Young Entrepreneurs Awards Finalist: Naadiya Moosajee
Country of impact: South Africa, Kenya, Malawi, Swaziland, Mauritius, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, US, UK
A ‘profit–non-profit’ hybrid giving girls and women their rightful place at the engineering table.
Achieving the Global Goals is going to take some engineering skills. Yet traditionally women and girls have been excluded from the sector. The number of women engineers in Africa is typically below 10%, and in developing countries it’s not much better, at around 20%.
Investing in women and girls
WomEng is striving to transform the industry by developing and investing in girls and women. Their GirlEng programme gamifies maths and science and provides mentoring. Once at university, WomEng ambassadors provide supportive communities to help these girls to thrive. And their Fellowship programme teaches entrepreneurship and has an annual ‘technovation’ challenge which helps young women start their own business.
WomEng also works with organisations to transform their engineering talent pipeline, helping them achieve their gender equality targets.
From personal to global
It was co-founder Naadiya’s personal experience that led to WomEng. She describes entering engineering “by accident”, being in a class of just five girls and 55 boys, then experiencing harassment when working in the industry. She knows first hand the importance of having women at the table, and how gender diversity leads to innovation and creative problem solving.
Since 2006, WomEng has worked with over 14,000 girls at various levels of the engineering pipeline. Their ultimate goal is to empower 1 million girls through science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by 2027.