Military and Strategic Journal
Issued by the Directorate of Morale Guidance at the General Command of the Armed Forces
United Arab Emirates
Founded in August 1971


Engineering a Progressive Future

In an interview, Shamma Za’al Al Hemeiri, Aerospace Engineer – Tawazun Technology & Innovation (TTI), discusses career choices and how Emirati women’s unlimited ambitions and positive outlook is paving the way for a prosperous and progressive future. Excerpts:
As a female engineer, what challenges did you face when you joined this traditionally male-dominated profession?
None. 50 years ago, things would have been very different for a woman entering this profession, but since the creation of the UAE, Emirati women have opportunities that were just not possible before. We have come a long way. Yes, there are some challenges, but these are mainly related to the project itself, and we usually work as a team to find solutions and overcome them.
 Why did you choose aerospace engineering?
Ever since I was a little child, I have been fascinated and excited by science. After graduating high school, I chose to study aerospace engineering as I saw it as a field that I could be passionate and excited about. It has given me the opportunity to have a fulfilling and successful career in an area in which I excel.  
 The UAE has made great strides in women’s empowerment. How has this influenced your choice to pursue a career in engineering?
It has had a huge influence. Without the recognition of women as being a valuable and equal part of society, the choice of aerospace engineer would not have been available to me. I think this is a direct result of the legacy passed down from the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, who recognised that women are as essential to our country’s growth and development as men. It is a legacy that our leadership cherishes, recognises and encourages.
The government’s policies and strategies have opened doors of opportunity for women and instilled a spirit of responsibility, achievement, and a desire for excellence. It is an exciting to be a woman in the UAE.
How proud are you when serving your country through this unique field?
Thanks to our leadership, we can benefit from our education system, which is ranked as one of the world’s best. The Emirati youth are eager to serve their country and to contribute to realising the vision and aspirations of our leadership.
 How is Tawazun Technology & Innovation supporting you in developing your skills as an engineer?
Tawazun Technology & Innovation is a champion of women’s empowerment. They provide the perfect environment for us to innovate and stand out. At TTI, we are very fortunate to work on unique and advanced projects, providing us with an opportunity to further enhance our knowledge, skills, and experiences.
It is an absolute honour and source of great personal pride to be part of such projects. It is unique and rare to get the exposure to the latest disruptive technology. I find it hugely encouraging and motivating that the management at TTI is so dedicated to helping Emirati talent. They are committed to developing and supporting all Emirati youth in the organisation as they see that we are an integral part of the business growth and development.
How can women further grow their role in the country’s development?
I think we are already doing it. Women are half the society, and whether we are working in the marketplace or at home, we are daily adding value and serving our country.
In the UAE, we have female ministers, doctors, teachers, and astronauts, we are present in every role across every industry. These are women who have worked hard to be where they are, and they are occupying high-ranking positions.
I do not think you can underestimate the value either of those women who are at home raising the future generation of achievers who will ensure our countries future prosperity. That is equally important.
What advice you can give to the young women who aspire to make a career in engineering?
I would advise them to work hard to reach their goals, to utilise the opportunities available, to aim for success with every step they take and to always remember; where there is a will there is a way.
 The theme of this year Emirati Women’s Day is “Women: Ambitions & Inspiration for Next 50 Years.” What does it mean to you?
I think the theme embodies Emirati women’s unlimited ambitions and their positive outlook for a prosperous and progressive future. Looking forward for the next 50 years really allows us to look back at the same time and see where we have come from and be grateful for the changes that have been made by those in positions of power, that allow Emirati women to stand here today, and look forward to another 50 years of excellence, growth, and achievement.

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