ExxonMobil women launch university outreach programme
Female professionals in ExxonMobil upstream companies in Nigeria, under their Women’s Interest Network (WIN), have launched a university outreach programme to nurture enthusiasm in engineering and geosciences careers among female university students.
The programme aims to promote curiosity among school students and help shrink the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.
Speaking at the launch of the outreach programme at the University of Ibadan recently, President of ExxonMobil WIN in Nigeria, Mrs. Toyin Sarumi, said 15 universities will be covered under the programme, which will involve female professionals from ExxonMobil holding lecture sessions with female geosciences and engineering students in these universities.
Aside from the University of Ibadan, other universities to benefit from the first phase of the programme are Akwa Ibom State University, Rivers State University of Science and Technology, Federal University of Technology, Effurun, University of Lagos, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, University of Port Harcourt, University of Calabar, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, University of Benin, Delta State University, Abraka, University of Nigeria, Enugu Stat University of Science & Tehnology, Federal University of Technology, Akure, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State University, Ulli and American University of Nigeria, Yola.
Sarumi said the outreach was also meant to improve on the number of female students pursuing careers in engineering and the geosciences by providing them with the relevant information on how to gain employment in the oil and gas sector; how they can enjoy fulfilling careers in the industry and work/life balance, among others.
Her words: “We are here to tell them how significant young females are in the society; to encourage them to take up careers as engineers or geoscientists. We have similar programmes in secondary schools, which will introduce girls to engineering and we usually encourage girls from secondary schools to take up engineering courses.
“We found out that when ladies take up these geosciences courses, they do not pursue a career. Most of them feel that they can’t combine their marriages or families with engineering careers.
Vice President of the group, Mrs. Jumoke Akinpelu, encouraged female students to pursue careers in engineering and geosciences, adding that ExxonMobil female professionals would provide them with the required assistance through the WIN initiative.
“Most of them have challenges and they don’t know how to go about it. They register for these engineering courses and go through them but at the end, only a few practice with the knowledge they had acquired.