Female students from across the UK connected with career opportunities in the telecommunications industry when they visited Bury-based Pennine Telecom as part of a national educational initiative.
The visit was organised under Salford University’s Insight Program as part of a wider scheme run by Headstart of the Royal Academy of Engineers which aims to encourage women to follow careers in science and engineering.
During a day spent at Pennine they learned of some of the major developments currently affecting the data and telecoms industry such as wireless networking and unified communications which is seeing voice and data applications converging. They also got to see engineers at work and to quiz them about life working in the industry.
“The idea was to give students a real, first hand insight into what our work involves and the many and varied career opportunities which may be available in what is a particularly dynamic and growing industry,” explained Pennine ICT Specialist, Chris Lishman who is also an ambassador for the Royal Academy’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) programme. He added: “It’s great to see traditional gender barriers falling by the wayside through initiatives like this which are resulting in an increasing number of women coming into engineering.”
Professor Haifa Takruri-Rizk MBE of Salford University, who arranged the visit as part of a four day residential programme, said the group of ten students found it a rewarding experience: “The girls told me that the day spent at Pennine had been very useful and interesting. It gave them a genuine insight into telecoms and what it entails and which they weren’t previously aware. “
She added that the university had now been running the Insight programme for 20 years. “Students who join the programme are already studying subjects which would help them follow careers in science and engineering. What we do is take them out to different companies so that they can see the different duties engineers perform, how they work in a team and so on. It gives them a deeper and broader insight into the range of careers available.”