April 9 – The Penang Science Cluster (PSC) has expanded its ‘Girls in Engineering and Technology’ (GET) Programme for this year after conducting the pilot programme last year.
GET Programme patron Datuk Noorashidah Ahmad said it was yet another milestone for GET to have grown bigger, with more companies, more volunteers and more schools participating.
This year’s GET Programme, for Form 4 girls in Penang, will see over 100 students from over 10 schools participating compared to 54 students from seven schools last year.
The schools participating so far are SMK (P) St George, SMK (P) Methodist, SMJK Perempuan Cina, SMK Convent Pulau Tikus, SMK Convent Butterworth, SMJK Convent Datuk Keramat, SMK Tunku Puan Habsah, SMK Bukit Jambul, SMK Convent Bukit Mertajam, SMJK Jit Sin, SMK Kampong Selamat, SMK Methodist Nibong Tebal, SMJK Phor Tay, SMK Sri Mutiara, SMK Tinggi Bukit Mertajam, SM Sains Kepala Batas, SMK Convent Green Lane, SMJK Heng Ee Bayan Baru and SMK Permai Indah.
The number of all-female industry volunteers has almost tripled from 67 to over 150, and the number of companies taking part has increased from six to 11.
“Most importantly, we are now reaching out to inspire a lot more young girls to be interested in engineering and technology, and encourage them to take it up as a career in the future.
“Doing this is especially important now as the world accelerates towards a technology-enabled future. Technology is transforming rapidly, changing the way we live, work and play. And it has great potential to create greater quality of life and economic prosperity for all,
“Even though women represent half of the world’s population, only about a quarter of the global workforce in SETM areas are women.
“There is a dire need for more women to bring different perspectives to solving the world’s problems, to make lives better, safer and more convenient.
“Women can bring a lot of values to the table,” Noorashidah, who is also the vice-president and general manager of Keysight Technologies, said in her speech during the launch of GET Programme 2022 at Wisma Yeap Chor Ee in George Town today.
Noorashidah thanked the state government and the Penang Science Cluster for bringing the programme to life and also the participating companies and their dedicated volunteers.
Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who officially launched the programme, said he was happy to see many companies stepping forward to sponsor the programme as well as providing their women professionals as mentors to the girls.
The companies are NI, ViTrox, Micron, Intel, Keysight, Motorola, and Inari Amertron.
He said in addition, companies such as Lam Research, Robert Bosch Power Tools, Kontron and Pixart Imaging are also volunteering their female employees as mentors for the programme.
“Penang is now doing very well and there are so many new investments. Which means a higher demand for talent.
“The industries are now facing a talent crisis or talent war as some captains of the industries termed it. I think this issue is not something that the state government alone can resolve.
“We are happy that the industries are taking various initiatives to address the issue, even starting with secondardy school students.
“In fact, for the state through InvestPenang as well, we also launched an Internship Programme. It is one of the initiatives to get secondary students excited about a career in STEM subjects. All this is happening.
“We also trying to encourage out-of-Penang talents to come and work here. Our target is to attract 150,000 over the next five or 10 years. The state government is facilitating this process.
“Our Penang2030 vision is all about creating a sustainable living environment so that the talent can find the state attractive to come, to work, to play, to live and to invest,” Chow said in his speech.
PSC founding director Datuk Yoon Chon Leong, who was deputising for PSC chief executive officer Ooi Peng Ee, thanked Chow, Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P. Ramasamy and the state government for supporting the programme.
He said the programme would not only train the girls on technical things but also what it would take to be a successful engineer or technologist.
“Whether students like art, science or whatever, technology is going to wrap around you. You have no choice.
“If you are an accountant you also need to learn technology.
“If you are an artist and you understand NFT (non-fungible tokens), you make money.
“Technology is boundaryless. You can go to any country in the world and add value to it,” Yoon said.
Also present at the launching ceremony were Prof Ramasamy, Chief Minister Incorporated deputy general manager Bharathi Suppiah, captains and representatives of various industries, and GET core committee members and volunteers alumnae.
Source: Buletin Mutiara