What we do
We’ve a highly-trained workforce of circa 3500, 40 + national operational centres, 4 training hubs and a fleet of over 2500 vehicles.
In celebration of this year’s International Women in Engineering Day, Kelly Group is delighted to support the cause by recognising our valued female engineers whilst promoting gender equality within the industry we operate in.
We caught up with Alisha Cox who has been with the business for over 2.5 years. Within that time, she has progressed from a Service Delivery Engineer to an FTTP Team Manager, coaching and developing a team of over 20 engineers within the London region.
What is your current job role and what does it involve?
As an FTTP Team Manager, I have to ensure my team has the correct tools for their job. However, my biggest responsibility lays with the importance of Health and Safety regulations; my engineers need to be aware and follow the correct procedures for their own and others safety in the local area they are working in.
Can you tell us about your journey from an engineer to a manager?
During my time as a Service Delivery Engineer, the group’s fibre contracts were going through strategic expansion, which created opportunities for new FTTP Team Managers. My previous manager encouraged me to move onto FTTP because of the opportunities available.
Once the roles went live on the Kelly Group website, I submitted my application. You need to have certain qualities to be able to coach and develop a larger group of male engineers as a woman, which I demonstrated throughout the application process. I was delighted with my promotion.
What does your typical day look like?
My typical day is varied - I start my daily routine by checking the routing for my engineers to ensure all jobs are spread out equally. Then I gather my team of 20 engineers for a morning meeting to brief them on their new assignments for the day.
I also complete health and safety audits for each engineer and monitor their monthly Health and Safety questionnaires. This is important because it refreshes their knowledge on essential Health and Safety policies, which now includes the new Covid-19 regulations.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Freedom. Don’t get me wrong it’s hard work, and I must be available at all times, but in this role, I can manage my own time which makes me more productive. As an engineer, I had a schedule to follow.
Being an FTTP Team Manager allows me to get a different insight into an engineer’s typical day. The best part of the role is the variety; you have different challenges every day, which makes it exciting.
What I love about engineering is that it allows me to be more independent. I do not need to rely on someone else to complete specific jobs in my own house - I can take care of these tasks. This is a unique skill for a woman, which we don’t tend to develop naturally and generally rely on our husband or a technician to deal with.
What was your proudest achievement as an engineer?
Mastering the job. It was difficult to understand the mechanics of cabinets. My first job was successful but took me a few hours - I have come a long way since then. Before stepping up as an FTTP Team Manager I was completing multiple jobs a day which was a big improvement.
What was the biggest lesson that you have learnt being a female in a permanently male-dominated industry?
You have to work hard and be a go-getter. As a woman, you sometimes need to communicate a little louder to make your point in a male dominant environment.
Why did you want to work for Kelly Group?
I had a family member who worked for the group at the time and recommended the job for me.
Who has been your greatest support (coach, mentor, manager) from the group or personally and why?
My Team Manager advised me to apply for the FTTP role because he recognised my dedication and thought it would be an excellent growth opportunity for me. I had fantastic encouragement from everyone around me.
What made you decide to pursue a career in this industry?
Telecommunication engineering runs in my family. One of my uncles worked for BT for a long time and my other uncle was working on several network contracts. I was always interested in engineering and Kelly Group allowed me to experience what being a telecommunications engineer is really like.
Do you feel like there are enough opportunities for women in your field of work?
I think so. If you are willing to get your hands dirty during a job I do not see why not. This is not a job where you can have your nails done! We are down in pits and climbing poles and challenging ourselves physically every day - wearing nails can be dangerous! If you are the type of woman who do not mind being hands-on, you should try out for similar opportunities.
The public is supportive of female engineers. I had so much encouragement while I was working out in the field from people who walked past. At least once a day someone would comment: “It is nice to see a woman doing this job!”.
How can the industry attract and retain more women?
Advertising roles displaying a selection of mixed gender engineers allows everyone to perceive this as an opportunity to pursue.
It is also important to talk about similar opportunities at an early stage of women’s life. Careers advice regarding our industry while attending school / college is very important.
Do you have any advice for young women interested in a similar career path?
For women who want to get into these roles, I would suggest not limiting themselves because the opportunities are endless.
Kelly Group has multiple career opportunities throughout the UK. We are always searching for talented individuals to represent our brand.
For more information, please call the Kelly Recruitment team on 02084247447.
Alternatively, you can view current vacancies by visiting our careers page.