International Women's Day

Jemma Smith

We are wrapping up this week with our final blog with Technical Fibre Professional , Jemma Smith. She manages the rural fibre build on the Isle of Wight.She is an advocate for a positive work environment and wants to inspire more women to work in engineering. 

Read on to find out more:  

1.What’s your role at Openreach? Technical Fibre Professional with Chief Engineers. I manage the rural fibre build on the Isle of Wight and the step 1 provision team in Hampshire. 

2. How did you get the job? I saw the job on the internal vacancy site, reached out to my manager now and did an interview. The area wasn’t suitable at the time but was contacted shortly later to say they needed a manager on the island, it worked out perfectly! 

3. What’s the best part of your job? So impossible to pick one part! I love being able to create a positive place for people to come to work, that’s so important and also being a role model to female engineers within the company.   

4. What’s the most challenging part of your job?  Nothing, I love my job. 

5. What’s a typical day for you?  There is no typical day, every day is different. Some days I travel and see my team on the mainland, some days I work from my office in Ryde, see my team and attend online meetings on various things from the Isle of Wight build plan to women in engineering events. 

6. Most memorable work moment?  Being told that my story inspired a female engineer to progress in her career, really makes me feel like I should continue breaking the norms and paving the way. 

7. Who inspires you in your career and why?  Our Head of External Communications (South) and Social Media, Sally Bell, her positivity and approach to her role makes me want to progress and have a positive impact on other people’s lives as she does on mine, I love our virtual cuppa’s. 

8. What did you want to be when you were a child?  A paramedic! Never thought I would be working in the telecoms industry but I love it!  

9. What advice you’d give to women who are interested in working at Openreach? “Don’t let anything hold you back. The opportunities and skills that you get taught, and the lessons, are life changing. I know it can seem daunting that there are so many men, but, generally, they are so supportive. You’ll always have an excellent group around you to make sure that you’re OK. Some days are difficult, but the fact that I can be a role model to the future generation of Openreach makes everything worth it.”