Women made up just 22% of those in core STEM occupations, and just 12% of those were in engineering roles in 2018. That makes it important not just to celebrate International Women’s Day, but to take action to improve these numbers and strive for gender parity. That’s why Openreach is proud to support the Balance for Better campaign. The campaign encourages everyone to show their support for a gender balanced world, using the hashtag #BalanceforBetter
As part of this campaign, I want to encourage more women to enter Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) career paths. I hope to help create opportunities and showcase female role models to inspire a new generation of women to consider STEM professions.
Here at Openreach, we’re committed to building a workforce that reflects the hugely diverse communities we serve and we’re working hard to attract more women into our workforce. Last year our intake of female engineers was higher than previous years and we want to continue to encourage women to take up careers in engineering and tech.
It’s equally important to create an inclusive environment in which women feel supported when progressing their careers too. TechWomen is one of our leadership development programmes designed for the fantastic women within our organisation. It was created to solve a particular problem – the need to grow our pipeline of women in senior leadership positions. Retaining our strong pool of female talent to take on senior roles is crucial if we want to meet our ambition of having a diverse and inclusive business.
Balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue; research consistently shows that more diverse organisations where people feel able to be themselves, consistently perform better. So, this international women’s day, please take the time to show your support and think about how we can build a more balanced and progressive workforce all year round.
Lisa Neale, Regional Director, UK West, Fibre & Network Delivery, Openreach
Find out more about our Trainee Engineer Scheme here.