10 pieces of STEM career advice from our leading female engineers

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3 min read

Gender diversity is something that we’re incredibly passionate about at CityFibre, but it’s also an issue that STEM industries famously struggle with. Engineering is often seen as a male-dominated industry, but it really shouldn’t be. In 2019, only 25% of professionals working in engineering were women, and in the same year, only 16% of engineering and technology graduates were female.

However, as a Times Top 50 Employer for Women, we’re changing it up. We strive to create a space where all employees are equal and receive great benefits to make their lives easier. We’d love to see more women enter the industry – diversity fuels innovation and inspiration, which is what we’re all about.

Telecoms and STEM provide a fantastic opportunity for women to be involved in an exciting industry. Over recent years, women are proving to have a foot in the door in the sector, helping pave the way in telecoms and be a vital part of the legacy of building the nation’s network.

Our female engineers have come to us from various backgrounds and experiences, from college leavers to working telecoms professionals and even those looking for a total career change. All of these women have been able to grow with us and develop their careers while helping us deliver our mission. However, we understand that entering a STEM industry without qualifications can seem almost impossible. Working in a traditionally male-dominated environment as a young woman can feel daunting, which can deter a lot of applications.

We asked some of our leading female engineers to provide their advice for women who are just stepping onto the career ladder and thinking about a STEM career. By asking for top tips from real women working in the industry, we hope to inspire you to take up a career in STEM.

  1. Go for it – there is no limit to what you can achieve, and there are plenty of women with the same passion and vision to support you.
  2. Don’t think that because you haven’t got a degree or even anything past GCSE level in a STEM subject, you can’t work in STEM. If there is a role that you are interested in, reach out to someone on LinkedIn who works in this role, as they may be able to point you in the right direction.
  3. You don’t need a degree – you can work your way up and gain knowledge as you go. If you haven’t got qualifications from college or university, don’t let that stop you.
  4. You might be surprised how welcoming and kind everyone is. You’ll get a lot of support and help where you need it. Just ask!
  5. Be confident, be approachable, be able to express yourself, strive to be the best you can, and be willing to learn and grow.
  6. It’s not all about STEM skills when it comes to jobs in STEM. Instead, focus on your interpersonal skills and what you can bring to the role alongside your technical skill or mindset.
  7. Don’t think about the worries of a male-dominated environment. You are just as capable – take the training courses, seize the opportunities. Who says it’s just a man’s role?
  8. Have confidence, passion and self-belief – the rest can be learnt on the job.
  9. Enjoy learning and developing. CityFibre and the industry have a lot to give to the right person willing to put the time and effort in. The rewards and benefits you get from a happy, progressing career are amazing!
  10. Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do anything that you set your mind to!

We hope that these pieces of advice have inspired you to consider a career in engineering. Whether you’re a college leaver or a professional looking to be a part of something exciting, we’re changing it up. Isn’t it time you did too?

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