Bringing women into technology
Panel event showcases journeys of women who work in the field
Today, women represent 46 percent of United Arab Emirate university graduates in STEM. That representation reflects the UAE's efforts to encourage opportunities for women, including its 2012 legislation requiring female board members in every company and at senior posts in government agencies.
“Women in technology: Personal journeys in different cultures and STEM occupations,” a recent panel discussion co-hosted by Raytheon Emirates and the Emirates Digital Association for Women, brought together female leaders to discuss their experiences, opportunities and challenges. The event drew a room full of peers from UAE entities in government, academia and industry.
“Raising the bar for women in the workplace is a collective responsibility shared by men and women alike,” said Dr. Hoda Al Khzaimi, director of the Center of Cyber Security at New York University Abu Dhabi and president of EDAW.
The panel was moderated by Alan Davis, chief executive of Raytheon Emirates, and featured guest speaker Dr. Al Khzaimi. Panel members were:
- Barbara Borgonovi, vice president of Raytheon Integrated Communications Systems, who also serves on the Raytheon Emirates board of directors and as global president of Raytheon Women’s Network employee resource group.
- Kim Ernzen, vice president of Raytheon Air Warfare Systems.
- Fatma Bazargan, director of Raytheon Emirates cyber business.
During the event, Davis recognized five Emirati female students interning with Raytheon Emirates. The intern program supports the company’s mission to help develop knowledge-based leaders.
“I like to think of the opportunities we have, and not the limitations many think we face in today’s work environment,” Borgonovi told the interns. “I encourage you to think of all the prospects available and pursue what you feel will help reach your full potential.”
Among those resources is the Raytheon Women’s Network, which encourages employee development both in their careers and in their lives. Raytheon Emirates is establishing an RWN chapter.
For Bazargan, her support started at home. She reminisced about her family’s continual encouragement and how it helped drive her success.
“My mother always asked me in every phase of my journey, whether I was studying or later when I started to work, if I’m making her proud,” she said. “I always had a confident answer to give — I am doing what I love and I love what I am doing, and this always put a proud smile on her face.”