GE recently hosted a Women in STEM mentorship roundtable for female students from the Institut National Polytechnique Félix Houphouët-Boigny (INPHB) in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, led by four leaders in energy. They included Kristin Carvell, global communications leader, GE Gas Power; Kadidjatou Diallo, MD, La Compagnie Ivoirienne de Production d’Electricité (CIPREL); Aphi Amoussou Nanan, director of generation, CI Energies; and Bethel Nwaneri, chief people officer for GE Gas Power Sub-Saharan Africa.
Participants discussed all things STEM, including why they chose a career in STEM, the value they feel it brings to communities, and advice they would give to young women seeking to enter the field. The roundtable also focused on highlighting the need for strategic initiatives to sustain women in STEM-related careers; to advocate for more diversity in energy and technology sectors and how this era of accelerated technological progress charactersed by new innovations creates a greater sense of urgency for companies to tap into the entire technical talent pool to realise sustainable, competitive advantage.
Inspiring the next generation
Speaking at the roundtable, Nwaneri said that the initiative was a continuation of the ongoing partnership between GE and Côte d’Ivoire aimed at investing in technical skills and talent, particularly for women. “Companies that seek to change the world, should reflect the world. Beyond skills and talent development, mentorship is also important in increasing the representation of women in engineering, manufacturing, IT and product management roles. This is not just the right thing to do; it’s a necessary strategy to inject urgency into recruiting more women for technical roles. Our goal is to inspire the next generation of leaders and cultivate lasting interest in STEM careers,” she added.