Anglogold Ashanti Ghana (Obuasi Mine) has hinted that their yet to be unveiled 10-year Socio-conomic Development Plan will provide for a significant investment in the areas of Science, Engineering, Technology and Mathematics (STEM) with emphasis on promoting girls’ participation in these areas.
The Senior Manager Sustainability, Emmanuel Baidoo,me made this known at a mentorship program organised by the mining company to mark this year’s edition of International Day of Women and Girls in Science at the campus of Obuasi Senior High and Technical School.
The United Nations General Assembly in 2015 declared 11 February as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science in order to achieve full and equal access to and participation in science for women and girls, and further achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
This year’s edition, which was the 7th in series, was under the theme: ‘Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: Water Unites Us’.
According to UNICEF, globally, 18 per cent of girls in tertiary education are pursuing STEM studies — compared to 35 per cent of boys. Again, women find themselves underrepresented in STEM jobs. Women comprise about 40 per cent of the STEM workforce. Though women are well represented in health but are acutely under-represented in engineering and technology jobs and in STEM jobs of the future.
This Mr. Baidoo said has encouraged AngloGold Ashanti to create and maintain an aligned and integrated workplace with an underlying all-inclusive culture based on shared values that allow them to leverage the diversity of their employees and communities to achieve their business outcomes.
“Our 3 year Socio-economic Management Plan which was launched in 2019 focused, on among other things, the promotion of diversity and inclusion in our communities. Specifically, AGA has been supporting sustainable capacity development of women and girls through our Enterprise and Educational development programmes.”
He called on women and girls to be more active in STEM and make a conscious effort to invest in them.
Cecilia Mensah, Municipal Girls Coordinator, urged girls to be intrinsically motivated to take up STEM related programmes.
She said, “Though there are signs that we are making headway, we still believe that there are gaps which need to be bridged. Girls must not be scared to take up STEM related courses and professions.”
A Metallurgical Superintendent at AngloGold Ashanti, Margaret Aniawu-Asumakah, who was a Resource person for the programme, asked girls and women to add value to what they do.
Mrs. Aniawu-Asumakah, who was recently adjudged the Female Mining Professional of the Year at the Seventh Ghana Mining Industry Awards held last year, said ladies should have confidence in their abilities and recognise that they are not in competition with men but rather work hard to achieve their potentials to the fullest.
The Girls Prefect of the Obuasi Senior High and Technical School, Anastasia Adjei, who is also a General Science student, encouraged her mates to remain resolute in their quest to pursue their course in STEM.
“Though we face a lot of challenges including stereotyping, we should not be discouraged.”
Various speakers at the forum shared their own life experiences and encouraged the girls to be relentless and resolute in their pursuit for a desired future in STEM-related fields.