8 March 2022

Hear from our colleagues on International Women’s Day 2022

Today is International Women’s Day 2022. To mark the occasion we spoke to some of our female colleagues about their roles at Ofcom, and asked them what they would say to any women out there considering a career in an organisation like ours or in some of the sectors we regulate.

Our female colleagues work across a range of disciplines, bringing a wide range of backgrounds, skills and experience to the varied work that we carry out.

If you’re interested in joining Ofcom, take a look at our current vacancies.

Here’s what some of our great colleagues had to say:

Helen Hearn

Helen Hearn, interim group director, spectrum

I love the breadth of my role and very much enjoy engaging with our broad set of stakeholders; the conversations with them and innovative ideas they have are fascinating and it really brings to life the important role of spectrum in underpinning so much of the technology and services that are essential to us on a daily basis. It also emphasises the responsibility we carry in facilitating and protecting spectrum use.

To women interested in pursuing a career like mine, I would express how pleased I am that the environment for women both in technical and senior roles has moved on a lot since I was starting my career. I would also say:

  • identify your allies, both male and female and draw on their support and experiences;
  • try to stay positive when your glass seems half empty look for the half full narrative; and
  • don’t assume the other people in the room have cleverer or more important things to say than you to the extent that you think you shouldn’t speak up.
Jill Faure, principal, networks and communications group

Jill Faure, principal, networks and communications group

I’ve always been interested in communications and also in understanding how communications technology works. Being a technical specialist at Ofcom has given me the opportunity to understand the developments in communications technology in recent years and to think about technology more broadly, working with policy colleagues.

It can sometimes be challenging to be a woman in a technical role. However, working at a place like Ofcom means that you are working with a diverse group of people with different specialisms, while continuing to develop your technical specialism.

Janelle Jones, a spectrum planner from Ofcom PMSE team

Janelle Jones, spectrum planner, programme-making and special events

I work on a small team of roughly nine people, five of whom plan and coordinate the frequency spectrum for every single event that uses wireless equipment (such as wireless microphones, in-ear monitors, wireless cameras, audio links, talkback) for the entirety of the UK – which as you can imagine is quite a large task. I enjoy seeing the final result of all the hard work that’s involved with planning large scale events and know that my team was instrumental in making that event come to life.

Spectrum historically has been a male-dominated profession. I think I’m a prime example that you don’t have to have a background in radio engineering to work in the radio world. People have so much knowledge and enthusiasm within the industry and I’ve found myself, in just 6 years, connected to a network of people who love to share with anyone what they do.

Kerri-Ann O'Neill

Kerri-Ann O’Neill, people and transformation director

I lead our People and Transformation function at Ofcom and am a member of the Senior Management Team – it’s my job to power Ofcom to be the best possible place to work for our amazing talent and ensure everyone can achieve their potential by ensuring the right people are in the right jobs at the right time!

I love it when we do something bold and make a change for the better. I also love seeing someone do something amazing. For any woman considering a career in an organisation like ours, I’d say it’s important to know what you want to achieve in the next six months and three years - this helps you to filter out any unhelpful noise. And be kind - it’s a small world!

Nihal Newman, director of network security

Nihal Newman, director of network security

I have a very wide brief in my role which makes it interesting and exciting. No day is the same and I get to work with incredibly talented people. As part of my role I get to lead the design of, influence and implement important initiatives which aim to have positive outcomes for people.

I would encourage women to apply for opportunities at Ofcom, as we are a growing organisation with a breadth of interesting and exciting work. Ofcom is an inclusive organisation where talented individuals can gain valuable experience to help them grow in their career journey.

Faye Tendall, graduate spectrum engineer

Faye Tendall, graduate spectrum engineer

For me, being a woman in science and engineering has always worked in my favour, so take advantage of any opportunities that are offered to you. You may be the only woman in the room from time to time, although this is changing rapidly. But you will stand out for all the right reasons. People will be pleased that you are perusing what you’re passionate about and want to help you achieve your goals.

Armelle Boisset, director of spectrum engineering

Armelle Boisset, director of spectrum engineering

It’s an ongoing journey, the experiences you build along the way all contribute. Each branch in the road leads to another one, look forward not back. I would also add that we need more women in Engineering, it’s a brilliant career.

It’s the opportunity to work across a range of projects and the committed, knowledgeable people that make Ofcom a great place to be. There’s much more to Ofcom than the TV content aspect that many people are aware of, communications pervades all we do, and we have some great technical roles. Knowing that our work directly influences services we all use every day, such as mobile phones or satnav is a privilege but also a responsibility.

Related content