In Interview |
We sat down with Alison Overson to discuss her experiences in telecoms and her thoughts on Women in 5G!
Please tell me a little bit about who you are, your background & how you ended up working in Telecoms?
My background in telecoms started when I went back to work in 1999, my husband retried. He then stayed home to look after our boys then aged 6 and 10, I was originally a stay at home mum.
It all started @ WorldCom that changed into Verizon in Account Management Role managing customers on all mutli-faceted products Cisco, WAN-LAN, Voice and Hosting so a grounding in the world of telecoms followed by 3 other progressive companies, Level 3, O2 and then Vodafone, was where I entered the real world of mobility.
What is your current role and what are the key things you are focused on?
Current Role - BT Global Mobility Specialist, focusing on all things in the Mobile world for BT Global Customers, helping them shape and create a mobility strategy.
I also have the privilege of sitting on the Innovation Steering Committee for 5G with our 5G Ambassador, BT CTIO Fotis Karnois.
At the moment helping co-create the new evolution of Private Networks on 5G for Manufacturing Factory 4.0 – AI, Robotics and IoT Solutions to make productivity more agile with many fascinating use cases.
Women In 5G aims to empower and promote the women in this industry, what do you think the industry can do to support and engage women to get involved?
I think it is key for companies to attract, empower, and educate women into leadership positions in the technology industry.
We need to promote women to be active at networking and become role models for others to join.
BT empowers women to lead and help in technology, everyone's ideas, thoughts and opinions count, we are also very lucky to have a BT TechWomen Programme to elevate inspire and lead women. I'm partaking in this programme myself this year.
IF you could give advice to your younger self at the start of your career, what would that be?
I would of been more eager to learn which in turn would of made me more confident in my abilities to push harder, in-turn to achieve my goals of being a specialist sooner rather than later in life you need your own personal brand and stamp to differentiate yourself, I have found this over the years.
What are the biggest blockers you feel that remain in the industry for Women and how do you think we can overcome them?
From a very early age it was always assumed that girls are not interested in technology at school, for instance in my day, I personally think the options laid out in general terms for career paths were male, the industry was a stereotyped and dominated by a male environment, hence we see more men in the technology industry.
Education and offering school support at an early adoption rate for young people, especially females will generate more women being interested in a career in technology
Companies looking especially for women in tech will also drive more females into this business.
What things could we change in the industry to inspire the next generation?
Adoption programmes for tech women, more women in senior leadership roles and in-turn these women leading change.
On mobility inspiring the next generation isn't far away 6G is now on the horizon with the US market leaders collaborating and of course this week we see Apple come to the Market with the first 5G device Apple IPhone 12
Our technology is moving so swiftly we will see more smart cities evolving and future is bright for inspiring young people both women and men.
Finally what are your future ambitions and what keeps you motivated?
This year has been so tough on everyone, the unprecedented circumstances are actually someday unbelievable but my focus has been working with some incredibly talented people who have helped deliver the first POC on 5G Private Network this has motivated me everyday seeing this come to life.
Plus making business more agile to help employees work from home on mobility driven solutions.
My goal and aspiration is to make this a standard industry product, an industry changer.