Welwyn Garden City woman urges others to consider a career in electrical engineering
PUBLISHED: 13:29 01 January 2020
A Welwyn Garden City woman who chose a career in electrical engineering has said she should "get out there with a megaphone" to encourage more women to give it a go.
Rachel Dean, 32, has joined the UK Power Network's engineering development programme, which will involve two-and-a-half years' training before she becomes a fully qualified field engineer.
The job involves supervising field staff working on the high-voltage electricity network - helping to keep the lights on for local homes and businesses - and Rachel believes more women should consider a career in the industry.
"A lot of women probably think it's more physical but you can work your way around things," she said. "There are no reasons why you can't do a job like this - it just needs to be encouraged a bit more.
"You don't have to be one of the 'lads' or exceptionally strong. I was a jointer, lugging around cables, but as long as you know how to do things you don't have to be physically strong, there are always ways to do things."
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Rachel completed a design degree at university before undertaking a jointer apprenticeship with an electricity distribution company.
She then worked as a high voltage jointer for five years before a stint in road laying and bridge design, but the 32-year-old wanted to return to electrical work.
"Everyone at UK Power Networks is professional regardless of whether they are men or women and we are all working towards the same aims," Rachel continued.
"Gender isn't relevant. I don't know why more women don't consider pursuing a career in electrical engineering. I need to get out there more often with a megaphone."
She said she chose the profession because she enjoys working outside with her hands on the network, adding she has previously been involved in designing but that didn't involve getting out in the field.
The 32-year-old doesn't have an ultimate goal - she has always gone where her skills have taken her - but she said she would love to be a trainer one day.
"I recently had two trainees working with me and I loved nurturing and moulding them. At some point, once I have gained enough experience, I would love to pass my knowledge on to other people."