Worcester-based rural broadband firm, Airband, has appointed its first female engineer. 25-year-old Sophie Crook joins a team of 45 engineers based in Worcester and Devon and is the first of a wave of six new trainee engineers.
Sophie started with Airband on October 14, the day after the world celebrated Ada Lovelace Day.
Ada Lovelace was one of the first ever female computer programmers, and the second Tuesday of every October is dedicated to her achievement and the way she inspired women to achieve careers within STEM (science, technology, engineering, maths).
Gareth Burgess, Airband head of engineering, said he was delighted to have more diversity within the engineering team. “It was very exciting when Sophie applied because we don’t get many female applicants,” he said. “She sailed through the interview – including the working at height assessment and other practical assessments.
“Of course, we’re not interested in employing someone just because they’re female, we need people who can do the job and Sophie demonstrated all the qualities we look for – a good attitude, willingness to learn and she showed interest in the industry and in what Airband does.
“In this interview round we had 10 people and we shortlisted to six – all of whom are starting with us over the next few months,” he said.
Sophie, who graduated from Falmouth University in July 2019, said she was delighted to have an opportunity to forge a new career in engineering with Airband.
“It’s also an honour to be the first female engineer on the team and I hope I can be an inspiration to other women,” said Sophie.
Sue Marriott, people engagement and development manager at Airband, said that Airband has been actively working to encourage women into the engineering team.
“We’re delighted to have Sophie on board and look forward to helping her build a successful career within engineering.
“Having a diverse team isn’t a tick box exercise; a wide spectrum of backgrounds within a team has been shown to enhance its performance and overall cohesion. We’re hoping that Sophie is the first of many female applicants and an inspiration to any other women who are considering a career within STEM industries.
“We looked at the language we used in our recruitment and amended this to appeal to both genders equally,” explained Sue Marriott.
“Due to rapid growth, Airband is currently on a recruitment drive for engineers and trainee engineers – both in Worcester and in Devon and we would like to hear from anyone interested in a career in this sector,” she said.