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Emirati Female Forklift Driver Breaks Barriers in Logistics Sector, Encourages Others to Pursue Challenging Careers

Emirati Female Forklift Driver Breaks Barriers in Logistics Sector, Encourages Others to Pursue Challenging Careers

In a traditionally male-dominated industry, 23-year-old Fatma Salem is breaking barriers and inspiring others with her journey as a forklift driver in the logistics and operations sector at Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA). Her story exemplifies the UAE’s efforts to increase the participation of women in industrial sectors typically dominated by men.

Operating heavy machinery and forklifts at EGA, Salem’s role involves maneuvering tons of materials efficiently, often facing challenging weather conditions. She also operates the vacuum unloader at Jebel Ali Port, a critical task in moving goods from bulk carriers to storage containers.

Originally a student of therapeutic radiology, Salem’s career path took a turn during the Covid-19 pandemic, leading her to explore opportunities in the aluminium industry. Encouraged by a friend, she enrolled in an EGA training program designed for high-school graduates interested in technical roles.

Following comprehensive training covering operational aspects and fundamental subjects like mathematics and public safety, Salem joined EGA as an employee in November 2022. Despite initial skepticism from her community and the daunting nature of her job, Salem’s determination remained steadfast.

Supported by her colleagues and supervisors, Salem overcame her initial fears and embraced her role wholeheartedly. Her family and friends, initially concerned, became supportive upon witnessing her happiness and success in her chosen field.

In December, Salem achieved another milestone by obtaining her pay loader license, further solidifying her position in the logistics sector. Her story serves as an inspiration for other Emirati women, encouraging them to pursue diverse and challenging careers.

“I want to tell them not to feel frustrated by any challenges they may face,” Salem expressed, emphasizing the supportive leadership and empowering environment provided by the UAE for both male and female citizens.

Continuing to enhance her skills through additional training courses, Salem is also pursuing studies in business quality at Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University. Her journey underscores the UAE’s commitment to fostering gender diversity and empowering women to thrive in various professional fields.

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