The Department of Chemical Engineering at Qatar University (QU) in collaboration with Qatar Shell brought together Chemical Engineering students to discuss the significant contribution of women to the development and progress of Qatar’s industry and to foster the spirit of loyalty among the faculty, current students and alumni.
The ‘Al Majlis’ event provided an opportunity for the department to engage its students and alumni, and to gain valuable feedback on the current status of the department and ways in which the programme could be improved.
Over 60 attendees including Dr. Rashid AL-Ammari, the Dean of the College,were present at the lively panel discussion which was held at the Marriot Marquis Hotel at City Center on 30th March. The focus of the discussion was on QU’s Chemical Engineering Programme as well as how the course can be improved to prepare women for successful careers in the industry.
Maryam Al-Mesaifri, Ministry of Environment Senior Chemical Engineer; Aysha Al-Mohannadi, RasGas Project Engineer; and Aida Rafat, Global Water Sustainability Centre-ConocoPhillips Research Engineer shared their experiences of women working in the industry. Also participating in the discussion were QU teaching assistant Shaden Daghash and Executive Assistant Layal Bani Nasser, Rabaah Al-Musleh, Qatari Diar Real Estate Investment Company Senior Development Executive; and Hanan Larm, Qatar Chemical Company Production Planner.
Welcoming remarks were made by Department Head Professor Ramazan Kahraman and Nisrine Al-Kadi, Subsurface Team Leader at Qatar Shell and President of Qatar Shell Women’s Association Network (QSWAN).
Professor Kahraman noted that QU alumni are employed across a range of professions in Qatar and that the College of Chemical Engineering is the top provider of graduates to the industry.
“The department has seen a steady increase in the number of women students and we look forward to welcoming even more in the next academic year and beyond,” he added.
Sharing her insights as a woman engineer at Shell, Al Kadi said: “The support of international oil companies, like Qatar Shell, has been at the forefront of ensuring women have the guidance and mentorship they require to succeed in this competitive industry.”
Through networks and initiatives such as QSWAN, Qatar Shell aims to facilitate dialogue between senior leadership and female employees on the concepts of gender equality and diversity, helping in the development of a more gender diverse and inclusive workplace. The Network creates a solid foundation and builds a community where women can develop, grow, feel supported and achieve their goals.
Qatar Shell, who has a significant number of female employees including a large number of young Qatari graduates, adopts different strategies and programmes to keep women engaged on topics that help in their training and development.
These include the ‘Women Career Development Programme’, which enables women to take the lead in planning a successful career path by consulting with other high-achieving Shell women; and the ‘Senior Women Connect Programme’, which focuses on building executive presence and helping female employees become skilled networkers both inside and outside of Qatar Shell.
Maha al-Mannai, University Collaboration Manager at Qatar Shell Research and Technology Centre (QSRTC), said that Qatar Shell aims through its partnership with Qatar University to empower women in the oil and gas industry.
“Qatar Shell is passionate about strengthening women’s roles in society in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030.We are determined to do much more for the younger generation of females following in our footsteps. We will be forming joint ventures with like-minded partners across Qatar in order to brighten the futures of women in the oil and gas industry,” she said.
“These efforts are embodied with partnerships similar to the one we have with Qatar University,” al Mannai added.
Aysha Al Mohannadi, who graduated from Qatar University in 2011 and now works as at RasGas as a Project Engineer, said that building a successful career requires women to be passionate about their job.
“My advice for young women is simple: To succeed, you have to love what you do and be passionate about your job,” she said.
Maryam Al Mesaifri, who graduated a year after Mohannadi and is now employed by the Ministry of Environment as a senior chemical engineer said determination and self-confidence is key to women’s professional success.
“Women should feel confident in their capacity to overcome obstacles. This self-confidence will help them grow on a professional level,” she said.
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