Engineering an Inclusive World

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Naadiya Moosajee is a civil engineer and entrepreneur on a mission to fast-track gender parity in STEM. In 2005 she co-founded WomEng, a global non-profit organisation that aims to attract, develop, and nurture the next generation of women engineering leaders in an effort to foster growth in emerging economies and engineer a more inclusive world.

In this episode of Create the Future, Naadiya explains her goal to get #1MillionGirlsInSTEM and how—through WomEng—incredible progress is already being made. We explore the right to equal and inclusive transport, hear how Naadiya’s transportation engineering degree led her to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and find out why Google inspired her to become an engineer.

About the guest

Naadiya Moosajee is a major global advocate for women in engineering. A serial social entrepreneur by passion and civil engineer by training, she co-founded WomEng, a social enterprise helping girls in STEM and women in engineering. In 2017, WomEng launched the #1MillionGirlsInSTEM programme. To support female entrepreneurs in STEM, Naadiya recently launched WomHub.

Episode highlights

  • “As engineers, we actually have such high risk in terms of the world because we literally designing the world that we live in. And so, when we're not designing an inclusive world, it means that half the population is having to really adapt and work so much harder to just do the basics.”
  • “As a transport engineer, we have such an impactful role that we can play in society - to be able to bring in the forgotten who live in the peripheries, into our cities, and fully participate in the economy.”
  • “When I started in engineering, my civil engineering class was 20% girls. Now they are between 40 and 50%.”
  • On her role on the B20: “Women in STEM has become a priority like never before. It's literally written into every policy.”
  • “Google helped me make my career choice.”
  • “Civil engineers are generalists in South Africa. Our degrees are holistic so we do all kinds of engineering, not just structural.”
  • “When we created WomEng we were kind of bold and bright eyed and bushy tailed. We said ‘we’ll solve the gender challenges within engineering in 10 years’. So we were exceptionally naive.”
  • “Over the last few years we've been building an entire ecosystem by both bringing young girls and creating awareness of engineering and engineering careers so that people make an active choice around engineering […] we work with industry a lot around diversity, equity and inclusion and reimagining what an engineering culture could look like that is inclusive.”
  • “I feel like more engineers need to get into government and to become politicians […] engineering is usually political, so we we need to have better skills in this area. That's my new push, to try and get more people into places of power and positions where we can actually make positive change.”

Photo by Ann H from Pexels

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