Why I'm proud to be a female engineer

North Devon Gazette

As part of a drive to find 4,000 new recruits across the UK, Openreach is looking to attract more female recruits to an industry that has been generally dominated by males. Â Â

Around 300 of these new jobs will be apprenticeships, offering people a fantastic opportunity to explore the exciting benefits of a new career path. Â

In the last year, there has been a rise of 19% in female applicants from the South West, and Queenie Sweet from Torquay is a fine example of the prospects available. Queenie, 23, is an ethernet fibre jointer, having joined Openreach in 2019.  Â

“Before joining Openreach, I was a vehicle technician for BT Fleet,” said Queenie. “I worked there for 3 years and was level 2 qualified in light & heavy vehicles. This brought me to Openreach eventually, after hearing from the engineers over time and hearing how much they enjoyed the role and loved the company. I’ve never looked back. Â

“We do start to end provision on all business circuits, this involves every step from the head end point in the exchanges, to chasing it and pushing it through our network until we are at the customer site. We then do the full install, which includes brining the external fibre into the building and joining it to an internal. We also then fit the customer kit and get the circuit tested. Â

“My favourite part of working for Openreach is working somewhere new every day, having new challenges to face with a supportive team and management behind you.  I’ve also benefitted from the Employee Assistance Programme, which has provided me with resources to help me through the ups and downs of life. I feel grateful for the support I’ve received.Â

If I was to chat to someone who’s looking to join Openreach, I’d reassure them that Openreach have a great attitude to women in the workplace and have lots of things in place to make our career as successful as anybody else. I’d also point out that the reality of working outdoors during the winter is never as bad as I imagined!”