Leadership’s support has helped Emirati women excel in STEM fields

Emirati women have been able to make significant achievements across various fields, including science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) domains, thanks to the support and encouragement of the leadership and the equal opportunities provided to them, said Her Excellency Sara Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Sciences.

During a panel discussion moderated by Tom Fletcher, former UK Ambassador to Lebanon and Visiting Professor at New York University, HE Al Amiri discussed the significant progress made by the UAE in the field of gender balance and its ability to become a model for women’s empowerment across the region and the world, especially in the fields of science and technology.

She stressed that the issue of prejudice against women in the labour market, especially in the field of science and technology, is due to several reasons, the most important of which is the society’s lack of confidence in the abilities of women. However, she said, this is not the case in the UAE, since the country’s leadership has provided women with equal opportunities in education, training and employment. The only difference between men and women in the field of work is their competence and ability to perform the tasks assigned to each job, she added.

In response to a question about her optimism for the future, Her Excellency said that there are many reasons to be optimistic about the future, especially with the Mars Mission entering a critical testing phase as it closes in on its launch date of July 2020.

UAE has invested in human potential and talent and has worked to acquire knowledge in the field of space in record time, she said. The UAE has also worked hard in the development of a new economic sector based on knowledge, which is the space sector.

Al Amiri also pointed out that there are many emerging sectors that open the way for the participation of women, including the space sector, which is currently still dominated by men globally. “Around 40% of the team working on the Mars Mission are women, as opposed to missions of other countries where women account for 14 per cent. 90% of the science team at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre is composed of women.”

She further stressed that the concept of gender balance must start from home and that parents should have a dialogue with their children in case they are exposed to certain messages that promote gender bias.

Organised by the INSEAD National Alumni Association (NAA) in the UAE and the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO), the region’s first INSEAD NAA UAE Leadership Forum provided a platform for sharing diverse ideas on promoting sustainable economic growth and creating a brighter future for the region. Speakers engaged in a dialogue on vital topics ranging from the economy, society and culture to technology, entrepreneurship and innovation.

The Forum took a deeper look at the economic and social shifts taking place regionally and globally and explored how countries in the Middle East can ride these waves of change to bring more prosperity to the region.

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