Jasmine Al Kuttab/ABU DHABI
Women in the nuclear energy industry are being celebrated in UAE’s Capital for their outstanding achievements, leadership roles and pioneering projects. For the first time in the Middle East, the 24th Women in Nuclear Annual Global conference commenced in the Capital on Monday, to celebrate and inspire women in all aspects of the nuclear field, including energy and healthcare.
Gathering global experts from the nuclear sector, the two-day conference, which is held under the patronage of Shaikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Supreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, President of the General Women’s Union and Chairwoman of Motherhood and Childhood Supreme Council, and hosted by the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec), gives a chance for the regonition of remarkable women within the industry. “It gives me immense pride for the UAE to be the first country in the Middle East to host this conference,” said Shaikha Fatima. “Emirati women are playing an increasingly important role in the UAE’s nuclear industry holding critical positions at different levels. The conference is a great platform to reinforce the role our female citizens play in the UAE’s nuclear industry and encourage the next generation of women interested in contributing to the world’s future to be more involved.”
Crucial topics were highlighted during the conference, including the current and future issues faced in the nuclear energy sector, gender equality within the field, ways one can succeed in a multi-cultural encironment and radiation application status. The women working for the Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation (Enec) and its operating company, Nawah Energy Company (Nawah) are at the forefront of the nuclear industry in the region and both organisations place strong emphasis on nurturing and supporting their female employees.
Having a high proportion of women in a brand new industry for the Middle East, that has been historically male-oriented around the world, is a clear demonstration of the UAE’s contribution to the re-shaping of the nuclear sector. Mohamed Al Hammadi, chief executive officer, Enec, highlighted the importance of the event, noting that it will bring greater inspiration for Emirati women to pursue opportunities in the field.
“Enec is privileged to welcome the WiN Global Conference to the region. As a key leader of the UAE’s Peaceful Nuclear Energy Programme, we have always taken a dynamic approach to creating a diverse workforce – by nationality, knowledge, skills, experience and gender. With women making up a substantial portion of our total employees, in a variety of positions including nuclear engineers to project managers to support staff, we greatly benefit from the breadth of skills and expertise our female colleagues bring,” added Al Hammadi.
“Enec’s mission to deliver safe, clean, efficient and reliable nuclear energy to the UAE grid will support economic development and diversification, providing highly-skilled job opportunities for UAE nationals. “Women are essential in this drive for diversity and currently make up over 20 per cent of our workforce.”
Mohammed Sahoo Al Suwaidi, acting chief executive officer of Nawah, said: “We aim to be globally recognised as a top nuclear operator and the UAE employer of choice. People are our most critical asset and our Emirati-led, multi-national, multi-cultural organisation is working together to achieve our desired results.”