International Women in Engineering Day and Swish Fibre

At Swish Fibre we understand the importance of equality and diversity in the workforce, which is why we have long-championed women entering the once male-dominated world of engineering.


As a telecoms enterprise, we have many staff working in engineering-related roles and have seen our field-based teams benefit from more female staff members bringing their knowledge and experience to their work.


For International Women in Engineering Day we've spoken to three of our field-based staff about what they do, how they got started on their career path, and why initiatives like IWED are so important.


Stassi West is a Trainee Fibre Surveyor at Swish.


Hi Stassi. What do you find most interesting about your role?


"Since starting as a Trainee Fibre Surveyor I have sought out to learn about every aspect of the role. The day-to-day tasks and responsibilities of a fibre surveyor fascinate me, as well as the broader issues around market activity and local competition."

Stassi West, trainee surveyor
Stassi: "I am excited to see how our next generation of ambitious, strong-willed women perform."

What do you think is stopping more women from moving into engineering and surveyor type of jobs?


"I think that more women are deterred from moving into engineering roles due to the current masculine culture and outdated connotation that these jobs are manly. Despite the disproportionate number of men still actively in the engineering industry, more and more women have now been exposed to this industry through educational marketing and word of mouth (such as personal recommendations)."


How are initiatives like International Women In Engineering Day helpful to women looking for a career like yours?


"Such initiatives are helpful, as they give young women an opportunity to explore a career option that they may not have seriously considered otherwise. Additionally, International Women in Engineering Day is particularly helpful for young women as it supports women taking the plunge in seeking out these type of jobs; celebrating and recognising their achievements within a dynamic industry. Such acknowledgement can lend a positive influence, especially towards young women who may be undecided on their future career or who may not have full confidence to embark on this career path.


"Due to the exposure from these initiatives, the number of women in this sector has risen year on year. Personally, I am excited to see how our next generation of ambitious, strong-willed women perform and to see the heights which we can all reach."


Micaela Keddie is a Project Supervisor. She has been at Swish Fibre for nearly two years.


Hi Micaela. How did you first become interested in being a project supervisor?


"I have always had an interest in construction, however my interest in becoming a project supervisor started when I was part of the PIA team for Swish. I got to sit in on the meetings with project managers, the supervisors and heads of delivery. I loved watching them build the network and overcome issues they faced on a daily basis.


"I also have a passion for the environment and becoming a project supervisor, I am working my way towards a project manager and hopefully can one day get to incorporate my passion for the environment and construction."

Michaela Keddie, Project Supervisor at Swish
Micaela: "Women have to work a lot harder within the construction department to prove themselves and the knowledge that we have."

What do you think is stopping more women from moving into engineering and project supervisor type of jobs?


"As a very male dominant industry it can be very intimidating for women at times. People don't always realise there are other jobs behind the scenes in construction, such as supervisors and project managers, which are not easily accessible. Also from personal experience, when females work in construction people often assume we are just admin workers rather than having more influence in the build. It can be very demeaning.


"I think women have to work a lot harder within the construction department to prove themselves and the knowledge that we have."

How are initiatives like International Women In Engineering Day helpful to women looking for a career like yours?


"Initiatives like International Women In Engineering Day are helpful because it encourages women to get involved within construction, whether it be onsite or in the background as office workers. Days like these are important as well because it brings to light the issues that women in construction have to deal with on a daily basis. Hopefully in time this can change the prejudice about women in construction roles."


Alannah Bascombe is a Health and Safety Advisor here at Swish Fibre.


Hi Alannah. What made you want to become a Health and Safety Advisor?


"I had been working in various industries as an installation engineer for many years but wanted to move into an area with better career prospects. I tended to pick up extra health and safety tasks in my previous roles so a career in safety seemed a natural progression for me."

Alannah Bascombe, health and safety advisor at Swish
Alannah Bascombe: "Once ‘in the door’ there can be several obstacles such as pay disparity or harassment for women."

What do you think is stopping more women from moving into jobs like yours?


"There isn’t much opportunity for young women to learn about our jobs unless you know someone in the industry, as we tend to operate behind closed doors or on a secure site.

I think work placement schemes area good opportunity for women to gain further insight into the daily realities of a technical career."


"Once ‘in the door’ there can be several obstacles such as pay disparity or harassment, that can cause some people to leave the industry unless addressed correctly by their employer."

How are initiatives like International Women In Engineering Day helpful to women looking for a career like yours?


"I think everyone these days is becoming more aware of how important representation is.

It’s so encouraging to see someone you can relate to, walking the path you’re hoping to walk yourself."


"Event days such as this also help women to network with a group of likeminded female professionals. Having the right support network in the early years was crucial for me."



You can find out more about working at Swish Fibre and see which roles we are currently recruiting for by visiting our careers page.