International Women’s Day – More women should consider engineering career

Alicia Buxton-Smith, Service Delivery Engineer at broadband provider Jurassic Fibre, shares her thoughts on why more women should consider careers in engineering and construction:

Throughout the pandemic, I’ve been able to continue working as a key worker in the utilities sector and it shows there will always be jobs available.

As a Service Delivery Engineer, I install our broadband for the customer and get them connected. The installation can be either overground, by attaching cables to poles, or underground, by pulling cables through ducts. We’re regularly climbing ladders and drilling holes, and occasionally digging trenches. It is quite a physical role, but we are provided with full training.

I think it’s important that women do what they want for their career and are not put off by the stigma. Any woman could do my job; it just depends if it suits your personality and what you’re looking for.

Before I started working in telecommunications I’d never climbed a ladder or drilled a hole, but now I’m so confident!

The reason I love my job is because I get to work outside. I get on well with my team, who don’t treat me any differently because I’m a woman. We’re all here for the same reason and that’s to do a good job for the customer. If you’re happy dealing with customers, the rest will fall into place naturally.

When I left school I considered working as a plumber or electrician because they are well paid. But I didn’t want to do an apprenticeship; I just wanted to get stuck in and earn some money.

My first role was a Pole Tester for another internet service provider. Telecoms is such a big industry and I realised that if I wanted to work my way up I needed to learn about the network and infrastructure first. That’s why I applied for this role with Jurassic Fibre.

I live in Somerset and full fibre hasn’t reached my area yet. I could have stayed locally and worked on the copper network, but I decided to make the jump to a company invested in full fibre. In years to come everything will be fibre so by that point I’ll be fully skilled.

There’s a quote which says ‘If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life’ and that’s what I’ve found with my role at Jurassic Fibre. I would urge other women to consider it!