DOHA, Qatar – ExxonMobil Qatar’s Professional Women’s Network, EMRA’A has held its third Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day this week. Held in conjunction with INJAZ Qatar, the event, which is an extension of an annual program ExxonMobil organizes in the United States and around the world took place at Vision International School, Al-Wakra.
Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is designed to increase interest in engineering among middle school students. It features hands-on activities and interaction with female engineers and professionals with a background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects.
As part of the day’s events, more than 30 girls from grade 6 and 7 joined a group of 15 ExxonMobil Qatar volunteers. Together, they took part in fun and stimulating activities that encouraged the students to explore basic engineering concepts with guidance from the volunteers.
The program’s main activity involved the girls working as a team to accomplish a stated set of goals while performing specific roles and responsibilities within the team to simulate various project management skills. Students had to use their imaginations and then put their STEM skills to the test by working together to build load-bearing bridges out of raw spaghetti and marshmallows.
Students then had a discussion with the ExxonMobil Qatar volunteers who spoke about their professional experiences and how rewarding a career in engineering can be. The discussion highlighted the exciting and often unique work of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians and the resulting impact on society.
“I can’t stress enough how important Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day is for our young female students,” said Sara Al-Madadi, Business Analyst for ExxonMobil Qatar, who delivered the introduction at the event. “We need to encourage young girls to develop their STEM skills, laying the foundation for further scientific exploration as they grow. One of the most effective things we can do is to encourage young girls to enter engineering and other STEM careers is by simply telling them our story. Most people have a partial understanding of what it is that engineers do – and it’s up to us in the STEM fields to develop and nurture that view through events like this one.”
“As an engineer myself, I want to inspire and motivate as many young girls as I can to consider engineering as a career. Engineers get involved in everything you see around you and they strive to make things more effective, efficient and easier to use. We are much more than one specific story, and that’s why it’s important that we tell these students as many stories as we can – Qatar’s future depends on it,” added Al-Madadi.
“Introduce a Girl to Engineering is a wonderful program that is extremely effective in introducing students to the world of engineering,” said Emad Al-Khaja, Chief Executive Officer, INJAZ Qatar. “We are pleased to have helped our partner ExxonMobil Qatar hold this unique event in Doha for the second time – it is truly a unique way to help students develop a passion for engineering.”
“At INJAZ Qatar, we work very hard to provide students with learning experiences that will help them develop the necessary skills to transition into the workforce. When students have the tools to achieve, the possibilities are endless,” added Al-Khaja.
EMRA’A hosts several events each year that support the current and future needs of the community. As a fundamental building block for individual opportunity and economic growth, education is a priority area for ExxonMobil worldwide. STEM skills in particular, are critical to ensuring today's students are prepared for the jobs of the 21st century.
Programs like Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day align with ExxonMobil Qatar’s broader efforts to help educate and develop the scientists, engineers and innovators that will help sustain Qatar’s future knowledge-based society.
ExxonMobil Qatar has been supporting INJAZ Qatar since 2007, harnessing the mentorship of Qatari business leaders to help inspire entrepreneurialism and innovation among Qatari youth. INJAZ Qatar is an affiliate of Junior Achievement Worldwide, the world's largest non-profit business education organization reaching 10.2 million students annually.
ExxonMobil, the largest publicly traded international oil and gas company, uses technology and innovation to help meet the world’s growing energy needs. ExxonMobil holds an industry-leading inventory of resources, is the largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products, and its chemical company is one of the largest in the world.
ExxonMobil Qatar Limited is a subsidiary of Exxon Mobil Corporation and is the interface point within Qatar for all ExxonMobil affiliated activities.
ExxonMobil Qatar’s women’s interest network, EMRA’A, was founded in 2009 to provide women working within the company and its joint ventures with skills training, mentoring, career guidance and networking opportunities. EMRA’A, meaning ‘woman’ in Arabic, also stands for ExxonMobil Reaching, Aspiring and Advancing, and is modelled off of other ExxonMobil professional women’s networking groups around the globe.
Since establishment, EMRA’A has functioned as a platform from which opportunities for professional women can surface, and where trending topics related to women in the workplace can be brought to the table. The network strives to connect with the Qatari community and hosts events with development opportunities, valuable networking opportunities and team-building activities. Additionally, EMRA’A hosts community events for ExxonMobil to support the needs of the Qatari community.