ELSY ABOU ZEID
Mechanical technician at Volvo
Journey and motivation
Elsy Abou Zeid was raised with three brothers and 10 cousins, all boys. She grew up playing boys games in order to fit in and have a chance to spend time with them. As she grew older, her interest in things traditionally reserved for men only grew.
After earning her baccalaureate degree she held several internships, but it was one she did at a garage that interested her most. This is why she decided to become a mechanical engineer and begin her studies at the Lebanese branch of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers (CNAM).
As the only girl in her class, Abou Zeid felt like an intruder in the beginning, but things started getting better for her.
Her father, having seen where her interest lay from a young age, was supportive of her chosen career path. Her mother, however, was reluctant because she viewed the job as harsh. As for her colleagues, Abou Zeid notes the younger ones are the most accepting.
The only difficulty Abou Zeid faces is the physical constraints. She explains, for instance, that it is hard for her to move a 100 kilogram engine. However, she strongly believes that being a woman sparks some welcome curiosity among employers’.
Abou Zeid is intent on continually working to evolve in this job, and hopes to some day open her own auto repair shop.
To women still hesitating on whether to pursue this path, Abou Zeid says that if a woman has a passion for automotive work, she shouldn’t think twice.