Together with the private sector, UNDP supports young women in STEM

March 23, 2023


United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in North Macedonia in partnership with the Limak Group, the Ministry of Education and Science has awarded 20 female engineering students with scholarships through the Global Engineer Girls (GEG) initiative. The students are enrolled in electrotechnical, mechanical, civil engineering, and information technology faculties at state universities nationwide.

The key objective of the Global Engineer Girls (GEG) initiative is to provide support to girls and young women and increase their participation in STEM fields, traditionally male-dominated. Through its activities, GEG aims to decrease the gender gaps in STEM in North Macedonia and  improve women`s position at the labor market. This initiative also strives to encourage private sector to work more closely towards tackling the gender gaps in the business sphere and to support job opportunities for women. 

“Recognizing the role of women and girls in science, not only as beneficiaries, but also as agents of change, we ensure that women and girls are no longer a minority, but instead widely represented at all levels. Eliminating stereotypical prejudices in engineering and supporting young girls who wish to study and work in STEM fields is more urgent than ever before. As we take steps towards our digi future and as the world transitions to an increasingly digital economy, it is clear our economy is set to be dominated by STEM industries at the heart of technology advancements, such as engineering and computer science. Closing the global gender gap in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education is crucial to empowering women economically and addressing the shortage of qualified individuals needed to meet the burgeoning demand of technology jobs.”
Armen Grigoryan, UNDP Resident Representative in North Macedonia.

Out of the 169  engineering students that applied for the programme during the three-week application period, 20 young women were successfully selected on the basis of their academic achievements and involvement in extra-curricular activities. 

In addition to scholarships, GEG includes an extensive mentorship program, as well as skills development courses, and internship opportunities. All participants have their own mentors – experienced professionals who help to shape and guide the hopes and ambitions of young female engineers who often need to challenge the status quo and tackle gender bias. 


In the #SkillsNext Training Center for future skills, the young women will have the opportunity to enhance their knowledge about the green energy and construction sectors whilst also gaining practical engineering experience by undertaking an internship of their choice. 

“We’re delighted to welcome the first cohort of the Global Engineer Girls North Macedonia. The launch of GEG in North Macedonia is important because it sets to bring more opportunities for women and girls here for careers in STEM as well as contribute to the drive for gender equity more broadly.”
Ebru Özdemir, Chairperson of Limak Group of Companies and Founder of Global Engineer Girls.

The Ministry of Education and Science is a strategic partner of the initiative aiming to decrease the gender gap, which annually costs the country 16 % of its GDP.

“North Macedonia is proud to have women with successful STEM careers, as they are inspiring models for the young people to dedicate themselves to studying, science and research. The last UNESCO report shows that our state is a leader in Europe according to the number of female researchers. The Government and the Ministry of Education and Science with concrete policies, measures and investments stimulate as many girls and women as possible to choose STEM."
Minister of education and science Jeton Shaqiri

Global Engineer Girls is an international philanthropic initiative launched in Türkiye in 2015. UNDP support the initiative in several countries to improve women’s representation in STEM fields aiming to ensure equal opportunities for all on the labour market.