Introducing Faces of 5G
Women In 5G has been created as a space to celebrate the amazing women working within 5G. From managers to account directors, and strategists to technical specialists, the Faces of 5G page will share insights and experiences from female experts across the industry.
We sat down with five of these women, to discuss their experiences as a woman working in tech and to get the best advice – right from the horse’s mouth as they say – for those embarking on a career in telecoms.
One of the first things we wanted to know was what is it like working in the industry, and what are the challenges in bring more women leaders to the forefront?
The answer to this seemed to be simple – it is not the easiest industry to break into, as it is still a male-dominated industry. According to Poppy Dowell, from Wayra UK, there is a resistance amongst some of the male senior leadership to recognise the problems in the system. This, alongside the unconscious bias BT’s Sarah Waters describes, can mean that recruiters hire people like themselves – potentially leaving female candidates out in the cold.
This challenge is by no means unique to telecoms – it is a problem across the tech industry and beyond. But as Alison Overson from BT points out, it isn’t just about changing attitudes in the workplace. Instead, change needs to take place in schools, to encourage young girls to get an interest in technology and tech careers.
The important question of course, is what progress ae we seeing?
And thankfully, the answer is positive. As Rebecca Bromwich from Trans Union pointed out, on the whole, there have been a variety of efforts to boost female representation in more male-dominated roles – including engineering, technologies and sales.
Such efforts, alongside school programmes, initiatives like code first and internal programmes to support women, there is more opportunity than ever before to ensure women are at the heart of our 5G future.
And how do we inspire the next generation?
The consensus was clear. We need to ensure that the success stories of women across the industry are celebrated and shouted about, and that as more women take up senior roles, they can continue to inspire new recruits and showcase the opportunities for women across the industry.
Self-doubt and ‘am I good enough’ are questions that plague women at all levels says Kath O’Brien, but believe in yourself and voicing your perspective and ideas – even if you are the only woman in the room – is vital in order to build a more inclusive future.
To see the full interviews, check out our Faces of 5G page!