Ramla Qureshi - A Proud Civil Engineer
by Kamal Khanzada
An insight on your profession:
I am a Civil Engineer, currently pursuing my specialization in Structural & Earthquake Engineering. I also run a nonprofit organization called "Women Engineers Pakistan" or WEP for short.
How long have you been in this profession?
For almost 3 years now! (Since I started the nonprofit just as I started working as a Civil Engineer).
What has been your vision and what do you most love about your job?
As far as WEP is concerned, I love every single aspect of it. My vision was to advance the women of Pakistan technically, so that their faculties have a potential for promotion. WEP also focuses on mitigating the gender gap in STEM (Science, Technology, Education & Mathematics) fields. We are working to get our talented girls (a half of the population) to play their part in the progress that is expected from Pakistani youth of today. What I love most though, is the ownership that my team has shown for the idea of WEP. They have helped me conduct seminars in engineering universities, software training's, mock interviews and career counseling sessions in engineering institutions. They have conducted outreach programs towards underprivileged schools as ambassadors of WEP. My team is the reason WEP has reached where it is at today.
What do you think is your biggest achievement throughout your professional journey?
As of now, my biggest achievements are the founding of WEP and getting the prestigious Fulbright scholarship to pursue my Masters in the United States. It gave me an opportunity to travel around the US, giving workshops and information sessions to people regarding WEP. My sessions were often met with mild surprise, as the current image of Pakistan lays a shadow over the very talented and highly educated women this country has raised. It gives me some comfort to know that this way I am able to contribute in breaking stereotypes.
What are your current projects and what will you be doing in the near future also?
Presently we are working on multifaceted projects. The first is a North America-Pakistan STEM Mentoring program, where high school students from North America can discuss strategies for goal oriented modules and work together online, creating an atmosphere of co-dependent learning and also, cultural exchange. This program will be focused on girls majorly, and will lean in on the STEM side. Other projects involve recruitment and spreading within other cities in Pakistan. We are also looking to initiate a professional section for WEP, where working women engineers and technologists can help mentor us through.
A word of advice you would like to pass on to women professionals who wish to pursue a career like yours?
Be aware of the fact that you are equally responsible for the future.