Science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies are becoming increasingly important for the continuous development of innovative solutions to solve challenges in diverse sectors.
General Electric (GE) hosted a women in STEM mentorship roundtable for female students from the Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny (INPHB) in Côte d’Ivoire.
The session, which was held in Abidjan, was led by four leaders in energy with exemplary resumes and combined decades of wisdom.
They included Kristin Carvell, Global Communications Leader, GE Gas Power; Kadidjatou Diallo, Managing Director, La Compagnie Ivoirienne de Production d’Electricité (CIPREL); Aphi Amoussou Nanan, Director of Generation, CI ENERGIES; and Bethel Nwaneri, Chief People Officer for GE Gas Power sub-Saharan Africa.
Speaking at the roundtable, Nwaneri said that the initiative was a continuation of the ongoing partnership between GE and Côte d’Ivoire aimed at investing in technical skills and talent particularly for women.
“Companies that seek to change the world, should reflect the world. Beyond skills and talent development, mentorship is also important in increasing the representation of women in engineering, manufacturing, IT and product management roles,” Nwaneri stated.
She added: “This is not just the right thing to do; it’s a necessary strategy to inject urgency into recruiting more women for technical roles. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of leaders and cultivate lasting interest in STEM careers.”
Initiatives to sustain women in STEM careers
The roundtable focused on highlighting the need for strategic initiatives to sustain women in STEM-related careers; to advocate for more diversity in energy and technology sectors; and how this era of accelerated technological progress characterised by new innovations creates a greater sense of urgency for companies to tap into the entire technical talent pool to realise sustainable, competitive advantage.
GE noted it has been a committed partner in diversity, inclusion and skills development in Côte d’Ivoire.
In 2018, GE Power partnered with INPHB in Yamoussoukro to train engineering students.
During a six-month period, selected students participated in technical and English language proficiency internships at the GE Ghana office giving them exposure and training to ensure they can compete in the rapidly evolving global market.
Most recently, GE commissioned an English language technology lab for the institution.