Kuwait; February 13, 2023: GE (NYSE:GE) renewed its commitment to build local talent in Kuwait and advance students’ understanding and interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields with a two-day event organized in collaboration with INJAZ Kuwait that promoted hands-on learning and aimed to foster vital skills of problem-solving, analytical and critical thinking, and build a strong foundation in science, technology, and innovation.
More than 100 students from the American Creativity Academy in Kuwait gained critical knowledge of advanced technologies required to pursue STEM fields at the event organized to commemorate the 8th International Day of Women and Girls in Science, celebrated annually on February 11. Students also had the opportunity to connect with inspiring female role models in the industry and benefited from a valuable and immersive learning experience during a tour of the GE Kuwait Technology Center (GEKTC), an initiative that aims to transform the energy sector in Kuwait.
Hosted at the Salmiya Campus, the opening day of the event commenced with an introduction to STEM, followed by an interactive challenge on the subject and was led by INJAZ with the help of four GE volunteers. Reflecting GE’s strong commitment to its community in Kuwait and to propel young girls towards their goals, students were taken on a tour of GEKTC the next day where they learnt how STEM skills could be applied to drive innovation, inclusive growth, and sustainable development.
Successful female leaders also spoke at the event, urging students to develop their skills in STEM to become agents of change and pursue jobs of the future. Dana AlQattan, Sales and Proposals Manager at GEKTC, inspired the future leaders by outlining how her deep-seated passion for science and spirit of curiosity allowed her to pursue a role in a traditionally male-dominated field.
Mariam Al-Rushaid, Director, GE Kuwait Technology Center, said: “To help create the future we want to see, and to build a stronger and more diverse pipeline for the future, talented young girls and boys must be encouraged to nurture their interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Businesses must also do more to actively address the talent shortage for women in STEM roles. Through our partnership with INJAZ Kuwait, GE seeks to empower young students in this field to support and realize the goals envisioned under Kuwait Vision 2035 to foster competitiveness, support sustainable economic growth and diversification, and further strengthen industrial capabilities.”
Laila Hilal Al-Mutairi, CEO, INJAZ Kuwait, said: “Investing in the education and empowerment of young women in STEM fields is not just a social responsibility, but a crucial step towards building a diverse and innovative future. Our goal is to ignite a passion for STEM in young women, and to give them the confidence, skills, and support they need to pursue their dreams and make a meaningful impact in the world. “
With more than 20 years of experience in information technology and data analytics, Mai AlOwaish, Chief Data & Innovation Officer at Gulf Bank, had an inspiring influence on students as she described her journey of spearheading a wide range of data analytics and e-commerce initiatives in Kuwait and the United States. A digital strategy expert, Mai AlOwaish has also helmed the digital transformation and innovation of financial institutions, retail brands, airlines, and more.
Zoologist and scientist Dunia Al Dughaishem led a STEM workshop hosted by Tmohatii Educational Center where students were empowered to apply 21st century skills acquired through the lens of the 4Cs – Creativity, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Collaboration – in solving problems, finding solutions and working together.
Globally, the largest gender imbalances are in the fields of computer science, engineering and technology, with women making up only 28 per cent of the STEM workforce worldwide and men vastly outnumbering women majoring in most STEM fields in college. In the Gulf States, although women comprise about 60 percent of engineering students, employment outcomes still lag as women account for just 40 percent of the STEM workforce in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Committed to developing the workforce of the future, GE regularly invests in programs and activities to drive female participation in critical sectors of the future through knowledge sharing and mentorship opportunities. GEKTC is a flagship, first-of-its-kind facility in Kuwait, which serves power sector customers in the country and abroad, and includes centers for Training, Tooling, and Research & Development (R&D).