“Role Model Meetings” In The Scope Of Turkey’s Engineer Girls Project High School Program Have Started

May 1, 2018

Turkey’s Engineer Girls (TEG) Project has been conducted in collaboration with Ministry of Family and Social Policy, Ministry of Education, Limak Foundation and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). To take the impacts of the project to bigger populations, as a part of TEG Project High School Program, “Role Model Meetings” have been established in 48 pilot high schools in 10 different cities.

Volunteer women engineers were assigned as role models to pilot high schools to discuss about what is engineering, its benefits and costs, and their own professional experiences in the field. Until now, in total, 48 high schools in Ankara, Antalya, Hatay and Istanbul were visited.

Turkey’s Engineer Girls project aims to reach 48 high schools in 10 different cities in 2017-2018 academic year. Within the project, “Role Model Meetings” in Ankara, Antalya, Artvin, Çanakkale, Elazığ, Hatay, İstanbul, Kırklareli, Muğla and Siirt were organized to bring role model woman engineers and students together.

Visits to high schools, as a component of the project, are intended to guide high school students in department and profession selection with regard to their interests and skills, especially in the engineering field. In this manner, the first and foremost objective is to lead students to make career plans and select their future professions wisely, without the stereotypes.

In order to meet this goal, first of all, “Training of Trainers”, a training session for school administrators and counselors, was organized between 20-22 March 2018. Then, woman engineers were assigned as role models to each high school to share their professional knowledge and experience, and to answer students’ questions for better understanding of the field of engineering.

Up to this point, “Role Model Meetings” in Ankara, Antalya, Artvin, Hatay, İstanbul and Kırklareli have been completed. During the meetings, role models made informative speeches to students on gender equality, engineering as an occupation for women, social perceptions and awareness on woman’s engagement in work life and obstacles behind university study and work preferences and triggering factors of these common perceptions created by the society, and they answered students’ further questions on mentioned topics. To provide better understanding on the concept of engineering, the role model woman engineers shared their daily work life as an engineer, highlighted the obstacles they have faced with as women in work life.

At the “Role Model Meetings” in Antalya, role model Hatice Gül Selman counted setting a goal, being organized, utilizing internship opportunities wisely and being open to learning new things as her ‘key to success’. In addition, she stated that women should ‘be powerful and confident’ and ‘fight against stereotypes’ in work life.

Likewise, at the “Role Model Meetings” in Hatay, role model Eda Kurt advised to be communicative, curious and investigative, and to make your dreams come true and while doing so not missing on life, in order to be successful. She also mentioned the difference between men and women participation rates in labor force and supported the idea that women should stay strong against obstacles women face in work life.

Role model Naciye Nüket Özden, at the “Role Model Meetings” in İstanbul, stated that ‘engineering does not have gender’ and ‘for women, there is no such thing as impossible.’

For next step, “Role Model Meetings” will be completed also in Çanakkale, Elazığ, Muğla and Siirt. By the end of May, it is aimed to reach to over 20.000 individuals including students, teachers, school administrators and counselors.  

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