UAE tops the world in female space sector employment
The UAE Space Agency actively tries to recruit women through awareness programme and initiatives held in schools and universities around the nation
Abu Dhabi - 46 per cent of the female staff at UAE Space Agency are currently working on the Hope Probe, as the agency celebrates its third anniversary
The UAE has the most number of female employees working in the space industry in the world, at 40 per cent, compared to international entities which have an average of 12 per cent female staff, said UAE Space Agency officials.
"The number of women employees in the UAE space sector is the highest in the world," said Sheikha Al Maskari, chief innovation officer told Khaleej Times. "We try to recruit women from day one. I was there from the foundation of the space agency, one among only three women on the staff back then."
Al Maskari said the organisation actively tries to recruit women through awareness programme and initiatives held in schools and universities around the nation. "We try to encourage more women and motivate them about what we are trying to do in space."
Al Maskari said that she was at first disappointed with the number of women in the industry. However, she witnessed the numbers rapidly grow, as interest developed. "I was ashamed and thought we had such a small percentage of women, but more women soon jumped on board.
"We met with international space agencies and realised that the UAE is the best one globally - having 40 per cent of women contributing to the space sector - whereas the largest number of female workers in other global space sectors is only 12 per cent."
She also pointed out that 46 per cent of the female staff at UAE Space Agency are currently working on the Hope Probe.
"The female work force wasn't used to being into a very 'hard sector' like space, but we are seeing a change and a lot of women join us. This means that women are not afraid to be part of something different, the perspective is shifting and that makes me happy as a woman."
Naser Al Rashidi, director of Space Policy and Regulations, also said he is proud to see women in the UAE raise the bar in the international space sector. "The UAE has conducted statistics in female employment numbers in the space sector and we were rated the highest in the world."
He stressed that female employment in the sector is not just in administration work, but also the technical, scientific and engineering roles. "A huge percentage are women, who contribute highly to every part of the UAE space sector."
UAE Space Agency celebrates 3rd anniversaryabu dhabi - The UAE Space Agency celebrated on Sunday its third anniversary with an official ceremony, shedding light on the Agency's most important accomplishments since 2014.
The ceremony was held under the patronage of Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Chairman of the UAE Space Agency; Space Agency board members; and Dr Mohammed Al Ahbabi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency.
Dr Al Falasi acknowledged that the UAE Space Agency has become the largest agency in the region to oversee a modern space programme, becoming a model and standard for countries seeking to launch ambitious space programmes and agencies.
He also underlined that the UAE Space Agency today stands at the start of a new chapter that will bring innovative initiatives to the National Space Programme that contribute towards its ambitious goals.
National and Global Achievements
Over the past three years, the Agency has succeeded in advancing the national space sector, especially through the development of laws and regulations. In particular, this progress includes the adoption of the National Space Policy in September 2016.
The Agency has signed 16 international Memorandums of Understanding (MOU) to formalise collaboration in space exploration and knowledge exchange. These include national space agencies of the US, UK, Japan, South Korea, Russia, China, Italy and Algeria.
The Agency also signed MoUs with eight leading UAE universities to set frameworks of cooperation in education, research, science, technology and space applications in order to support the local sector.