WePOWER:Women’s Day Celebration

On March 13, 2020 – International Women’s Day 2020 was celebrated with the participation of hundreds of students, academicians and industry professionals. The program was organized by IEEE Bangladesh Section and Women in Engineering, IEEE BDS Affinity Group. The program was supported by IEEE WIE BUET Student Branch Affinity Group, IEEE BUET Student Branch and IEEE Power & Energy Society BUET Student Branch Chapter. WePOWER, The World Bank was the main patronizer of the event.

Participants of the successful program

Students and professionals from different universities and companies started to arrive at the venue from the early morning.When everyone took their seats,the program started with valuable opening remarks by Dr. Celia Shahnaz, Professor (EEE), BUET & Chair, IEEE Bangladesh Section on the “Vision of WePOWER Network” at 9.00 a.m. Then Mohammad Anis, Acting Operations Manager and Senior Energy Specialist, The World Bank Group and Sabah Moyeen, Senior Social Development Specialist, The World Bank Group shared their insights about the theme of the program. Then the inaugural session was concluded with the inaugural speech by our Chief Guest, Prof. Dr. Saiful Islam, Hon’ble Vice Chancellor, BUET.

After that,the enthusiastic participants attended the plenary session. The theme of the session was “Recruitment and Retention of Best Practices in Academia and Industry to Support Workforce Participation of Women.” The panelists from academia were Shamima K Choudhury, Former Professor, University of Dhaka and Dr. Muhammed Fayyaz Khan, Professor, EEE, BUBT. The panelists from public and private sector industries were S. M. Monirul Islam, Deputy CEO and CFO, IDCOL; Arun Saha, MD, EGCB;  Rabi-ul Alam, CEO, EnergyPAC Ltd; S. M. Noor Uddin, Managing Director and CEO, Summit Bibiyana Power Co. Ltd. The moderator of this session was Prof. Dr. Shaikh Anowarul Fattah, Professor, EEE, BUET; Member, IEEE PES Long Range Planning Committee & Editor, IEEE PES e-News. This session was followed by a short tea break and group photo session.

After the break, the refreshed students and young professionals took part in an interactive forum where the moderators were Anamika Bhakta, Vice President, Robi Axiata Ltd. and Chair, WIE AG IEEE Bangladesh Section; Tanuja Bhattacharjee, Energy Specialist, World Bank and Shoilie Chakma, Lecturer, Dept. of EEE, BUET. In this session, the participants got the opportunity to meet 14 Company Representatives and Industry Practitioners with their respective brochures, business cards, annual reports, and other communication and outreach materials. Volunteers supported the students to interact with the industry experts. The company representatives interacted with students, introduced their organization and provided useful information and advice on how these organizations hire employees – recruitment and what they do to support and empower women – Retention. Discussion focused around how the students can further enhance their careers in STEM education and in power and energy sector organizations. The mentors were Jorifa Khatun, BPDB; Sharmin Aktar, EGCB; Shafiul Wara, NPCBL; Nazli Hussain, Praxis Architects; Nazmun Nahar, ADB and Nafisa Tasnim, Energypac. They shared life experiences with an aim to help students’ learning and development.

43 professionals from 20 industries and 104 students of 23 universities from all over the Bangladesh participated in this successful program.