Habib University challenges gender disparity in STEM

Only 28% of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) jobs are held by women, globally, and men outnumber women in most STEM undergraduate majors. In several of the upcoming professions with the greatest pay and fastest job growth, such as Computer Science and Engineering, there are pronounced gender pay inequalities. Habib University, being the premier Liberal Arts and Sciences institution, addresses through its educational model, the disproportionate gender gap in STEM.

Habib University organized the session Women in STEM – Inspiring stories from Habib University at Adab Festival at Frere Hall, Karachi. Dr. Sameena Shah Zaman, Associate Professor, Integrated Science and Mathematics at Habib University moderated the session. Dr. Haleema Qamar, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Habib university, and Ms. Fariha Farooq, Ms. Anumtah Aijaz, Ms. Areeba Aziz Rajput, Ms. Binish Fatima, and Ms. Swaleha Muhammad Saleem, who are alumna of Habib University, were the speakers of the session.

During the session, Dr. Sameena said, “Habib University is an institution that focuses on nurturing informed citizens and we at Habib University ensure women’s participation in STEM.”

Dr. Haleema Qamar emphasized, “To all the parents, never be hesitant when it comes to your daughters studying in the STEM field, and never be worried about financial constraints because, at Habib University, we have a bundle of scholarships to foster Women in STEM.”

Pakistan is the second worst country on Global Gender Gap Index, everywhere around 1000 women are killed in the name of honor. In tribal, patriarchal, and traditional societies, where private and public spaces are separated for men and women, former for the men and latter for the women, there, Habib University, removes these gaps and spaces for women to participate and pursue their goals in STEM.

Ms. Areeba Aziz Rajput, an Electrical Engineering alumna of Habib University from the 2018 batch while talking about her journey said, “I take obstacles as a challenge to show that women can do wonders in STEM.”

Ms. Fariha Farooq said, “I knew the moment that I stepped inside Habib University that I belong to this institution, which gives you the freedom to completely explore yourself.”

While continuing the session, Ms. Binish Fatima said, “The turning point for me to opt for Electrical Engineering was the introductory (Electrical Engineering) course at Habib University, an institution that makes you a holistic individual,” highlighting the fact that Habib University provides its students an academically rich environment with the blend of interdisciplinarity so that students are not just confined to their chosen field of study but explore other dimensions as well.

Anumtah Aijaz, our Electrical Engineering Alumna from the Class of 2020, answering a query during Adab Festival’s Women in STEM session.

One of the speakers, Anumtah Aijaz stated, “When I went to apply for jobs in STEM, I knew I would be the first choice for any industry because Habib University has made me so capable that now I am not only an Engineer but I am a leader capable of best communication.”

Swaleha Muhammad Saleem said, “I looked inside and found inner strength within me. I made the best use of my abilities and now I am working as a Product Manager at one of the leading industries.”


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