Previously published in Spanish on La Razón.
The Women in Construction and Engineering Awards want to encourage companies to employ and train more women in these industries
How to make engineering more attractive to women? To answer this question came the Women in Construction and Engineering Awards (WICE), which aim to not only recognize women who should be role models for those who are considering a career in engineering-related sectors, but also want to encourage companies to employ and train more women in these industries. And this year the best European Railway Engineer Woman is Spanish. Her name is Elena Moral and she is the Project Execution Director of Talgo.
“Currently, in the engineering sector and particularly in our rail sector, women are underrepresented. Prizes or initiatives like this help to make our work more visible “, underlines the winner of this award.
For this reason, she stresses that engineering is “fascinating”, so “we must contribute to women’s participation and enjoy the wide variety of possibilities that it offers.” My wish is that this type of awards may disappear in the future, because I think the most important thing for a professional is his knowledge and the results he gets, and this is not a gender issue. “
Elena Moral is used to stand out among men. It all started in the race. When she enrolled in Industrial Engineering, women were a minority in the classrooms. Years after graduating, Talgo entrusted the construction of Ave Medina-Mecca. The current Director of Execution of the company’s projects meets with LOC in Madrid. She wears yellow blouse, a striking color, far from the discreet black abaya with which she captained the Haramain Project, the name that was baptized the Ave that Spain built thanks to the mediation of Don Juan Carlos and the good work of businessmen like the recently deceased Eyad Kayali and the intervention of Shahpari Zanganeh, widow of Khashoggi. Moral, who with her abaya has given explanations to the Saudi royal family, recalls her experience before LOC.
When Talgo proposed her for such an ambitious project, do you think that in certain sectors there were suspicions about being a woman?
When we started the project, it is true that the cultural issue was an aspect that was there. Some of the Consortium companies did not put women in charge of the project. When they proposed me, my experience took precedence. Talgo’s attitude was courageous, but they considered that professional competence was the most important thing.
I imagine that you will have had to deal with great executives in Saudi Arabia who are not used to dealing with women. Do you think it will have helped?
At least to see that nothing was happening. I think that when you give results, the initial reluctance disappears because in the end the work and the result prevail over everything else.
But did you have a problem at first because you were a woman?
I have not had it. I think there were more fears about the unknown than what happened at the end. Trying to be respectful with the one we had in front and with the rules. For example, clothes, we had to wear the abaya.
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