Meet UAE’s first female aircraft engineer, Dr Suaad Al Shamsi, who believes that there is absolutely no reason why women can’t excel in fields like engineering and other fields which are usually male-dominated.
“There’s nothing a woman can’t do. It’s sad that gender stereotypes are still prevalent in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, but these challenges shouldn’t deter women from pursuing their dream careers,” Dr Suaad Al Shamsi said ahead of the International Women in Engineering Day (INWED).
Celebrated on 23rd June of every year, INWED celebrates women who have broken the glass ceilings and society’s stigmas that a woman only belongs in a kitchen or limited places. This day celebrates women who are engineers, doctors, mechanics, and other professionals where you will find hardly any female presentation.
Shamsi, who works as an aviation advisor at the Abu Dhabi International Airport, fell head-over-heels for aeroplanes as a young girl. Since then, she held on to the dream that one day she will be working with the same machines she watched for hours and hours in the sky.
“We lived near the airport. As a child, I would stare transfixed at the skies for hours as the planes flew overhead,” she recalled. “Before long, I got hooked to aviation movies like the Top Gun (1986).”
Moreover, not only has she achieved her childhood dreams, but she has also carved a pathway for Emirati women who are looking for iconic role models to follow. Dr Suaad Al Shamsi added that she is indebted to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, for giving wings to her dreams and enabling her to pursue an aeronautical course in the UK.
“Now it’s my turn to make my home country proud,” said Shamsi, who has risen through the ranks to become a significant name in the regional aviation industry.
So much so, that today, Shamsi is a celebrated woman. She is also on the judging panel of the James Dyson Award, which aims to provide young and talented individuals who are passionate about designing a platform to grow.
“Women can accomplish anything they set their mind to. Do you think running a house is easy? If they can run a house, then they can run a company,” Shamsi shared.
Do you agree with her statement? Tell us why in the comments below.
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