My Life as a Female Engineer at Zzoomm

What does it take to make it as an engineer at Zzoomm? Kaylie Noble gives us the lowdown. 

One of Zzooomm’s top fibre network engineers discusses life as a female engineer and shares advice for people looking to follow in her footsteps. Over to you Kaylie Noble…

I joined Zzoomm just over a year ago and my role is very hands on. I build all the wall boxes, so they’re all pre-terminated ready for installations that are booked in. Now I’m starting to oversee the team as we’re starting to get new fibre engineers at different levels. We’re getting some that are more experienced, then we get quite a few juniors, so I’ll be really involved in training them up, getting them up to the standard that we expect of them.

Back when I first started, ten years ago, I got met with a lot of prejudice from certain people where they did not want a woman coming into the house, and they certainly didn’t want me drilling through their walls! But now I do get a lot of compliments from customers and passers-by.

I work mainly with men but that doesn’t bother me. Growing up as a kid I used to go to work with my Dad and Grandad on the wagons, so I was always around building sites and things like that. Prior to Zzoomm I was a fibre engineer for another company, SDH. And previous to that, before I got involved with the Fibre stuff, I came from Virgin Media – from an apprenticeship with them. I’ve been about the industry!

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I’m always seeking to learn new things – I keep myself entertained with it. I do as much as possible – when there’s a chance to pop over and help the lads out doing actual installations for customers I’m more than happy to do that and use my experience to do that. I’m always adding to my skill set. So that’s really what keeps me going and now I’m moving up to the team leader to take on more responsibility, so I’ve got something else to focus on and get good at.

At Zzoomm I’ve got some really good people around me. I soak up as much of their knowledge as I can; I watch them. I just try and learn as much as I can for myself, I ask a lot of questions and things. Alan – who’s recently started – I think he’s sick of me asking him questions! But I’ve latched on to him because I can see how much experience he’s got and the knowledge he’s got – it amazes me. I’m just trying to soak it all in.

Zzoomm will invest in you if you’re going to invest in them. Come in with the right attitude and have the hunger to learn, have the drive to want to actually do a good job and be proud to put your name to your work– that is recognised and rewarded here.

When training up new staff I try to keep it simple. I ask people how they like to learn, so if they want me to get packs together for them or they want things written down – I’ll go through it with them as many times as they need.

I am quite proud to be a woman in the industry and to have been doing it for as long as I have is quite rare. I’ve had some brilliant managers back me up and that’s been quite empowering and given me more confidence that I can do this and do it just as well as the blokes.