Inclusion of more women in STEM field key to growth

By Staff Reporter | The News Feb 16, 2023

Participants at an international conference on “Horizons in STEM Higher Education” emphasised that higher education leadership needs to take dynamic steps for making the STEM landscape more equitable, diverse and inclusive, discussed the challenges and future of women in engineering, shared the difficulties faced by women in the medical field and road map of betterment in a two-day conference organised by Lahore College for Women University here Wednesday.

The conference was part of a British Council-funded project, “STEM Education in Pakistan” under which capacity building of more than 200 current and future STEM faculty took place and highlighted several women who are role models in STEM fields.

The closing ceremony of the project and the conference was graced by a former member National Assembly and chairman of Pakistan Engineering Council, Engr Najeeb Haroon as a chief guest. Pakistan Engineering Council Chairman Engr Najeeb Haroon appreciated the LCWU’s engineering department, the objectives achieved under the project and distributed prizes to selected final-year projects which are focusing on flood monitoring and solar-based irrigation. These projects were supervised by Engr Dr Aqsa Shabbir is also the project lead and conference chair for STEM education.

Special Guest at the conference, Honorable Clara Strandhoj, Head of the British High Commission in Lahore and Punjab highly appreciated the initiatives and said that the inclusion of more women in STEM fields is the key to economic growth. In recent times, STEM education is considered unavoidable in modern systems to train inclusive workers that are among the primary requirements of development. To accomplish this, students need to be equipped with modern educational technology, she added.

Vice Chancellor LCWU Prof. Dr Bushra Mirza stressed that LCWU is committed to women's empowerment to which this project and conference have immensely contributed. Prof Dr Bushra Mirza stated that SCIENCE, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) is an interdisciplinary methodology. By linking various independent disciplines, STEM helps students in solving problems by building up their analytical skills.

It is a well-established fact that with such a state-of-the-art approach, students are equipped with multidisciplinary approaches and feel motivated to tackle problems of even the most complex nature in their future endeavours, she added. Dr Engr. Aqsa Shabbir, conference chair and project lead shared that this project also involved STEM awareness in public schools and the sharing of achievements of accomplished STEM women will have long-lasting positive impacts.

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