Strong Women at Ottobock
A conversation with Zainab Al-Eqabi
A unique meeting took place in March 2021 in Duderstadt headquarter with Zainab Al Eqabi from the Marketing and Social Media department at Otto Bock Middle East. It was a special meeting with a very special person, because Zainab Al Eqabi is not only an Ottobock employee – she is also a user. And she’s an Instagram influencer with 1.5 million followers. An influencer who is a credit to her name. Anyone who meets Zainab can immediately sense her intelligence, her empathy and the love she has for people. She is a woman who makes an impression and has something to say. Zainab motivates her listeners to change their perspective. She gets people to move past social taboos, she sets people straight, she confronts and she gives people courage.
Her own story is not a secret. Born in Iraq, Zainab lost her left leg due to a leftover bomb from the Gulf War when she was seven years old.
We caught up with Zainab for an interview.
Besides your successful Instagram channel and your job in the Marketing and Social Media department at Otto Bock Middle East, you are also an important ambassador for our users at Ottobock. How did your connection with Ottobock come about?
It initially happened because I was looking for a prosthesis that was appropriate for me when I was still a child. Later on, I came across Ottobock through one of their excibitions. That is where I met the team. We had discussions and meetings later on and it did not take much time until I started to work as a patient ambassador. That is how the journey started. I then participated in Heinrich’s Running Clinic in Dubai in 2015. I love sports and had so much fun at the event. I am very happy to be working for Ottobock.
You’ve been in Duderstadt since the beginning of March, and you’re getting a new prosthesis. What’s new and better about it?
I’m exchanging the C-Leg I had until now for a Genium X3, and I am already excited about the completely new opportunities I’ll have. For example, being able to use both sides when climbing stairs instead of going step by step, as I have until now. And I’m excited to have the waterproof variant of the Genium X3. Because I love diving. Who knows, maybe I’ll do a triathlon at some point.
How much longer do we get to have you with us here in Duderstadt?
Right now, I’m still having a socket adjusted. And I’m practising every day here in Patient Care. Christopher Eckernmann and Daniela Wüstefeld and everyone else are giving me fantastic help in learning to walk with the new prosthesis and are sharing valuable tips on how I can make my gait pattern even smoother.
Is there any wish you’d like Ottobock to fulfil?
Oh, yes! I love dressing up, and my big dream is wearing high heels. I’m a woman who loves fashion, and a height-adjustable prosthetic foot would be a big plus in my life. If Ottobock were to work on a foot like that, I would be all over it.
Let’s see what our colleagues in Marketing and Development have to say about that. We will let you know – and we hope the rest of your stay in Duderstadt is lovely and look forward to seeing you again. Thank you for your time!
People around the world are celebrating International Women's Day on March 8th, drawing attention to women's rights and equality. This day publicises achievements of the movement and encourages people to get involved in gender equality, also at work. On the 110th anniversary of International Women's Day, female employees of Ottobock talk about their careers and leadership by women as well as sharing tips for more self-acceptance.
Ottobock began introducing female employees from around the world in social media a week before International Women's Day. They shared their empowerment and self-care messages on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
To raise awareness for the topic among Ottobock employees, the company also published a series of interviews with female managers and specialists on its intranet. Women talked about challenges at work, how they made their way to Ottobock and differences between men and women in day-to-day work.
"Follow your heart! Women approach subjects differently – an enrichment for everyone."
Dr.-Ing. Simone Oehler, Director Verification at Ottobock
5 questions to 6 women software developers
Almost everyone in IT knows this tech pioneer: British mathematician Ada Lovelace is considered the world's first computer programmer. In 1843 she developed an algorithm for the precursor of the computer. Lovelace was a rarity in her day. Some 180 years later, there are still just a few women working in the field. A look at the tech departments and computer science courses of this world reveals mostly men at the computers. According to Germany's Bitkom digital association, only one of every seven applicants for IT jobs is a woman. "Women Who Code", a non-profit organisation that aims to bring more women into the well-paid industry, states that they are unnecessarily reluctant to enter the tech world.
For International Women's Day, six female developers at Ottobock talk about their motivations, job highlights and difficulties − and provide valuable tips for newcomers.