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Empowering Change: Gresa’s journey in engineering and AWESK's vision for women in energy

The story of Gresa Përvetica | Student of engineering at Prishtina’s public university

Gresa Përvetica, a bright first-year student at the Faculty of Electrical and Computing Engineering, is charting her path in the power systems field. Her journey is intertwined with the aspirations of the Association of Women in the Energy Sector of Kosovo (AWESK), where she is an active member. AWESK aims to forge a path for women and girls in the energy sector, pushing to bridge educational gaps and improve employment opportunities.

Meanwhile, Gresa is pioneering change in an industry that has traditionally seen limited female participation. 


Gresa's journey in engineering is fueled by her childhood curiosity and family influence. Inspired by her family's engineering background, with both parents deeply entrenched in the sector, Gresa was naturally drawn to the power systems field. Her father's practical work in energy and her mother's and sister's engagements in computer and software engineering have significantly shaped her career path.


"Since childhood, I’ve been fascinated by this field, inspired by my father’s work in energy. His hands-on fixes around the house sparked my curiosity about the theory behind energy and power systems," Gresa explains.


This family environment, rich in technical knowledge and hands-on experience, has instilled in her a deep understanding of the interconnectedness of engineering disciplines.


Her education at a public university, one of the three in Kosovo offering comprehensive energy sector training, has further fueled her passion. The most prominent university that educates future engineers, the University of Prishtina “Hasan Prishtina” has about a hundred female students enrolled every year.


Gresa sees the energy sector not just as an engineering discipline but as a catalyst for women's empowerment, providing a dynamic and innovative environment for professional growth.


“Progress in societal attitudes means that opportunities are increasingly based on merit, allowing for greater female participation in the energy sector."


AWESK, where Gresa is making her mark, aims to enhance career opportunities for women and bridge the educational gap in the energy sector. With women constituting under 10% of the workforce in this field and facing significant challenges in accessing energy for economic activities, AWESK’s role is crucial. The organization advocates for early engagement with girls, promoting energy as a sector that offers sustainable jobs and can alleviate societal challenges, such as high unemployment rates among young adults.


The gender dynamics in engineering education are evolving, with more girls pursuing engineering degrees, signaling a shift towards a more inclusive future in the sector.


"Having a strong foundation in science has always aligned me with engineering. While I believe that anyone with passion can succeed in this field, a knack for science and engineering principles certainly helps pave the way," Gresa says while assessing everyone’s chance to choose this career path.


Gresa believes that with determination and clear objectives, women can overcome societal and economic barriers, paving the way for merit-based opportunities in the energy sector. Her own experience and the changing trends she observes at major universities reflect a broader movement towards gender equality in engineering and technical fields.


Gresa’s involvement with AWESK has been instrumental in her professional development. Firstly, because of her mother who has been with the organization since the establishment in 2017. And secondly, the organization has provided her with a platform to learn from experienced professionals, advocate for female participation in energy. “I can learn about the energy sector first-hand from other members who are experienced. And secondly, it is the best platform to promote the sector amongst other girls to make energy as their career choice."


Through AWESK, Gresa has encountered role models and success stories that reinforce her belief in the potential of women to excel in the energy sector.


Her aspirations are clear: “I want to be part of an evolving energy sector where the demand for skilled professionals continues to grow, and where engineers like herself can contribute to a global landscape.”


Gresa envisions a future where the energy sector is not only inclusive but also a leading force in technological innovation and sustainable development. She represents a new generation of engineers poised to drive change in the energy sector.


Her story, intertwined with the goals of AWESK, highlights the significant strides being made towards gender equality and empowerment in a field ripe with opportunities. As the energy sector evolves, the concerted efforts of individuals like Gresa and organizations like AWESK are crucial in shaping a future that values diversity, promotes equality, and harnesses the talents of all, irrespective of gender.


This narrative not only celebrates Gresa’s achievements and aspirations but also underscores the collective effort needed to create an inclusive and equitable energy sector.

This story was developed by the Association of Women in Energy Sector in Kosovo with the support from the Center for International Private Enterprise within "WE-Champs: Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem by Networking Regional Women’s Chambers of Commerce and Business Associations" project, funded by the U.S. Department of State Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI). All opinions stated herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of the United States Government or CIPE.


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