This blog is part of a series of techUK interviews platforming inspiring women in tech. The series aims to call out gender bias, expose industry barriers, and spotlight the importance of a diverse tech future.
Women make up almost 40% of the build and installations team at Vorboss, so they are undoubtedly an influential part of the company. Their successes highlight the possibilities that arise when telecoms companies create inclusive, gender-balanced workplaces.
This is an interview of Caprice and Acacia, two of our inspiring Vorboss installation technicians. They serve as fantastic examples of flourishing women in tech.
Women in tech: interview with installation technicians Caprice and Acacia
Were you always interested in the telecoms industry, or were you drawn in by Vorboss and the diversity they offer?
Caprice: I’d say both to be honest. I like doing jobs where I’m busy and get to use my brain. This job was perfect, as I liked that there were good opportunities for women, and it’s something that I’m genuinely interested in. Before I started, I didn’t even know what chambers were (the covers you see on pavements where fibre cables are stored). Now I’m able to tell my grandparents about what they are and what they’re for, which is cool.
Acacia: I think having diverse teams is incredibly important, as you get more variety of views and people have different ideas and experiences. There’s always been another woman on my team with me at Vorboss, which is nice.
When did you join Vorboss? Can you give us an insight into your day-to-day job?
Caprice: I started in September. I work Tuesdays to Fridays in the field. Sometimes we could be blowing fibre through a subduct, other days we could be rodding and roping a route. Every day is different; it’s never the same, but it’s always exciting, and I’m always happy to go to work.
As this was your first job in telecoms, was training available to you?
Caprice: There was lots of training. There were also lots of people on standby to support me if I needed anything. I joined the Vorboss Academy—an accredited in-house training programme—which was eight weeks long. Some of it was online training, but I also went to the warehouse training centre every day and learned things like how to safely lift chamber lids and how to splice.
Why do you think that there are more men working in this sector than women?
Acacia: As it’s quite a physical job, traditionally people probably viewed it as more suited to men. Times have changed and women can now have a career in something that they feel suits them.
Do you feel Vorboss creates a supportive environment for women?
Caprice: Yes, definitely. For example, if there is a really heavy chamber lid, women can do it together. Women can work together on things like that. Also, they have made sure that the uniform fits for everyone. There is a uniform for women, but if women also want to wear the menswear to suit their personal preference, they can choose that also.
Acacia: We have support like period days. It’s a great help, especially as you can’t avoid having symptoms. We also have events such as women’s movie nights and women’s breakfasts where we all come together to talk about issues that we’re going through and how to make the workplace more inclusive for women. It definitely feels like a safe space to talk about things and helps to build a nice company culture.
Looking around at the people you work with, do you feel that it’s a diverse group?
Caprice: Yes, I would say so. In my team, there are actually more women than men. It’s nice to work with other women, and it feels more equal. I don’t feel belittled, and it shows that women can do a job which traditionally has been thought of as a man’s job. We get a lot of comments from pedestrians going past saying it’s nice to see women doing this job.
Acacia: It’s nice to see that a company in the industry is supporting women, and it’s inspirational for women working at Vorboss to see that they are trying to make a change. It shows that women of all ages can work as part of the installation teams, and it’s not just a role for men. Anyone can do it once they’re trained.
What sort of challenges have you faced in your role?
Acacia: There have been times where pedestrians walk past saying this isn’t a woman’s job. I don’t get that as much anymore. Vorboss is trying to encourage more women to work in the industry, and it’s becoming more normal. When things like that happen, we can go straight to our manager and are given support to make sure that we feel comfortable going to work every day. As Caprice said, there are also a lot more positive interactions with the public where we are recognised for having such a diverse team.
What’s your number one piece of advice for the future generations entering tech?
Acacia: Just go for it! If the opportunity comes up, take it with both hands and try to shine. You can learn so much!
Caprice: I’d say the same. Don’t let anything stop you or get in your way! You never know unless you try. Believe in yourself and don’t have self-doubt! Gender shouldn’t matter. There’s an opportunity for everyone.