PRISTINA, 22 December 2022 – Limak Kosovo launches the Global Engineer Girls (GEG) initiative in Kosovo together with strategic partner the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Kosovo.
The main aim for GEG is to provide effective support and increase the representation of women in the field of engineering in Kosovo. Kosovo has the lowest women's labour participation rate in the region with only 22.5% of women being active participants. For those that are employed, a clear segregation in the type of occupation is present as education, trade, and health care, represent the leading sectors that employ women (51%); whereas trade, construction and manufacturing are the most common sectors of employment for men (42.3%). It is estimated that only around 9% of energy related jobs are filled by women. These disparities start at the education level as women are underrepresented in STEM education programmes, especially in those related to Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Engineering.
GEG Kosovo aims to reduce these disparities through supporting female students enrolled in engineering education in public universities by providing scholarships and access to mentorship programmes, networking opportunities and courses for personal and professional development. Female students enrolled in engineering are eligible to apply online, by filling a simple application form available at kosovo.globalengineergirls.com. The application period will start on 26 December and closes on 15 January.
“I’m very happy and proud to launch GEG in Kosovo today. My hope is that GEG Kosovo will help create a brighter, sustainable, and better future for young women engineers in Kosovo" said Ebru Özdemir, Chairperson of Limak Group of Companies and founder of Global Engineer Girls. “Our experience in Türkiye clearly showed how the project contributed to the professional as well as personal developments of young candidates of engineering. Now it's time to share this experience with youth in Kosovo” she added.
"As a member of Limak Group, we are constantly working to increase access to and diversity in engineering. With the launch of GEG Kosovo, we want to encourage and enable girls and young women to pursue education and careers within STEM, with a particular focus on engineering,” said Haldun Kokturk, Chief Executive Officer of Pristina International Airport.
For the initial launch of the initiative, GEG Kosovo has partnered with three public universities, covering bachelor’s programmes, while the project will expand further to reach all girls in Kosovo interested in developing engineering careers locally and internationally.
“Women in Kosovo outnumber men when it comes to higher education enrolment and graduation. However, in STEM fields men continue to dominate both in engineering education and in the labor market. Closing the gender STEM gap is imperative to improve the economic prospects for women in Kosovo and for utilizing women’s experiences and perspectives in generating innovative solutions. UNDP is pleased to cooperate with Limak to provide women with new learning and networking opportunities. We hope that GEG will contribute towards closing the gender STEM gap in Kosovo,” said Maria Suokko, Resident Representative of UNDP Kosovo.
The expected long-term impact of the project is to increase women’s high-quality employment and advocate for gender equality principles in the various engineering professions in Kosovo to improve inclusiveness of economic growth.
Global Engineer Girls is an international philanthropic initiative which was launched in 2015 in Türkiye. The inception of GEG was driven by Limak Group of Companies’ culture and its Chairperson’s, Ebru Özdemir, deep personal commitment to improving women’s representation in STEM.
For more information on GEG Kosovo, available programmes and universities, please visit Kosovo Global Engineer Girls
Global Engineer Girls Kosovo
Valentina Gara, Program Manager