Zina Bencheikh is driven by her passion for making the world a more inclusive and equal place. Born in Marrakech, educated in France and the UK, Bencheikh started her career in finance in Paris before returning to Morocco to join Intrepid as Finance Manager in 2010.
She has progressed rapidly through a number of financial and operational leadership roles with the company, while championing gender equality initiatives, particularly for women in North Africa. As the Managing Director of Intrepid Travel for EMEA, Zina uses the company’s global reach to create economic opportunities for women through tourism, breaking down gender barriers in countries where women have been traditionally excluded from paid work and equal access to education, such as Morocco – her home country.
By encouraging and supporting women to train as tour leaders, as well as championing female entrepreneurs by contracting them as suppliers, Zina has already helped shift mindsets in the country.
Zina’s commitment to championing the advancement of education and employment opportunities of women in Morocco was key in building the relationship between Education for All and Intrepid Travel though the company not-for-profit – The Intrepid Foundation. This relationship has led to creating opportunities to around 90 girls from rural Morocco to access education as well as helping some of their graduates to access internship experiences paid work in the Intrepid office of Morocco.
Now regarded as one of Morocco’s leading advocates for gender equality, Zina’s work has been profiled by the BBC Travel Show, Skift, Forbes, Fodor’s, Vacations Mag and AFAR, amongst others.