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Rebecca shows that engineering is not just for boys 

23 June 2016

It’s National Women in Engineering Day 2016 #NWED2016.

We want to use this special day to highlight and celebrate the amazing achievements of our female engineers.

To get a taste of what it’s like be a woman in engineering at BT, take a look at the inspiring story of Rebecca.

Rebecca’s story

Rebecca Watt, 24, from Erskine worked as a qualified beauty therapist before applying for BT’s engineering apprenticeship scheme. Rebecca now climbs ladders and poles to install and repair phone lines, broadband and BT TV services. Rebecca’s friends were shocked when she told them she’d be hanging up her nail brushes and picking up her drill. After a period of classroom and on-the-job training Rebecca can now install phone lines and broadband for customers. Rebecca’s dad is also a BT engineer but Rebecca didn’t tell him she’d applied until she got the job.

Rebecca Watt

Rebecca said: “My friends couldn’t believe it when I told them what I’d be doing. I got some cheeky comments from people but now they’re all impressed with what I’ve achieved.”

Rebecca’s original boss, also previously a BT apprentice engineer, said that there are areas where a female touch is an asset. Katrina O’Donnell said “Teenage girls often have good communications skills which go down well when you are dealing direct with the public. Customers love Rebecca and her other female colleagues. I’ve had letters from customers praising their work.”

Things have changed a lot since Katrina joined BT in 2003 as one of very few female BT apprentice engineers. All of BT’s processes and policies are inclusive with women actively encouraged to join.

BT runs a rolling recruitment programme across the UK with apprentices taken on in all areas of the business. These vary from advanced apprentices working as field engineers, to higher apprentices who work towards a foundation degree.

Rebecca’s manager Katrina gave this advice to any girls thinking about a career in BT. “BT really encourages girls to apply because girls can do the job just as well as men, often better. The training and equipment is provided as well as a vehicle to all field engineer apprentices. There’s something for everyone. BT’s so big, the opportunities are endless.”

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