Omnia, a JSE-listed diversified chemicals company, recently announced a commitment to invest R5m in the secondary and tertiary education of women in South Africa. The investment is in support of the company’s overarching support of healthy, educated, and resilient communities.
Globally, just 35% of Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) students are women. In South Africa, just 13% of graduates in STEM fields are women, highlighting the deep gender inequity still present in our society, and critical shortage of STEM skills among local graduates.
“Through our new commitment, we want to take action to redress these imbalances by upskilling and providing opportunities for women in a variety of ways – from bursaries and internships to mentorship opportunities. Innovation is at the heart of our purpose, we want to build a workforce where diversity of thought directly feeds into the innovation and technology we use,” says CEO Seelan Gobalsamy.
This new investment is complimentary to Omnia’s existing education initiatives, such as Primestars that provides funding for Youth Development programmes for high school learners from underserved communities.
The new funding will be in addition to Omnia’s R28.7m investment in 2021 in socioeconomic development – with a primary focus in education and community initiatives. It dovetails Omnia’s recently launched Future Fund that offers its employees financial support for their children’s school fees.
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