ELSY ABOU ZEID

Me­chan­i­cal tech­ni­cian at Volvo

Executive Magazine - - Special Report | Women In The Workplace In Photos -

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).

Oth­ers’ per­cep­tions

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.

Ob­sta­cles

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’.

Fu­ture plans

Abou Zeid is in­tent on con­tin­u­ally work­ing to evolve in this job, and hopes to some day open her own auto re­pair shop.

Ad­vice

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.

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