Celebrating Women in Engineering - Neos Networks

Celebrating Women in Engineering

Lisa Hamilton, Fibre Designer

To celebrate Women in Engineering Day, we sat down with Lisa Hamilton, Fibre Designer at Neos Networks. Lisa shares what she loves about her role, how she got into telecoms and what she hopes for the future when it comes to improving diversity in the sector.

Q: So, Lisa, tell us a little bit about yourself.

A: Well, I’m a Fibre Designer at Neos Networks where I plan and design cable routes that are key to enabling new connectivity services and supporting connectivity applications. I’ve recently joined Neos Networks and love being able to continuously learn more about how our networks operate. As a Fibre Designer, my primary responsibility is to futureproof our fibre network to allow future expansion of services in a way that is most cost-effective and gives us the best network possibilities.

Outside of my day job, I’m married and a mum to two young children, aged two and five, and we recently got a puppy so you can imagine my hands are pretty full!

Q: Tell us a little bit more about how you got into telecoms?

A: I finished school at 16, and went to work as a legal trainee secretary. Back then, I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do, and looking back, I don’t ever remember telecoms being a career option for me—or indeed most women. Instead, the obvious career path for women was administrative roles which is the option I followed. After some time working as a legal secretary, I then moved to a bank, then a call centre, and from there moved into Change Management in Thus Plc, which was my first foray into telecoms. 16 years later, I haven’t looked back.

Q: What was it about that Change Management role that got you excited about the telecoms sector?

A: It was the first time I was able to understand how telecoms and networks actually work. My role saw me deal with network outages and I was responsible for notifying customers about potential disruptions to network services and other associated issues. I spent a great deal of time working closely with networking teams which gave me a fantastic understanding of how the sector operates. From then, I was hooked! Especially as that role opened the door to my next opportunity in a radio role at Cable & Wireless (C&W) (bought by Vodafone).

Q: Tell us more about your time at C&W?

A: My time at C&W allowed me to further expand my telecoms knowledge, as I was able to train as a microwave link planner. There I was responsible for ensuring the correct size of microwave dish and microwave frequency was used so that radio links met requirements for backhaul traffic. This meant I had to take into account things like distance, line of sight surveys, the amount of traffic being carried over the link, structural loads on towers and the best place, geographically to place any new microwave dishes.

I also dealt with any notice to quit sites, where we had to plan to move any existing microwave dishes to new locations, and also problem links where line of sights had started to be impacted by growing trees or new high rise developments for example.

I really enjoyed this role because it meant I was able to get into the very technical aspects of the telecoms world, something which fascinates me. The more I learnt, the hungrier I was to keep finding out more about this fantastic industry and all of its technical wonders. That’s why I decided to move into the fibre world after spending a good chunk of time dealing with microwave technologies, and I reckon I’ll remain here for the rest of my career as I thoroughly enjoy it.

Q: Based on your experience, would you recommend telecoms to those starting their careers?

A: Absolutely! I’ve been so lucky to work in an industry where I continuously learn about new technologies—it’s what’s kept it exciting for so many years. I certainly would have never thought about telecoms at the start of my career, and that’s why it’s so important that we do away with careers and jobs pushed towards a typical gender role. We need to see more women in male-dominated sectors, and while that’s definitely improving, we can still do more to improve diversity in the sector. We’re fortunate now with social media that we are able to better promote the industry, and days like Women in Engineering are a great way of spotlighting the amazing contributions made by women in this sector.

Q: Final question for you Lisa, what career advice would you give to a young woman starting out?

A: It’s so important to make sure that you explore all types of job roles. Your career should be chosen based on your interests and what you enjoy, rather than what society and gender norms expect of you. This is so important to me, especially as a mother to a young daughter, I want to make sure that all career paths are open to her. There will be challenges along the way, no doubt, but finding a company like Neos Networks, that supports diversity and working mothers is so important to ensuring we’re attracting the talent of the future.

To find out more about Lisa and her journey, connect with her on LinkedIn.

If you’d like to explore our current career opportunities, visit: https://neosnetworks.com/careers/  


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