Jobs for the boys? Not anymore, says KCOM’s latest recruit Natasha

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 5 Jan 2018

A FEMALE former soldier is calling on more women in the region to join her and build a career in engineering. 

Natasha Armitage, 24, is one of KCOM’s latest recruits to install Lightstream across the area and is hoping to inspire many more young women to do the same. 

Ms Armitage who spent six years serving in the Royal Logistics Corps before joining KCOM earlier this year, says she does not 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 of field services technician. 

Read more: When KCOM will finish Lightstream broadband roll-out in Hull

“I’m just interested in 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.”

The new KCOM recruit, 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 focusing 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’.”

Read more: 'Future is bright' in Hull says KCOM CEO despite half-year results showing overall revenue fall

Ms Armitage’s message echoes that of digital minister Matt Hancock MP, who recently made a speech tackling “gender inequality in technology”.

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 and 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 males and female, to join us as we continue rolling out our industry- leading Lightstream broadband network."

KCOM is now actively seeking both male and female applicants for a number of full-time service desk analyst roles it now has available working from its new Salvesen Way centre of excellence.

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