Production d’Electricité (CIPREL), Aphi Amoussou Nanan, Director of Generation, CI ENERGIES; and Mrs Bethel Nwaneri, Chief People Officer for GE Gas Power Sub Saharan Africa.
The roundtable also focused on highlighting the need for strategic initiatives to sustain women in STEM related careers and also advocated for more diversity in energy and technology sectors.
There were also discussions on how the current era of accelerated technological progress characterized by new innovations has created a greater sense of urgency for companies to tap into the entire technical talent pool to realize sustainable, competitive advantage.
Speaking at the roundtable, Mrs Bethel Nwaneri, Chief People Officer for GE Gas Power Sub Saharan Africa said that the initiative was a continuation of the ongoing partnership between GE and Ivory Coast aimed at investing in technical skills and talent particularly for women.
“Companies that seek to change the world, should reflect the world. Beyond skills and talent development, mentorship is also important in increasing the representation of women in engineering, manufacturing, Information Technology and product management roles.
“This is not just the right thing to do; it’s a necessary strategy to inject urgency into recruiting more women for technical roles. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of leaders and cultivate lasting interest in STEM careers,” she added.
On its part, GE has been a committed partner in diversity, inclusion and skills development in Ivory Coast. In 2018, GE Power partnered with INPHB in Yamoussoukro to train engineering students.
During a six-month period, selected Ivorian students participated in technical and English language proficiency internships at the GE Ghana office giving them exposure and training to ensure they can compete in the rapidly evolving global market.
Most recently, General Electric commissioned an English language technology lab for the institution.