WOMEN ENGINEERING CAREER- THE CASE OF NIGERIA Christianah O. Ijagbemi Ph.d Mechanical Engineering Department Federal University of Technology, Akure NIGERIA
MEN : WOMEN Nigeria Population 120,000 (2006 Population census)– Men 40% , Women - 60%. Women are more oriented than men to “communal” goals, such as helping others or serving humanity. Technological development - mandatory for nations overall development - Nigerian women constitute a small part (12.4%) of the total output of the institutions contributing to national development (Badekale,1992; Ogunsola, 2007).
TREND FROM AGESDistribution of Pupils in Nigerian Secondary Schools, 1959, 1963 and 1970 Year Male Female Total % Girl 1959 92,280 23,106 115,586 19.99 1965 151, 807 60,072 211,870 28.35 1970 205, 959 104, 095 310,054 33.57 Source: Alele-Williams (1988)2005 Enrolment by Gender from Pre-Primary to Tertiary Schools Year Male Female Total % Girl Pre-Primary 956,475 903, 796 1, 860, 271 48.58 Primary 12, 273, 046 9, 994, 361 22, 267, 407 44.88 Secondary 1, 559, 038 1, 214, 380 2, 773, 418 43.79Source: Statistics of Education in Nigeria (2005) by Federal Ministry of Education.
ENGINEERING MANPOWER Regardless of the effort made to increase the number of engineers in the past, shortages is still as high as 50% (Ukaegbu, 2005). Shortages persist even - In universities and polytechnics charged with manpower production. - In intermediate technical manpower needed to support engineers. Economic manpower ratio is inadequate - a ratio of one engineer to one technician in the job market.
THE PURPOSE To present a picture of women participation in engineering in Nigeria, to show important constraints that discourage women’s participation, and to propose appropriate recommendations. In order to achieve this, the following specific objectives were focused upon: (a) factors in education and training which act as obstacles to the attraction of girls and women to engineering; (b) reasons for women discontinuation in engineering careers and low participation in the various engineering fields.
Low Women Participation in Engineering Culture • Religion • Finance/situational: Poverty, Child Abuse & • Attitudinal: Rigidity of a certain mindsetEnvironment • Family balanceEducation & • Qualification -Mathematics • lack of Role Models Training • Inhospitable and competitive work environmentWork place • Lack of confidence in technical skills (self efficacy) • RemunerationAtmosphere • Job security and opportunity for professional growth
The Engineering Career – Why Women LeaveDifficult-to-enter careers such as medicine or law have higher percentages of women, Why? PRIMARY FACTORS Education Work Place & Culture Training- STEM fields
2010/11 Enrolment at the Federal Universityof Technology, Akure, NIGERIABest University of Engineering Metallurgical/Mater ials Male = 86; Female = 2 Total = 88
Strategies -Not just Recruitment but Retention Scholarship - Legislation of an Act on fostering and supporting girl child technical education Government provision of modern facilities (including school building structures) that out-class boys’ oriented schools at in high school levels. Celebrating women engineers achievements - Provision of annual merit award by the Government for women engineers who have distinguished themselves at their workplace Education – Mentoring – Peer mentoring to prevent isolation and loneliness, Work place culture, Time issues, Networking. Role Models: Influence of parents and mentors.
Implications for National DevelopmentThe fluctuating trend in graduate output and indisfavor of women, indicated that:more women are not as educated as their male inengineering and as such,low production of female high level manpower,which in this era of technological and scientificdevelopment will slow down the pace of nation’sdevelopment.
ConclusionEconomic development is related to the production ofthe right quality and quantity of graduates inengineering, there is the need to make efforts toeducate more women in engineering.This becomes necessary if the aspiration of makingNigeria and other African countries to be among thetop ten world economies by 2020 is not a mirage.