Society / Education
Thursday, 08 Dec 2016 13:07 EATnewsdesk@kenyafreepress.com
Women have been urged to pursue careers in geothermal development to bridge the gender equality gap and enhance business productivity in the industry. Geothermal Development Company (GDC) Managing Director, Eng. Johnson Ole Nchoe, said the company will continue supporting the growth of women in the industry to create a balance that will boost geothermal development through enhanced innovation.
Eng Nchoe said the industry has numerous opportunities for women to advance their careers disclosing that GDC has a third of women in senior management positions. “We want not only more women in Africa to join the geothermal industry but also have them at key policy and decision making levels. We will continue holding career fairs to encourage more girls pursue sciences and engineering professions,” he said.
Eng Nchoe was speaking during a luncheon hosted in honour of Phyllis Mathenge, a drilling engineer from GDC who has been appointed the first Interim President of Women In Geothermal (WING) Africa, the continent’s affiliate of the global body. WING Africa was officially launched last month during the Sixth Africa Rift Geothermal Conference ARGeo-C6 conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, as a non-profit association that advocates for the strengthening of women’s voice, diversity and inclusiveness in the geothermal industry.
WING Africa has membership drawn from all the 13 countries in Africa that are endowed with geothermal resources). It admits women from all professions, both technical (engineering and science) and non-technical, as well as men who support the growth of women working in the geothermal industry.
Ms Mathenge said the industry is missing out on a significant pool of female talent and called for diversity if positive outcomes are to be realised. “At WING Africa we will share knowledge, mentor one another and grow together. We hope to create a balance in the workplace. We want to join forces with men and create a geothermal industry of the future; an industry where men and women will be in equilibrium.”
The International Geothermal Association (IGA) estimates that only 16 percent of their members are women. This means that women are not being seen, heard or acknowledged to the same levels as men in the geothermal community.
Among the key activities that WING Africa will engage in include peer mentorship, professional development, mentorship of young girls in school and universities who are interested in pursuing engineering and science - based subjects.