A few months ago, Charlotte Spencer admits she didn’t know one end of a telecoms cable from the other.
Today the 28-year-old is a key member of Svella Connect’s residential field technician team, having taken the plunge and opted for a complete change of career direction.
“I’d spent nine years as a school assistant, and then working in security – but I decided that I wanted a real challenge, something hands-on that would test me out every day,” Charlotte says.
Answering an online job advert, Charlotte was interviewed for the Svella Connect job. And despite having no previous experience she was taken on as the company’s first female field technician. She’s now part of a dedicated team tasked with supplying high-speed fibre broadband to homes across west Yorkshire for customer Virgin Media.
“When I first started it was like people were talking a different language,” Charlotte recalls. “But I’ve had some great on-the-job training and the lads have been fantastic.”
For the last few weeks, Charlotte has been paired with a colleague with 18 years’ experience in the industry. And it’s already paid dividends: last month, she hit her performance bonus after delivering over her target for connections.
“I know it’s only men who are supposed to know how technical things work, but I can safely say that this is a job that has opportunities for everyone,” she says.
“Just look at me – I’d never heard of telecoms this time last year, and now I’m doing a job I love and learning all the time.”
Karen McKenzie, Svella Connect Operations Director, said: “Typically operational and on-site roles in the telecoms industry have been male dominated, but we wanted to create equal opportunities for women to both undertake those roles and feel welcome and valued.
“Charlotte is the perfect example, she’s joined us, completed the training and is now learning from more experienced technicians in a practical environment. Her performance is strong and she’s consistently delivering over her targets, which is great for our customer service.
“International Women’s Day and this year’s theme of embracing equity sits well with our collective efforts in Svella Connect to build a workplace that’s equal, aspirational and enjoyable for all.”