Empowering women to join STEM sector, BITS Pilani Dubai Campus announces affiliation with Society of Women Engineers

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A champion of women engineers for over 70 years, The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) has announced collaboration with BITS Pilani Dubai Campus (BPDC) to encourage and empower women to join so far male dominated STEM sector. BITS Pilani Dubai Campus will be the first dedicated Engineering and Technology Institute in the UAE to be chosen by SWE to facilitate the changing equation in the STEM sector in UAE. SWE is a US-based global organization with 80+ global affiliates worldwide,dedicated to giving women engineers a unique place and voice within the engineering industry. Through this new relationship at international level BPDC seeks to further SWE’s vision of a world with gender parity and equality in engineering and technology.

BPDC SWE aims to further encourage participation of women in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)by supporting them with the proliferation of their vision and mission and by providing them with the necessary skill sets to tackle the outside world whether it be pursuing masters or being part of the engineering workforce. Through SWE various events will be held locally in BPDC wherein the female students will be empowered by conducting public speaking and leadership workshops, industrial visits, projects mentored by professionals, working on elevator pitches and networking with other women in leadership roles.

Director Prof. Srinivasan Madapusi, BITS Pilani, Dubai Campus, under whose directives this affiliation has come in force, commented, “Smashing the stereotypes, women in UAE and Middle Eastern region are taking up pivotal roles in the field of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) a field traditionally dominated by men.Engaging women and girls in STEM is fundamental to achieve inclusive growth in UAE and Middle East region. UAE’s visionary leaders have also backed active role of women in STEM sector. We at BITS Pilani Dubai campus in tandem with SWE aim to create a resourceful framework and a good foundation for our female students that act as a springboard to move ahead in different fields of STEM sector and become successful.”

Commenting on the occasion, Dr. R. Swarnalatha, Faculty In-Charge said, Research shows many girls ‘self-select’ out of STEM subjects because they often do not feel that they ‘belong’.  Even those women that do take up roles in STEM industries still need a framework that will enable them to excel and succeed at par with their male counterparts. The mission of SWE along with BPDC is to stimulate women to achieve full potential in careers as engineers and leaders, expand the image of the engineering profession as a positive force in improving the quality of life, and demonstrate the value of diversity. We are excited to embark on this new venture and the team is looking forward to bringing new opportunities for all women engineers in the making.”

With this affiliation BPDC plans within one year to enroll 33% of their female students in SWE programs.  SWE’s network helps students find mentors, role models, faculty members, and fellow students to remind them they are not alone. The headquarters Affiliate has a full list of resources that SWE offers to help BPDC affiliate be successful.