November 16th, 2020, Karachi (Pakistan): The Pakistani workforce is facing unprecedented challenges this year with the drastic impact of COVID-19 in every sector. As an innovative solution, Women Engineers Pakistan and Women In Energy Pakistan, in partnership with World Bank South Asia WePOWER, WomenInTechPK and CodeGirls, have organized Pakistan’s largest virtual job fair with a mission to help connect employers and job seekers with digital ease.
Scheduled to be held on November 20-21, 2020 from 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM Pakistan Standard Time, the STEM Forward 2020 Job Fair is a mega online job fair for Pakistani candidates in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Energy.
The two-day event offers a wide array of interactive and engaging segments including breakout sessions, live panel discussions on STEM-specific employment post COVID19, exhibitions spotlighting technologies, live talks and Q&A sessions. Participants and guests will also have an opportunity to network live via audio and video during the event.
Career is more than just a job, and requires awareness of the critical trends and needs so the workforce can be adequately prepared for future challenges. STEM Forward 2020 panels and sessions have been put together to bring this critical awareness to the forefront. The event explores opportunities presented by the COVID-19 pandemic itself, such as biotechnological solutions and remote learning. With a view towards growth and future planning, STEM Forward 2020 strives to build up a resilient Pakistan and bring forth conversations on human-centred design, sustainability, and water as integral aspects for infrastructure engineering.
According to Ramla Qureshi, CEO Women Engineers Pakistan: “WEP is incredibly proud to have orchestrated this event on a national scale. When the pandemic first hit, I saw firsthand how my friends and family struggled with the loss of jobs, experienced extremely turbulent work routines, and were just completely submerged in an immense anxiety. I remember thinking; we are in the digital realm – we can fix this! And so I pitched the idea for a virtual job fair, and within the first 30 minutes of a (virtual) ideation meeting, we were able to gather some great partnering organizations onboard! I’m excited to say, some amazing companies such as Contour Software and 10Pearls have buttressed this event with their sponsorships, and we’ve been able to supersede our targeted company presence at the virtual event.
Energy is another challenge that not only is being faced by Pakistan, but also globally, and STEM Forward 2020 also features sessions to critically analyze it from different lenses, including policymaking & governance, clean and renewable energy, and the energy supply chain.
Nameerah Hameed, Founder Chair of Women In Energy (WIE), shared that, “In April 2020 when the entire world was struggling to cope with lockdown, our team quickly pivoted our upcoming in-person workshops to online-roundtables with 500+ active participants. In June, we were started receiving a number of emails and CVs from fresh graduates and young professionals reeling from hiring freezes, redundancies and a lot of questions for the next step in their career. So my team decided to host a Job Fair for candidates in the Energy sector. Around the same time, we connected with the wonderful ladies of WEP and thought – let’s be more ambitious – and host the largest virtual Job Fair in Pakistan! STEM Forward 2020 covers Science, Technology, Engineering and Energy – and we could not be prouder to be able to guide our collective 900+ candidates!
Saba Safdar, Director Business Development Women Engineers Pakistan said regarding the event, “Because of the pandemic, everyone is already even more hooked to their digital networks and devices, so why not bring a digital career fair experience literally to people’s homes and palms? That’s exactly what we have done. Continuing our work on gender parity in STEM fields in Pakistan, WEP have sought out and joined forces with other like-minded and vision-sharing collectives, namely Women in Energy, Women in Tech PK and Codegirls, to ameliorate the situation. We decided to turn the pains into gains.
Agreeing with Saba, Hira Wajahat, Co-Chair Women In Energy Pakistan (WIE) said: “We are thrilled to be sponsored by the giants in the energy and engineering landscape of Pakistan: K-Electric and Engro Energy! Through this support, and with a number of public and private institutes, we are honored to be the conduits for a successful Virtual Job Fair! ”
The STEM Forward 2020 Organizing team have also lined up some of the most notable experts for their stellar event track sessions, such as:
- High Commissioner of Canada to Pakistan, H.E. Wendy Gilmour (hosted by Women in Energy)
- Ambassador of Denmark to Pakistan, H.E. Lis Rosenholm (hosted by Women in Energy)
- Country Director of World Bank, Najy Benhassine (hosted by Women in Energy)
- Sarosh H. Lodi – Vice Chancellor NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi (hosted by WEP)
- Jehan Ara, President Pakistan Software Houses Association (hosted by Women in Tech PK)
- Elif Ayhan – Senior Disaster Risk Management Specialist, World Bank (hosted by WEP)
Cognizant of the evolution and fast development in the digital arena, STEM Forward 2020 also offers insights into the e-commerce sector in Pakistan from the experts.
A dedicated session on ensuring creation of safe and inclusive workplaces is another featured segment, which aims to move forward the conversation. It helps employers provide a conducive and progressive work environment.
All this and more awaits you at the STEM Forward 2020, and best of all the registration is free! With 800+ already registered attendees, and with only a week to go before registrations close, the event will be welcoming participants from all over Pakistan from diverse fields. Register to avail open doors to endless possibilities.
For questions or concerns, write to the event organizing team at firstname.lastname@example.org. Join in the conversation on Social Media using the hashtags: #STEMForward202 #STEMForwardPakistan
About Women Engineers Pakistan
Women Engineers Pakistan (WEP) is a grassroots social enterprise that catalyzes participation of women and girls in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields within Pakistan, where the gender gap ranks second to last globally. We create high-value resource cycles within three focus groups; high school students, university students, and working women with a goal to improve student-student linkage and student-industry linkage, provide hands-on industry training, conduct school outreach, and organize events surrounding advancement in STEM in Pakistan and beyond.
Women Engineers Pakistan works to “motivate, recruit, and retain” by :
- Motivating over 4500 girls toward STEM subjects through game-based learning outreach modules in Pakistan, Nepal and USA.
- Increasing representation of Pakistani women in STEM by showcasing relevant role models.
- Providing STEM career counseling to students in over 15 universities across the country.
- Promoting liaison between students and industry in the shape of events such as STEM Forward 2020, and by providing access to a STEM-focused talent pool to facilitate inclusive recruitment.
- Determining essential needs of professional women in STEM fields & advocating for policies to aid retention all the way up to leadership roles.
About Women in Energy Pakistan
Women In Energy Pakistan (WIE) is a Professional Network for women in energy, climate, environment, and the broader power sector in Pakistan. We work to build a strong network of women leaders by fostering a culture of career and leadership development.
- Reach of 5000 female professionals in energy sector in Pakistan.
- Presence in 4 provinces + active chapters in Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi.
- One-third of WIE members have senior leadership positions.
- Notable members: Chairperson Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited (SNGPL), Director-General NEPRA, Managing Director Punjab Power Development Board (PPDB), and CEO of solar companies.
Key Programs and Milestones:
- Solar PV Trainings for Female Engineers & Technicians — two batches graduated in 2019 and 2020.
- Hosted the first-ever dedicated panel on ‘Women In Energy – Paving Pakistan’s Energy Future” at an international conference attended by the President of Pakistan in September 2019.
- Liaising with Punjab Government to place WIE Member on the Board of Directors of an energy company, as part of our work to maintain gender-parity at the highest levels.
- Government of the Punjab, Pakistan
- The World Bank – WePOWER South Asia Network
- Global Women’s Network in Energy Transition
- WAPDA – Water And Power Development Authority (largest utility in Pakistan)
- Shams Power Pvt. Ltd.
About WomeninTeckPK & CodeGirls
WomenInTechPK is a women-only community offering a platform where members can talk freely about professional and career-related issues, seek advice as well as opportunities, find mentors and forge organizational alliances and individual collaborations. WomenInTechPK runs various programs and campaigns, organize conferences, hackathons, workshops, and meetups and collaborate with a wide range of local and international organizations and initiatives to work for inclusion in tech. Our goals include helping build individual and personal connections, so our members can formulate strategies and work together towards creating a more diversified and inclusive environment in Pakistan, to give better access to opportunities to women and help local and international organizations (both public and private sectors) in creating women-friendly work policies. We are currently part of the national discourse and action plan on Inclusion in Tech organized by Pakistan Software House Association and are planning to launch some more programs revolving around skill-building.
CodeGirls is an exclusively women-only coding Bootcamp with one goal, “to improve the gender parity in Pakistan’s tech industry”. At CodeGirls, our aim is to empower young girls with coding and business skills, which will help them kickstart their careers, grow the economy, and excel in the tech industry! ConsulNet Corporation founded the program with its partners United Global Initiative and WomenInTechPK. CodeGirls is funded by some of the leading tech giants, influencers, tech community members, and business moguls. At CodeGirls, we believe in absolute inclusion and improved gender parity. Our Bootcamp facilitates students of varied backgrounds, ages, fields, and even abilities. It is for individuals that have a basic level of understanding of technology, which includes operating a computer and knowing how to use the internet. The program is now in its 2nd year of operations, with 2 active phases, 650+ graduates, 80+ placements, 73% retention rate, and a huge network of organizations supporting the cause.