UAE-based DC PRO Engineering has marked International Women’s Day (Monday 8th March) with a pledge to further its pioneering role in fostering and empowering female leaders in the regional engineering industry.
At present, female electrical engineers, mechanical designers and engineering draftswomen constitute 25 per cent of the total workforce at DC PRO, a leading global authority in the field of District Energy and renowned regional sustainability leader in Green Building MEP Designs.
“The classic perception of engineering as a male-dominated domain is now very much a misconception,” said Karen Saliba, a Mechanical Engineer at DC PRO Engineering. “Increased opportunities exist for women in lots of traditionally male-led industrial sectors and engineering, where the status quo has definitely tipped towards equal opportunities, is among them.”
With female enrollment in tertiary education engineering courses increasing nearly six-fold since 2011 according to the Dubai Statistics Centre,Saliba concedes that more must be done to increase opportunities for female engineers across the region.
“DC PRO is cracking an outdated stereotype and employing women in positions that have historically been occupied by men. Cracking a stereotype and smashing one right open are very different things but gradual progress is better than no progress at all. I do feel lucky to work for a company that does not factor gender into its recruitment or career advancement opportunities,” said Saliba, who works on DC PRO projects including Khalifa Stadium in Qatar, Kingdom Tower in KSA, Zakher Palace in the UAE and Adam Airbase in Oman.
“The important thing for me is that my position and those of my female colleagues are not tokenistic – we are employed because we are the best people for our jobs – that is always the only thing that should matter.”
At a national level, the UAE remains a visionary model for women’s empowerment for many countries around the region and the world. According to the Arab Women Foundation the country was ranked number one in the Arab world for empowerment of women in 2014.
George Berbari, CEO of DC PRO Engineering, insists it is the strategic vision of the UAE government that enables companies such as DC PRO to champion female leaders.
“Our strategy to support and empower female pioneers in the engineering industry is only possible because of the UAE government’s long-term investment in country-wide educational and vocational facilities,” he said. “We embrace a policy of employing the best candidate not the best gender, however that is only possible because there is such a rich supply of highly-qualified female engineering graduates coming out of tertiary education institutions both in the UAE and abroad. Our mission is to continue championing female leaders in the regional engineering industry.”
Feature photo: Karen Saliba, Mechanical Engineer at DC PRO Engineering