Monday, July 22, 2024

Ida Faal: Breaking the proverbial glass ceiling and smashing gender stereotypes

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By: Alieu Jallow

Ida Faal is a young woman who has defied stereotypes and broken through the glass ceiling in the automotive industry in The Gambia. Despite growing up in an area that was predominantly known for its spare parts centres, Ida started trading in spare parts in Latrikunda while attending primary and high school. She developed a passion for auto mechanics at a young age and began learning how to fix cars, nurturing her desire for entrepreneurship and the automotive industry.

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In spite of societal humiliation and labelling, Ida remained steadfast and pursued her dream. She has since founded her own auto mechanic company, which offers auto repair services and an online marketing platform that strives through all odds.

After working in a male-dominated field for many years, Ida took a bold step to establish her own business in the auto mechanic field by leveraging digital innovations to provide solutions in The Gambia.

She founded Fita Faal Autos, an e-commerce platform that offers auto mechanic services, including the rental of vehicles, repairing and selling of cars and spare parts.

Ida’s efforts and dedication to her craft have not gone unnoticed, as she emerged as the winner of the Youth Connekt pitching competition.

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In an interview with The Fatu Network, she shared her plans on how she intends to use the funds she won from the competition to grow her business further and inspire other young women to break barriers in the automotive industry.

“We will use 50% of this fund to build our mobile van, 25% for branding and advertisement and the other 25% will go into buying new equipment. To be specific, new diagnostic and programming equipment,” Ida said.

Ida outlined that stereotypes and gender barriers are still impediments to her business, noting men would rather trade for her than her business.

“Men believe because we are women, we can’t do the work. But I can assure you that any woman you see in a trade, know that she mastered it and that you should support our business by hiring our services”.

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Ida encouraged her peers in the job market to go the extra mile and break the cycle.

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