twitter Facebook Linkedin acp Contact Us

Fostering female service technician talent across Africa

Wendy from Leal in Mauritius. (Image source: Volvo CE)

Women across Africa are pursuing careers in and excelling in the traditionally male-dominated field of mechanics with the support of Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) and its dealers

On a mission to ‘build the world we want to live in’, Volvo CE’s vision encompasses a commitment to sustainability and connectivity alongside achieving gender equality within the company. In pursuit of this, it previously set a target to have at least 35% female leaders and employees by 2024 and implemented significant initiatives to achieve this. 

Success stories from these initiatives have included the Ghabbour Foundation for Development, established by GB Auto (the parent company of Volvo CE’s Egyptian dealer Ghabbour), which has been reportedly working tirelessly to bridge the gender gap in vocational education. 

“As I entered this specialisation, I developed a genuine passion for it and am determined to excel,” said Dina, a third-year student at one of the Ghabbour vocational schools, specialising in commercial vehicle maintenance. “My trainers have been incredibly supportive from the beginning, urging me to strive for excellence. After completing my education, I dream of working and honing my skills, and I envision enrolling in a university in the same field for higher education. Ultimately, I aspire to establish the service centre I’ve always dreamed of owning.”

Elsewhere, Babcock, the southern Africa dealer for Volvo CE, has developed a strong team of female mechanics at its workshops. 

“I’ve had incredible mentors guiding me throughout my journey,” commented Thando, a 26-year-old working at Babcock, who began her journey with an apprenticeship programme in 2019. “On Saturdays, we have special training sessions where we simulate faults and solve problems. It’s a great learning experience. Day-to-day, I handle various tasks like stripping engines and overhauling transmissions and brakes. I’m also the designated driver on site. I manage the loading and off-loading of machines from transport. I’m licensed to operate everything from forklifts to rigid trucks. Right now, I’m focused on advancing my career. I’m studying instrumentation at Unisa. It helps me stay up to date with improvements in engine management, emissions, control, telematics, and other related topics.”

Leal in Mauritius boasts a notable example of the career growth and success that women can achieve in the form of Wendy, who has been working at the company for 14 years. Volvo CE shined a light on her career, which began at the age of 17 as a mechanic and has progressed to a customer support representative, responsible for travelling across the island to meet customers, assess their needs and advise them outside of the workshop. 

According to Volvo CE, with the current challenges facing the construction equipment industry (such as a shortage of skilled labour), nurturing talent – regardless of gender – is essential. “Having a better gender balance is not just the right thing to do for society,” said Christophe Lagandre, head of market area Africa at Volvo CE. “It’s also good for business and helps us deliver the best possible support for our customers.”

Most Read

Latest news