The Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER), one of Masdar’s outreach programs, held an event for the WiSER Pioneers, during which the Pioneers responded to the ten key findings outlined in the white paper, “Artificial Intelligence + Gender Equality: A WiSER Perspective.”
The key findings, which include starts from home, better support in education, provide mentoring, enhance vocational training, develop networking, create a level playing field, provide more flexible working environments, make child-raising gender neutral, encourage women to understand their strengths and support all types of communities, were the result of discussions that took place during the 2020 Annual WiSER Forum at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week earlier this year.
Zainab Al Ali, Head, Outreach and Stakeholder Relations, stressed the importance of the pioneers providing a youth perspective on the findings: “Engaging our WiSER Pioneers to respond to the findings of the white paper is integral to empowering them to effectively lead positive change.” said Al Ali.
The pioneers then had an opportunity to share which of the 10 key findings resonated with them and why.
Amna Al Suwaidi, Program Coordinator, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, believes that better support in education and starts from home go hand-in-hand, sharing a personal story to explain why: “I find it crucial that children, especially girls, be supported and encouraged by their families to pursue and continue their education. When my mother was younger, she was not allowed to continue her education and only ended up finishing up to grade 5 even though she greatly wished to continue. My parents have made it into a rule that each child, both boys and girls, must complete their higher education.”
Mariam Al Blooshi, Student, Higher Colleges of Technology, highlighted the importance of developing networking opportunities: “I believe women should have equal access to opportunities to develop networking. Ignoring networks can damage or limit your career, and this is true for both men and women. The right relationships can assist in getting access to information and gaining opportunities. After participating in networking activities, my confidence increased, and I become more willing to pursue opportunities in the workplace.”
Amna Al Qassab, Student, Higher Colleges of Technology, wishes more was done to encourage women to understand their strengths: “Women possess a very unique power within themselves, and should realize their strengths to be able to both survive and excel in a world which is still dominated by men, We need to stop thinking that we have to ‘act like a man’ in order to be successful. We have a lot to bring to that theoretical - and sometimes physical - table with the female qualities that we naturally possess. We need to stop ignoring these female traits and start to utilize them to our advantage because that is what makes us good leaders.”
In recognition of the importance of taking action to bring about positive change, each pioneer made a pledge on how they will play a role in realizing a more inclusive future. To watch some of the pioneers make their pledges, watch the video below.