WomEng’s Pink Hard Hats Invade, Inspire Girls in Engineering

Over three days, PAS hosted the South Africa-based NGO, WomEng (founded by a South African alumna of IVLP and Fortune Women’s Mentoring Program), to discuss engineering careers, mentoring, and professional development with groups of stakeholders and students. The WomEng team first met with a group of more than 60 engineers, predominantly women, to talk about challenges in their fields and how WomEng resources can assist, including starting up a local chapter.

The team also traveled to two girls high schools to conduct their #AskAnEngineer module. This interactive program allowed girls to learn more about specialties within engineering and to ask burning questions about an engineer’s study path and their professional and personal lives. PAS also linked the WomEng team with the girls’ team that won the 2016 National Coding and Robotics Competition, as many of them want to pursue engineering studies.

On the final day, PAS organized a special workshop session for the WomEng team and 60 high school girls at the Swazi Expo for Young Scientists (sponsored with a PAS grant). The session combined the #AskAnEngineer series with an exploration of the girls’ individuality and creativity. By decorating their pink hard hats, girls discovered what they hope to bring to the engineering sector and to the world.

This program advances our mission goal to continuously promote and encourage girls and women in the STEM fields and achieves our goal to expand public-private partnerships.