KCOM engineers show it's not just a job for the boys
Two women from Hull are on a mission to inspire the next generation of female engineers.
KCOM engineer backs minister's appeal for more women to join industry
To celebrate International Women’s Day, meet Natasha Armitage, KCOM’s fourth female engineer as she talks about breaking down barriers and inspiring the next generation of women.
Natasha Armitage is on a mission to inspire the next generation of female engineers.
As the latest recruit to KCOM’s army of Lightstream installers, the 24-year-old is the company’s fourth female engineer – and the former soldier hopes more young women will soon be on the march following a career in the science and tech industries.
Natasha, who spent six years serving in the Royal Logistics Corps before joining KCOM earlier this year, says she doesn’t believe there is any such thing as a “male or female industry” any more.
She said: “I think you can do whatever you want if you’ve got enough interest or passion for it. I didn’t really think ‘that’s a boy’s job’ when I applied for the role a field services technician. I’m just interested in ICT and telecoms and thought I’d like to pursue a career in that.
“Maybe it helps that I was in the army before, which is more traditionally thought of as a man’s job, but I think that’s a bit old fashioned. When I told my friends I’d got a job as an engineer they didn’t bat an eyelid, although it probably helps that one of my female friends is a surveyor and another’s a truck driver.”
Natasha, who originally hails from Beverley, said the only daunting part of starting her new job was the thought of shinning up telegraph poles fitting cable. So far she has trained on KCOM’s copper network and is now focussing on Lightstream fibre home installs.
“I didn’t think I’d like the heights,” she laughs. “But I’ve actually found it ok – not as scary as I’d imagined.
“It’s been great so far. I’m really enjoying it and I’m learning a lot from the guys on the team. The reason I applied to KCOM was because they’re a local company and I think there’s real potential here to progress. Eventually I’d like to be a senior technician or a team leader, but that’s somewhere down the road.
“If I can inspire other girls to follow as engineers then that would be great. I’ve already had someone come up to me at Slimming World and ask ‘are you an engineer?’
“They had a daughter who was interested in the industry and was asking what it was like and what they should do. I said ‘yes, just go for it’.”
Natasha’s word echo those of Digital Minister Matt Hancock MP who recently made a speech tackling “gender inequality in tech”.
Appealing for more women to apply for jobs in tech and digital industries and for more employers to consider female applicants, Mr Hancock said: “You can’t catch all the fish if you only fish in half the pool.
“Yet our tech industry is still too male dominated, in fact and in culture. We want to see equal opportunities for men and women in one of the fastest growing areas of life, and we want to see Britain’s tech industry using the talents of the whole nation.”
Sean Royce, Executive Vice President of Technology, Service & Operations at KCOM, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Natasha to KCOM and know she’ll be a valuable addition to the team.
“We’re always looking for quality candidates, both men and women, to join us as we continue rolling out our industry-leading Lightstream broadband network. We hope that, in schools and colleges across the region, there are as many girls as boys who believe this is an industry they would enjoy working in and that KCOM is a company that would give them every opportunity to thrive.”
KCOM is now actively seeking both men and women applicants for a number of full-time technical service desk analyst roles it now has available working from its new Salvesen Way centre of excellence. Successful applicants will join a talented team of engineers supporting KCOM’s customers, managing incidents, performing support diagnostics and liaising with manufacturers.
For more details about what the role entails click here