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The first female president of Ghana Institution of Engineers has Danish genes running in her veins

When Carl Engman came to Ghana from Denmark in the 1752 he started a family that grew to become a well known family in Accra. The family is known for their ingenuity being mostly engineers of different kinds - one of these Engman engineers is the new president of Ghana Institution of Engineers.

On 31st of March Carlien Bou-Chedid Engman was inaugurated as the 49th president of Ghana Institution of Engineers. The 48 before her have been men, but for Carlien there is nothing spectacular about her being a woman in a high position.

“I hope that soon this will not be something people notice. People are realizing that there are few female engineers, so maybe this is why people where surprised. But I hope the surprise came from the fact that people never noticed that we didn’t have a female president in the institution before, because we are used to women doing great work,” says Carlien. 

Women doing great work is not unfamiliar in Carlien’s own life where education has always been the natural route to go – both for the men and women of the family. Several of her siblings are engineers as well. Carlien’s mother was among the first female graduates from Ghana’s university and Carlien herself was the first female engineer in Ghana in her field – earthquakes.


“Engmans are proud to be Engmans”
The Engman family is not only Danish and Ghanaian based today but has been spread all over world, still he Engmans stick together and tries to meet up from time to time.

“We actually even have a Engman WhatsApp group,” says Carlien, “and I would say that Engmans are proud to be Engmans.”

Carlien’s father has also been president of the institution, and like him Carlien does not plan to let her presidency go unnoticed. She has clear goals. One of them is to make sure than when big political discussions in Ghana are happening the engineers are also heard. 

“For example with all the talk about Galamsey in Ghana these days. We should definitely be a voice in these discussions. We have a lot of ideas on how to do the clean up, we can present them and then the politicians can do with that information as they wish,” says Carlien.