Why women should hold same percentage of STEM jobs, by Adebule
Deputy Governor, Lagos State, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, yesterday charged stakeholders across the country to develop programmes and policies that will encourage more female participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) field, so they can have equal job opportunity in the field like the menfolk.
If this is achieved Adebule said it will positively affect socio-economic development of the country, and lift Nigeria’s place in the global technology league table.
Delivering the keynote address titled “Building an Inclusive and Competitive 21st Century Workforce: The Girl-Child Challenge,” at the “2017 Stemma Hands-on Empowerment (SHE) Science and Technology Fair for Girls,” organised by Christopher Kolade Foundation (CKF), Adebule, admitted that it is quite challenging for women especially in a developing economy to compete with menfolk in technological work environment.
But with active corporate and private citizen’s partnerships, as well as that of government, she affirmed that the challenges will be turned to greater opportunities, particularly now that it has been estimated that up to 90 per cent of formal sector jobs will require practical knowledge and skills in Information and Communications Technology (ICT).
She therefore urged all stakeholders and education providers to while stimulating girl-child interests in STEM, continually review and change education curriculum and infrastructure to meet the contemporary and future needs of the society.
She said, “It is indeed a challenge for women, especially in a developing economy such as Nigeria to compete with the men folks in the 21st century work environment where STEM and ICT are the backbones.’’
The greatest challenges that humans had to contend with especially with the advent of digital technology, the Internet as well as mobile telephone and most recently, robotics and artificial intelligence, were that old skills and jobs were becoming irrelevant.
“Therefore, our lifestyle, though process, socialisation has been impacted with attendant consequences on jobs, economy and the environment. The world gradually shrank to a global round-table and if Nigeria must function on that table, she must embrace inclusive science, technology, ICT and innovation education to enhance the aptitude of Nigerians irrespective of gender to compete globally.
She continued, “Otherwise, our case will be like a one-legged athlete competing with others who have two strong legs. In essence for Nigeria not to be left behind, in the new world of inclusive sustainable development, economic prosperity and healthy environment, the girl-child of today must not be left behind in STEM education. Gone are the days when brute strength and stamina gives advantage to the male folks. With tools and techniques a woman can do any type of job.”
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