BT believes engineering “is not just for blokes” and in a bid to woo more women into the company it is launching a £200,000 apprentice attraction campaign on International Women’s Day.
More than 6,000 young people are already chasing 600 jobs and the telecom company is determined to increase the proportion of female apprentices in these roles. The majority of the apprenticeships will be in Openreach, BT’s local network business.
A brochure and adverts featuring current young women engineers are appearing the in the press and on websites highlighting the benefits of being a BT engineer – a job “which is not just for blokes.”
“BT is committed to improving the percentage of female apprentices,” said Dave Walsh, head of BT Apprenticeships. “We have a target of employing 25 per cent women in our new intake. At the moment of the 6,000 young people interested in the apprenticeships only eight per cent are women.”
Walsh adds that women perform much better than men at job interviews so he is confident the number of women engineers will increase substantially.
“BT customers, especially women, often prefer a female engineer and we want to reflect society and improve equality in the workplace. These jobs are not just hard hats and telegraph poles. Apprentices work on television, broadband, consultancy, IT and almost everything BT does – and women can do the job just as well as the men,” said Walsh.
BT has also signed up to be an “exemplar employer” under a government scheme to improve job opportunities for women. The company is developing closer relationships with schools to encourage girls to consider careers in professions traditionally dominated by men.