Game changers in the making

Game changers in the making

Bethlehem Ketsela (photo: The Reporter)

Bethlehem Ketsela, Engineering

Bethlehem Ketsela is in the midst of the construction boom in Ethiopia and she knows it.

The head of structure for Noah Read Estate, one of the emerging real estate developers in Ethiopia, the 28-year-old graduate from Addis Ababa University’s Civil Engineering Department seems to take to heart the fact that while her field is slowly progressing, it still remains to be a male dominated field.

Within Noah, she has helped mentor others and motivated many to join the field and change the narrative. Today, Noah now has more female engineers within its roster than ever before.

“When I graduated in 2014, engineering was very male dominated, but it has evolved and it’s becoming an attractive field for all kind of people, for males or females alike,” she said. “The motivating factor has been that I wanted to prove to myself and others than engineering, while it involves hard work and is labor intensive, it can be done by any one and it’s not just reserved for men alone.”

“Then again, I do not see myself as a woman engineer, but just an engineer,” she added.

For her, the motivation to enter the field began as she saw none who looked like her in it. And as a child, she grew up being told such a profession best suited boys, not girls.

“I have wanted to be a civil engineer since I was a child,” she told The Reporter from her office inside Noah headquarters in Bole. “The motivation factor has been that I wanted to dispel the myth that engineering, while I note it involves hard work and is labor intensive, it can be done by anyone”.

Within Noah, Bethlehem is said to be respected and her hard work has been noted. Her superiors have glowing complements for the person they have come to nickname “Betty Boss”.

“We nicknamed her ‘Betty Boss’ because of the kinds of work she has shown us and her supervision skills. She is our lead when the work involves anything to do with the concrete part of our construction projects. We see her; many of our clients see her as their right hand person. We know, anything she is involved in is done to perfection and it’s not just because of luck, but hard work.” Addisalem Berhun, the manager of the soon to be launched Noah Foundation, told The Reporter

Noah continues to be involved in big projects within the capital, with an eye on expansion throughout the nation, and is even rumored to be interested in expanding in neighboring nations. With that comes more opportunity for Bethlehem and others to be tasked with expanding roles and she is excited by it.

“For me the work I do is not just a 9-5 kind of a job, but is a passion,” Bethlehem said.

For Addisalem, “Betty Boss” is more than ready to be given such an expanding role.

“Not only does she meet our standard and build on that standard, but she exceeds them and for that, we are excited she is part of our brand and journey forward”, she said.

Read more at: The Reporter