are roughly XXX female engineers and XXX male engineers
in Mali today. The majority of these women work in the
agro-pastoral sector, followed by civil and environmental
engineering. Figure 1 shows the distribution of specialization
among a sample of 100 female engineers.
female engineers tend to hold positions of responsibility
and even fewer reach the level of project manager or regional
director. At a 1994 meeting held by Winrock
International, the Ministry of Agriculture, and select
employers, the following observations were made about
the low rate of promotion among women engineers:
pregnancies slow down career development.
is a lack of proficiency and in-service training.
lack ambition and self-assertion skills.
and conjugal restraints make women unable to accept
positions of high responsibility at a distance from
shows that socio-cultural restraints are the biggest barrier
facing women in engineering today. In addition, many men
do not have much confidence in women's competence, availability,
and involvement in the profession. A man will usually
be chosen over a woman if they are competing for the same
position, but there are an increasing number of organizations
working to change this. Women-only organizations are currently
being grouped into a nationwide entity known as CAFO (Coordination
of the Non-governmental Associations and Organizations)
which is working with the government to make improvements
in the position of women.
There are a
number of professional engineering societies in Mali that
organize training sessions, professional develop opportunities,
meetings, and conferences. These activities are a great
way for female engineers to gain the confidence and skills
that will help them succeed in their chosen field.