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Daimler & Belhasa Bring Female Truck Driving to the UAE

In a first that will have long-lasting ripple effects across the commercial vehicles industry, Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA (DCV MENA) are thrilled to announce that Mandy Chan and Meliza Gilroy are their first two female employees to obtain a Heavy Truck (HT) license after completing a rigorous training course at Belhasa Driving School.

DCV MENA’s dedication to pushing boundaries and pioneering change in the commercial vehicles sector is reflected in both their cutting-edge design and innovative use of technology as well as their approach to workplace diversity and accountability. As part of an ongoing commitment to nurturing individual development and generating opportunities for internal growth within the company, all employees at DCV MENA benefit from being part of a comprehensive training and development plan which includes the chance to obtain a Heavy Truck license.

With a well-deserved reputation for excellence and professionalism, state-of-the-art facilities in Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZA) and forward-thinking ethos it will come as no surprise that Belhasa Driving Centre is Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA’s preferred driving school partner. Belhasa are the first –  and thus far only – driving centre in JAFZA to certify women in the Heavy Truck category.

Both companies are driven by a number of shared core values. These includes prioritising road safety and doing all they can to ensure safe and accident-free driving, whether that be through education, intensive training, regular assessments or technological innovation.

The two are also entirely committed to promoting diversity and inclusion in the workplace, with a particular focus on empowering women and fostering the professional growth of females in what has traditionally been a male dominated industry (women already make up 20% of DCV MENA’s workforce and concrete plans are in place for Belhasa to recruit and train female heavy duty truck driving instructors in 2022).

A recent event held at Belhasa Driving School’s new Al Quoz location and attended by management representatives from Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA, Belhasa Driving School, RoadSafetyUAE and the RTA was a true celebration of both this mission and Mandy Chan and Meliza Gilroy‘s achievements.

Speaking after taking their Belhasa truck driving instructor for a test drive in a Mercedes- Benz Truck and showing off their hard earned for skills, Mandy Chan said “We were both thrilled to receive our Heavy Truck License and feel honoured today to be presented with these commemorative certificates”. Meliza Gilroy added that: “We are very appreciative of the opportunity that was given to us and we applaud the efforts of all the organisations within the UAE taking important steps to promote gender equality across industries.”

Olaf Petersen, the General Manager of Daimler Truck Sales at DCV MENA, commented, “At Daimler Commercial Vehicles MENA we are on a constant mission to drive positive change in all areas.  While today we mark the achievements of Mandy and Meliza in obtaining their Heavy Truck licenses, this is only the start. We will ensure that they are far from the exception to the rule and are fully committed to making the commercial vehicle industry a viable and attractive career option for women in the UAE and beyond.”

Hani Kamal, the General Manager for Belhasa added: “For many years now we have worked hard to ensure that our workforce is a diverse one that not only offers equal opportunities for all but specifically encourages women to enter into and become an integral part of what has been traditionally considered a male industry.

Thomas Edelmann, the Managing Director of RoadSafetyUAE states: “Daimler Commercial Vehicles is a great example of an organization committed to road safety by way of designing safe trucks and also by putting safety as a strategic corporate pillar, as well as embracing gender diversity. A tangible result of these facts is the encouragement of 2 female employees to obtain their heavy vehicle driving license. Studies show women are more risk averse than men, which makes them ideal for truck driving. Trucking statistics show that females are less likely to be involved in a fatal crash and female drivers log more miles each year than their male counterparts. Hence, from a safety perspective, we would love to see more female truck drivers on the roads. However, the number of female truck drivers is still low (USA 7.8%, Spain 4%, Germany below 2%) and in the UAE pretty much non-existent. This initiative by DCV will hopefully excite more females to obtain a heavy vehicle driving license.”

Our partnership with DCV MENA allows us to take this one step further and is an important part of our strategy to foster the professional growth of female employees, both existing and future.”

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