Engineer Girls of Turkey
Engineer Girls of Turkey (EGT) Project concentrates on developing a private sector driven gender equality mainstreaming program to promote female students participation in engineering professions, and empowering female engineering students. Project evolves around three main components. First component is formulating an analytical framework to show obstacles and developing a long-term evaluation plan. Second component is implementing a support program for both female engineering students and high school students. And, third component is to develop institutional inclusive work models to adopt and advocate gender sensitive approach.
EGT Project targeting the disproportional representation of women in engineering, aims to inspire more girls for engineering career in Turkey. The project has a holistic approach where different realms of inequalities approached with synchronic interventions targeting the process of choice of profession (namely high school students, teachers and families), professional education (university students), and professional work (women engineers and business). It has a collaborative approach that brings public authorities (Min. of Family, Labor and Social Services; Min. of Education), international organization (UNDP Turkey), civil society (ÖRAV, PERYÖN), academia (Boğaziçi Uni.) and private sector (Limak) together. It has comprehensive practice and innovative methods ranging from online courses to mentoring; voluntarism to creativity. Collective action, mutual learning and empowerment paid most attention methodologically. Within a participatory approach, beneficiaries take part and play roles in different activities as can be seen in the mentorship programs and voluntarism. It is also unique for encouraging solidarity among women engineers.
The EGT project activities for empowering women and girls are designed holistically by taking into consideration both employment and education. Considering the results obtained and the multiplier effect, the project creates significant awareness on gender inequalities both in STEM education and employment. In order for sustainable development to fully occur, women and girls must participate in their communities, particularly in the areas of education and employment, with equal opportunities and in equal numbers as men and boys. The EGT project has strategic contributions to multiple SDGs such as quality education, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, reduced inequalities. EGT has made significant contributions to such goals.
For the first component of EGT Project, an academic research report titled Women in Engineering in Turkey was prepared through extensive research and individual/focus group interviews, analyzing the current limitations in the country and how EGT Project could address the challenge of reducing these barriers. The second component of EGT Project has two different activities; one targeting university students and the other targeting high school students. Within the university program or the scholarship program; in total, 130 students including two Syrians from electrical and electronic, industrial, civil, mechanical, and environmental and computer science engineering departments benefited from the scholarship programs and other opportunities Besides the scholarship programme a high school program also creates a motivation and focus on another segment of society that includes high school students (both boys and girls), teachers, and parents. The high school program aligned to the high school curriculum was designed with the partnership of Ministry of Education. The methodology contains various training programs for students attending sophomore and junior high school students, their parents, teachers and counselors. These modalities include seminars, games and races as well as exchanges with role models and target students, parents and teachers. In total, over 2000 beneficiaries including teachers, students and their parents benefited from awareness raising activities on STEM through Training of Trainers modality. For the 3rd component of the project, UNDPs Gender Equality Seal (GES) Program for private enterprise was introduced to Limak. The project is being used for evaluate the current status within the company and make firm-level suggestions according to GES benchmarks. This pilot study that has been held in one of the companies in Limak Holding will be represented as a first and good practice and would be expected to implement further in the private sector in Turkey.
As of March 2021, EGT Project reached: EGT - University Programme - 430 university students (female / direct). 9 students under state’s legal protection, 2 students from eastern part of the country, 1 student with disabilities, 2 students of deceased parents (in collaboration with Turkish Darüşşafaka), 1 student of martyr or veteran families, 4 students from refugee communities (Syrian). - 150+ mentors (female / direct) - 72 coaches (male & female /direct) EGT - Highschool Programme - 21.246 high school students (girls & boys) - 101 educators & 50 high school principals (direct via “Training of Trainers”) - 704 educators (indirect via educators attended “Training of Trainers”) - 2.400 parents Even if the project started and implemented in Turkey, with its promising outcomes, adaptations of TEG Project were started to be implemented in different countries. Kuwait’s Engineer Girls Project represents the first example of these adaptations, and it is expected to produce impressive results as the TEG Project. Kuwait’s Engineer Girls Project supports female engineering students with Social Engineering Programme from Bogaziçi University which is also a component of Turkey’s Engineer Girls university program. Also, the EGT project have been replicated across the region where the UNDP is in operation including Uzbekistan, Macedonia and Moldova.
To raise awareness on gender stereotypes among high school students, in partnership with Middle East Technical Uni. a board game called “Decision is Yours” was developed with design thinking method. A good example of youth engagement and peer learning, the game encourages players to think&decide like engineers and aims to develop problem-solving skills in cases to be faced in construction sites. Lastly, ‘TMK Talks’ provides inspirational and authentic success stories from entrepreneurs, business leaders and individuals to students; reaching more than 50.000 views on YouTube.
The momentum created among women especially, young women and girls who are interested in STEM and engineering appear to be the driving forces of the sustainability of the program. Women who are supported, encouraged and experienced the value of working for the social good have become ready and enthusiastic to enhance the solidarity. Relying on this encouraged power the EGT project will outreach to wider society. The long term goal of the EGT is to achieve a sustainable corporate structure leaded by the committee which consists of partners, mentors and volunteers, and inspired by the global good practices. It is aimed to realize a permanent and multi-stakeholder digital platform where graduates and students can have a chance to meet with career opportunities. Even if the project started and implemented in Turkey, with its promising outcomes, adaptations of TEG Project were started to be implemented in different countries. Kuwait’s Engineer Girls Project represents the first example of these adaptations, and it is expected to produce impressive results as the TEG Project. Kuwait’s Engineer Girls Project supports female engineering students with Social Engineering Programme from Bogaziçi University which is also a component of Turkey’s Engineer Girls university program. Also, the EGT project have been replicated across the region where the UNDP is in operation including Uzbekistan, Macedonia and Moldova.
Project activities were revised according to the effects of Covid-19. Within the scope of high school programme, role model meetings were revised and organized online. Thanks to this method, project activities, which reach only a limited number of beneficiaries, can reach a wider audience.
SDGS & Targets
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all
Deliverables & Timeline
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Turkey wide universities and high schools