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CAFEW- Connecting All Female Engineers Worldwide had her 4th anniversary celebrated on the 18th of January 2020 in Houston, Texas and in Port Harcourt, Nigeria.
CAFEW was founded on January 20th, 2016 by Ngowari Diminas. She believes that being in the midst of like minds will enhance an innovative environment to work efficiently and effectively towards proper implementation of well-defined strategic goals.
CAFEW has provided a platform where female engineers and other females in STEM can get engaged to share their knowledge, experiences, and general information about coping with life while sustainably building their careers. The great thing about the group is the support that is offered to female engineers who want to get back into practicing engineering.
CAFEW Houston Meetup
The Houston celebration event was held at the Studio Movie Grill, City Center, Houston, Texas. All 13 ladies arrived safe and happy to network with one another.
The event started with an opening prayer, after which the round table introductions kicked off.
Everyone had the opportunity to share their ideas, thoughts, and some ways to navigate through one’s career. Ngowari also ensured she spoke after each lady finished an introduction which she referred to as “bragging rights”. This was a way to provide some level of history she had with each attendee and mostly talking about their achievements as they are mostly modest professionals.
The Ladies had some time to cut the cake, take pictures and pick up their gift bags
The attendees proceeded to watch a movie titled “Like A Boss” which turned out to be funny but also perfect for lessons to learn as Professional Women especially when conducting business.
Some key takeaways from the Movie, “Like A Boss”
- Read any contract given to you no matter how long
- If you don’t understand it, seek legal counsel
- Even though your business is in debt, don’t show desperation to new business opportunities
- Be ready to always re-strategize new opportunities to have a competitive advantage
- Always carry out due diligence before getting into any joint venture
- Friendship with business is a huge advantage, but it must be respected in order to maintain business goals alignment.
- Acknowledge what a business partner is contributing towards the business because teamwork is crucial.
- Finally, Business partners must understand and trust that they are all working together for the same purpose.
After the movie, more pictures were taken and discussions around further future interactions and the founder was tasked to get clearly written path forward with regards to the guidelines, standards and overall vision for 2020 to enable inclusion for active CAFEW groups in multiple locations and Countries.
CAFEW Port Harcourt Meetup
The Port Harcourt celebration meetup was held in Marley and Blue, located at No. 116 Woji Road, GRA, Port Harcourt, from 3pm to 6pm. The meetup started out with an opening prayer, taken by one of the 9 ladies present in attendance, after which every attendant introduced themselves.
The moderator of the event, Fortune Sipay coordinated the entire event and continued with two ice breakers, first was ‘People Bingo’ and the next ‘Two Truths and One Lie’, this was to get all the ladies comfortable with one another which was achieved.
The main guest speaker, Gogo Minimah, a Gas Engineer spoke on the challenges Faced by Females in The Workplace.
A Summary of Gogo Minimah’s Discussion
– Fewer leadership opportunities
– Sexual Harassment
– Industry-Specific Bias
– Office Favouritism
– Unsupportive managers
– Climbing the career ladder
– Lack of industry mentors
Gogo emphasized on the importance of hard work and advised the ladies present to endeavour to be part of another woman’s success story, to mentor, build up and support a sister. After which a panel session started where most of the ladies told stories on personal experiences that proved the points earlier laid out by the speaker. They talked of how they have been deprived of opportunities by sexists found in the work environment ignoring their undeniable qualifications.
The conversation was rounded up with a Skype session with Ngowari Diminas who appreciated everyone that attended the event, and further talked about strategic plans for CAFEW in 2020.
There was enough time to cut the cake, take photos, and network with one another while enjoying refreshment with cake and coffee.
After the celebration, a young UK artist Otonye Ibiama, whose mother is also an Engineer sent CAFEW a celebratory card in support of females in STEM.
She has received so many awards for her talent in Arts including Merit Award for her write up selected for publication by Young Writers in 2018.
Special thanks to these beautiful ladies that provided some support to the success of this celebration.
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