Nihal Zekraoui

Director of ORPEA Residences Nursing Home in Belgium

I began my professional career as a nurse in hospital units, where I was able to put into practice and improve my technical know-how, as well as coordinating care.

I started working for the ORPEA Group as a Nurse in 2014. This first experience in the field of geriatrics allowed me to develop human, social and relational qualities, and I gained experience in the specific care of elderly patients.

At the same time, I was able to continue my academic career, acquire the knowledge required in Health Care Management and subsequently move on to a position as an Executive Assistant.

I worked as an Executive Assistant for three years in two different facilities, where I participated in the optimisation of the quality policy. Getting to know the different types of residents, staff and management styles was a huge opportunity for me.

Currently, I am Director at the Prince Royal Residence, where I continue to develop and use my skills by participating in strategic decisions and the development and achievement of objectives to best meet the demands and expectations of our staff, residents and their families.

How would you define the support you have received from the Group to build your career path? 

Thanks to the Group’s support and organisation, I have been and still am fortunate enough to be able to continue my studies alongside working. Continuous training is essential within the Group. The transmission of information, knowledge and skills is a strong part of this organisation.

Has being a woman in your profession been an asset or a handicap, or neither? 

I don’t see any difference or handicap. I think of it more as a whole, not only related to gender.

We have more rights in all areas, whether in the private sphere or in the professional world.

What advice would you give to women who read about you to build their professional career? 

Be perseverant and have self-confidence.

How do you see the evolution of society in terms of women’s rights? 

We have more rights in all areas, whether in the private sphere or in the professional world. We have more opportunities to realise our dreams and goals. We are heads of families and at the same time there are more and more women at the head of big companies… I am proud of that.

What do you wish for the girls of today and their world of tomorrow? 

That this trend continues and that they never experience gender discrimination.