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International Women's Day Highlights Svella Connect's Inclusive Approach

As an inclusive business guided by its vision to become the employer of choice in the telecoms industry, Svella Connect is supporting International Women’s Day by celebrating two women who are demonstrating that developing long-term careers in the industry is possible irrespective of your gender.


“Equality and inclusivity is so important here at Svella Connect, explains People Director Nicola Arrowsmith. “It’s written into our core values and underpins all our expectations over how we treat each other and how we select the best people for our roles.


“I’m so pleased to celebrate the women that we have in what have historically been male dominated roles. It really shows that women have the same opportunities to develop and excel here at Svella Connect, and I’m pleased to introduce Lisa and Shannon.”


Grab driver Lisa Parr Guthrun has marked International Women’s Day by encouraging women to enter the telecoms industry, saying: “Go for it!”


Lisa has been driving wagons for more than 20 years in what has traditionally been a male-dominated role and says there is no reason for women not to become drivers.


“I think there is just one other female grab driver that I’ve heard of in the north west. But if you have a passion for driving and an ambition to get into it then there is nothing stopping you. If you can do your job, it is not an issue. If you are good at it, there is not a problem whoever you are,” she says.


Lisa became a driver after starting her own business in demolition, recycling and haulage. She later became a transport manager and then moved into grab driving. Her work has seen her take on a wide variety of jobs, including working for the Canal & River Trust, which looks after the country’s waterways, and in the utilities sector.


She says the extra skills required – in addition to having an HGV licence – to be a grab driver appeal to her and makes the work more technical and interesting. As well as carrying out deliveries and pick-ups, grab drivers have to backfill all excavations and safely remove spoil from sites.


Lisa, who has just completed a streetworks course with Svella Connect, added: “I like driving a wagon, I like the fact that you are not just driving, you are doing something else too and we can be out on eight or more jobs a day so you are not just stuck on one site.


“I work with a really good second man Ben Sutton too and teamwork is a really important part of it. We have the same work ethic – get in, do the job, do it right and leave it neat and tidy.”

Lisa covers the whole of the north west from her base in Warrington.


She added: “If you want to do this job, give it a go. This is not a sexist industry.”


Meanwhile Shannon Paul says the telecoms industry has increasing opportunities for women and Svella Connect is helping to lead the way.


Shannon, who is based in Leeds, has been a scheduling supervisor for nearly a year, planning works and traffic management, organising costs and managing the streetworks gangs. She has nearly 20 years of scheduling experience across various utilities and is currently training to become a civils supervisor.


She says: “I’m waiting for the opportunity to get out in the field more. There’s definitely career progression with Svella Connect if you want it. I was a scheduler before Svella Connect took over the business and there weren’t any opportunities to progress your career. Since then Svella Connect has put me through courses so I can get all of the qualifications I need before I go out on site.”

Shannon adds: “The industry is getting there, slowly, in terms of equality, but it is still very male dominated.


“I feel there are more opportunities for women and Svella Connect is helping to lead that. I absolutely love working in telecoms. I love the day-to-day work, I love the problem solving and I love the feeling of getting a difficult job completed. There is real job satisfaction when you deliver what you intended to.


“I want to get out there and get experience as a civils supervisor for a few years and then become a project manager. Svella Connect will definitely support me in that and that’s where I want to be,” she adds.


Svella Connect is proud to be a supporter of International Women’s Day, which looks to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias and take action for equality and inclusivity.


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