Wednesday March 10th, would forever remain a memorable day in her life as she was honoured with an award for her excellent contributions to the progress and development of the engineering profession, most especially, the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Lagos Branch.
Engineer Oluwatoyin Jegede, though, physically challenged, is full of enormous ability.
The day was kicked started with a public lecture by three outstanding women engineers in the country namely: Engineer (Mrs.) Aramide Adeyoye, who’s the Special Adviser on Works And Infrastructure to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, followed by Hadiza Bala Usman, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), who was ably represented, and the Managing Director of the Lagos State Metropolitan Transport Authority (LAMATA), Engr. (Mrs) Abimbola Akinajo.
The discussion was based on the topic: “#ChooseToChallenge,” organized by the Lagos Branch of NSE in commemoration of this year’s World International Women’s Day.
Engineer Jegede stated that women face lots of challenges individually, adding that what someone faces is different from what another person faces.
“For instance, I am an engineer living with disability, so my challenges are unique to me. The challenges are numerous, but for someone like me, they are compounded.
“I have to face the challenges as a woman engineer, secondly, as a disabled person in a field that I am not supposed to belong to, but I thank God, I am coping,” Engr. Jegede said.
The woman stressed that the experience has been great so far, while thanking God for being honored by her colleagues.
She then advised women engineers to keep doing the good work they were doing and that sooner or later they would be rewarded or recognized.
“Whatever you do, be impactful, be visible with it, don’t work for any accolade, the accolades would come in due time, just do your best.
“Furthermore, today’s program has taught me to keep doing what I am doing, to continue to challenge, break the stereotype because it’s difficult to find women in engineering these days not to talk of disabled women.
“So, I want to continue with what I could do to encourage the younger ones. Whoever you are, whatever your status is, as long as you have the ability to do it, do it well and nicely,” she said.
Jegede believed that there were few women in government, while urging women to participate more in politics, saying that this is when they could make more impact.
She explained that women are very dynamic and unique, and that “when you empower a woman, you invariably empowered a whole household. When you empower a household, you empower the nation as a whole. I believe we need more women in the position of leadership, then we could see the changes we want effected in our environment.”
According to her, Lagos branch of the NSE has been the forerunner of innovations, while stating that she saw the branch going higher.
“By the grace of God, with more people coming on board, I see a lot of changes that we will effect in Lagos and Nigeria as a whole.
“Engineering profession is not an easy profession to crack, but it’s crackable. The young ones should keep doing what they are doing, they should do the best and then the sky would be the starting point. If I could do it, anyone else can do it as well,” she said.
Brief About Engr. Oluwatoyin Enitan Jegede
Oluwatoyin Enitan Jegede hails from Akoko North East, Ondo State, she obtained a B.Sc and M.Sc (with Distinction) in Metallurgical and material engineering from University of Lagos in 2001 and 2996 respectively.
She also had a PhD in the same field from the University of Leeds, Uk in 2018. She’s an alumnus of the prestigious commonwealth scholarship and one of the pioneering set of women selected for the UKRI *Uk research and Innovation) emerging women leaders training at the University of Leeds, UK.
Her area of competence is in Alloy design, material processing under microgravity, powder metallurgy, thermodynamics and characterization of non –equilibrium structures. She has research publication to her credit in these areas.
Pioneer coordinator of APWEN(Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria) Collegiate at the University of Lagos.
She was Publicity Secretary/Membership Cordinator APWEN Lagos Branch (2012/2013).
Member, APWEN National Conference Planning Committee (2012/2013)
Member, APWEN National Conference Planning Committee 2012
Quiz master, Nigeria Society of Engineers, (NSE) Lagos Branch.
Assistant Secretary, Research & Development/Mentorship Committee of NSE, Lagos Branch 2021.
Engr. Jegede also has a Masters degree in public administration (MPA) specializing in policy formulation and implementation. She’s a firm advocate of due process in the public sphere and has been recognized at the Future Awards Africa-Excellence in the Public Service category 2010.
She is currently a Senior Engineer at the Works and Physical Planning department, University of Lagos.