One Mentorship at a Time: GE Helps UAE Increase Female Professionals in STEM Fields
Countries work hard to increase GDP growth by as little as 1-2%, so imagine boosting it by 12%! A study suggests that’s possible for the UAE if it were to raise female Emirati participation in STEM fields to the same level as men. A GE mentoring program is helping move things in that direction.
For the second year in a row, GE is hosting its STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) Mentoring Program for female university students in the UAE.
Led by the GE Women’s Network, the Mentoring Program is providing one-on-one mentoring for students from the American University of Sharjah, American University in Dubai and the Rochester Institute of Technology – Dubai. A similar program is being run in Saudi Arabia. In all 25 students are part of this year’s initiative.
Over a four-month period, the students work with female GE professionals at the company’s headquarters in Dubai Internet City, as well as other GE sites and facilities. The mentors work with their mentees on career skills, help them build a real-world understanding of the workplace, and serve as examples and role models of professional women pursuing diverse STEM-related careers.
Specific professional and interpersonal skills targeted include how to make an elevator pitch, interviewing, preparing a professional CV, and building a LinkedIn presence.
The Mentorship Program supports the UAE’s Vision 2021 to encourage greater female participation in the development of the UAE and to make the UAE one of the world’s top 25 countries for gender equality. It also supports a key GE commitment to have 20,000 women fill STEM roles at GE by 2020 and ensure 50:50 representation for all its technical entry-level development programs.
“The UAE’s vision is to establish the nation as a sustainable, knowledge-based economy, with innovation, research, science and technology forming its pillars,” said Dalya Al Muthanna, President & CEO of GE Gulf.
“Gender equality is enshrined in the nation’s constitution, and the UAE is the first country in the Arab world to enforce quotas for women on company boards. As a long-term partner in the growth story of the nation, GE is committed to supporting the leadership’s vision to promote female talent in STEM-related careers,” Al Muthanna added.
Operating around the world the GE Women’s Network is a group of GE’s female professionals working to attract, develop, inspire, and retain female professional talent.
Read more stories here about GE’s commitment to workplace diversity in the UAE and across the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey region.