CAFEW (Connecting All Female Engineers Worldwide) celebration took place on the 18th of January 2020 in Houston, Texas and in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. The Houston event held at the Studio Movie Grill, City Center, Houston, Texas with 13 ladies in attendance.
The CAFEW platform enables an innovative environment where female engineers and other females in STEM can get engaged to support one another, share their knowledge, experiences, and general information about coping with life while sustainably building their careers.
Both events started with an opening prayers, round table introductions, cutting of cakes, and pictures sessions.
Ngowari Diminas, CAFEW Founder ensured she provided some level of history she had with each attendee, including emphasis on their achievements. Everyone had the opportunity to share their ideas, thoughts, and some ways to navigate through one’s career.
The Port Harcourt celebration meetup held in Marley and Blue, No. 116 Woji Road, GRA, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria with 9 ladies present in attendance.
The moderator of the event in Port Harcourt, Fortune Sipay coordinated the entire event with two ice breakers, first was ‘People Bingo’ and the next ‘Two Truths and One Lie’.
Ayagogo Minimah, Gas Engineer
The main guest speaker in Port Harcourt, Gogo r spoke on the Challenges Faced by Females in The Workplace, where she highlighted her discussion on:
– Fewer leadership opportunities
– Sexual Harassment
– Industry – Specific Bias
– Office Favouritism
– Unsupportive managers
– Climbing the career ladder
– Lack of industry mentors
Gogo emphasized on the importance of hard work and advised the ladies present to endeavour to be part of another woman’s success story, to mentor, build up and support a sister. After which a panel session started where most of the ladies told stories on personal experiences that proved the points earlier laid out by the speaker. They talked of how they have been deprived of opportunities by sexists found in the work environment ignoring their undeniable qualifications.
The Ladies in Houston watched a movie titled “Like A Boss” which was funny but also perfect for lessons learned conversations as Professional Business Women.
Summarized points the ladies learned as shown below:
- Read any contract given to you no matter how long.
- If you don’t understand it, seek legal counsel.
- Even though your business is in debt, don’t show desperation to new business opportunities.
- Be ready to always re-strategize new opportunities to have a competitive advantage.
- Always carry out due diligence before getting into any joint venture.
- Friendship with business is a huge advantage, but it must be respected in order to maintain business goals alignment.
- Acknowledge what a business partner is contributing towards the business because teamwork is crucial.
- Finally, Business partners must understand and trust that they are all working together for the same purpose.
After the movie, more pictures were taken and discussions around further future interactions and the founder was tasked to get clearly written path forward with regards to the guidelines, standards and overall vision for 2020 to enable inclusion for active CAFEW groups in multiple locations and Countries.
The Houston team had some goodie bags to share.
The conversation in Port Harcourt was rounded up with a Skype session with Ngowari who thanked everyone that attended, and discussed the strategic plans for CAFEW in 2020.
Special tanks to our young artist, Otonye Ibiama for the CAFEW celebratory design.
Special thanks to these beautiful ladies that provided some financial support to the success of this celebration
“The strategic collaboration of females in STEM is valuable to build an impactful network of allies.” – Ngowari Diminas