As part of Northgate’s commitment to empowering women engineers, our Oakland office welcomes Michelle Sesay from Freetown, Sierra Leone. Michelle is a participant of TechWomen, a mentoring initiative sponsored by the US Department of State that pairs women leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from Africa and the Middle East with their counterparts in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Michelle has a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering and an Advanced Diploma in Project Management. She is taking a break honing her skills working as an engineer for an oil and gas management company to spend time at Northgate. Her work history also includes stints at an architectural firm and a highway engineering company.
The field of environmental engineering is nearly nonexistent in Sierra Leone. Michelle wants to change that. She is priming herself to become a leader in her country’s first generation of environmental engineers, and has a long-range objective of owning her own engineering company. Her plans for the future don’t stop there. She also wants to form a coaching and mentoring program that would provide girls with the encouragement they need to complete school and pursue rewarding technical careers. Inspired by these ambitious goals, she is learning as much as she can about environmental engineering while at Northgate, as well as the ins and outs of developing and operating a business.
As a women-owned company, Northgate is excited and proud to be part of a program that supports women engineers in a global context. Our seasoned staff finds it fulfilling to share its considerable reservoir of knowledge and experience with emerging young leaders eager to contribute to social change in their communities. In the first year of the TechWomen program, Northgate mentored a Moroccan engineer. And this year we enthusiastically anticipate a dynamic 5 weeks working with Michelle.
The State Department asserts that programs such as TechWomen, which cultivate the participation of women in local and global economies, further the possibility of world peace. At an upcoming TechWomen conference in Washington, DC, Northgate staff will interact with members of the State Department to learn more about its objectives for this cutting-edge initiative.