In a 2020 study conducted by GLF, researchers found that in 70% of telco organisations fewer than 30% of technical roles are held by women. As a company that has increased its headcount by 320% in the last year, Giganet know that achieving a gender balance in our organisation, will strengthen our teams and help to turn the tide on a historically male-dominated industry. Every fortnight, our Women in Tech series seeks to profile some of the staff, helping us to get there.
For the week’s blog, Giganet Project Manager, Kennedy Edmed tells us about what it means to have female leaders in a male-dominated industry like telecoms, and how diversity within a team inspires growth.
What has been your experience as a woman in the telco industry, so far?
Before Giganet, my experience was in the contractor side of network build. I have previously led project and street works teams, everything from office-based administrators to engineers on the ground, all working hard to deliver full-fibre networks for customers. In what is usually a male-dominated role, as a 22-year-old woman, being part of the ‘build’ team sparks immense passion in me, allowing me to embrace and show off my diverse skillset in team management.
As a young woman in tech, I’m eager to see a progression and change across the industry at all levels including the board rooms, with more women stepping into roles that were traditionally male-dominated. The more women we see in these roles, the more likely perceptions will change, so it’s really important to profile diversity. I hope this will help inspire a shift in attitudes to jobs that were seen as ‘male dominated’ which is particularly common in industries such as telecoms and construction.
What are the benefits of achieving a gender balance in the workplace?
Teams benefit from the range of skills and qualities that a diverse workforce offers. It’s not about specific groups being ‘better’ it’s about recognising the skillset and qualities people have rather than what gender they are. I find my female colleagues are just as passionate and dedicated as my male counterparts, and the addition of women into male teams has benefited performance. When employees of different backgrounds, cultures, and genders come together, numerous viewpoints can be heard to produce a comprehensive and balanced solution. Not to mention, with so much competition in the industry, we need a diverse workforce to enable us to be more dynamic and streamlined to stay ahead of the curve – the telecoms industry, particularly the build element, is fast-paced and demanding!
Tell us about your Rising Star award
A particularly proud and significant moment for me in my career came earlier this month as I was nominated and won the INCA’s (Independent Networks Cooperative Association) Rising Star award, which recognises new and young talent in telecoms. The average age of someone working in the industry is 45 years old, so it feels like a true achievement. To support new skills in the industry it is important young people are given the recognition and the platform to show off their abilities to inspire others to be better. To win the award is a huge honor and I hope it inspires more young people to consider a career in this rewarding industry.
Any advice for aspiring women in tech?
The best piece of advice I could give is to keep learning and asking questions. No matter your age or gender, you can always turn your hand to something new. Be equipped with the knowledge to do your job to the best of your ability as it will always give you the edge. Also, don’t forget to move confidently in the workplace and boldly speak up when you have something to say.
If you’re ready for the next step in your career, visit the Giganet careers page to view all our latest vacancies and register your CV for upcoming roles.