Nicole shares her experience of working within Home Service and why it’s not a gender specific role.
“When people talk about a Sky Engineer they often say “Sky man” because they assume that the job is done by a man”
Why do you think women don’t choose a career in home service? Historically, I think being a Home Service Engineer was seen as a man’s role. When people talk about a Sky Engineer they often say “Sky man” because they assume that the job is done by a man. It’s one of those unconscious biases that we unfortunately have today.
I think this has an impact of why females might rule themselves out of applying for the role, when in reality it’s definitely a role that they can do too. The role isn’t gender specific at all. Across the country, we have female Engineers that do the role very well and we’d love to have a more even gender balance in Home Service.
What’s your own career journey been like? I started my career here in one of our Contact Centre’s, answering phone call from our Engineers. I then made a leap from the Contact Centre into a Team Manager position, where I had responsibility for a team of 17 Engineers in the West Lothian area. I was definitely out of my comfort zone – I was the only woman and was younger than all of my colleagues – but the role was new and exciting.
I’m really proud of the progress that I’ve made here, particularly being the first female Team Manager in Scotland, and one of the first in the country. Looking back, there are some things I would do differently though. Working in a male dominated environment made me feel as though I had to be ‘one of the lads’ – I wasn’t necessarily true to myself or my identity. A real turning point for me was when I realized that it was ok to be me; I have my own skills, qualities and strengths. Being true to myself allowed me to be much more successful in my role, so much so that I progressed onto be a Regional Manager.
One of the great things about working here is that there are opportunities here no matter who you are, you just need to drive and ambition to put yourself forward and take them, and most importantly the courage to be yourself!
What’s the most common “myth” you hear about being an engineer? One of the common myths we hear is that being an Engineer could see you being in a vulnerable or unsafe situation. However, the safety of our Engineers is so important to us. We set guidance on health and safety whilst on the job, and equip our Engineers with devices for when they’re lone working, with a clear escalation process.
Another common myth that we hear is that you need previous experience or qualifications to be able to do the role. This is also untrue. We offer a comprehensive training programme that will fully equip you to be a successful Home Service Engineer.
What’s a Discovery Day? Our Discovery Days are specifically designed to tell women more about a career in Home Service. We want to break down the barriers and misconceptions which prevent women from applying. We’ve designed a Trainee Home Service Engineer Programme which gives women the opportunity to build the skills needed to become a Home Service Engineer, and the Discovery Day is the first step on that journey.
If you come to one, you’ll hear about some of the amazing women who successfully work in Home Service. We also share why having more females in our workforce is so important to the future of Home Service, as well as all of the fantastic support that’s available to you.
How is the training programme structured? Do you need to have experience? The Programme is a blended learning approach with a mixture of classroom, online and field based learning. From day one we teach you everything you need to know from drilling, tools and equipment, to customer service. The programme gives you lots of time to familiarise yourself with our safe working practices so that you are comfortable and confident when working out in the field.
The training programme is specifically designed to teach you all the skills needed to be a Home Service Engineer, so previous experience isn’t required.