A CITY-based rural broadband firm has appointed its first female engineer.

25 year-old Sophie Crook has joined Worcester firm Airband's team of 45 engineers and is the first of six new trainees.

What's more, Miss Crook started with Airband on October 14, the day after Ada Lovelace Day, which celebrates the work of one of the first ever female computer programmers.

Gareth Burgess, Airband head of engineering, said he was delighted to have more diversity within the engineering team.

He said: “It was very exciting when Sophie applied because we don't get many female applicants.

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"She sailed through the interview - including the working at height assessment and other practical assessments. 

"Of course, we’re not interested in employing someone just because they’re female, we need people who can do the job and Sophie demonstrated all the qualities we look for - a good attitude, willingness to learn and she showed interest in the industry and in what Airband does."

Miss Crook, who graduated from Falmouth University in July 2019, said she was delighted to have an opportunity to forge a new career in engineering with Airband. 

She said: "I’m really excited to have been selected to train as an engineer with Airband.

"It’s also an honour to be the first female engineer on the team and I hope I can be an inspiration to other women."

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Sue Marriott, people engagement and development manager at Airband, said that Airband has been actively working to encourage women into the engineering team.

She said: "We’re delighted to have Sophie on board and look forward to helping her build a successful career within engineering. 

"Having a diverse team isn’t a tick box exercise; a wide spectrum of backgrounds within a team has been shown to enhance its performance and overall cohesion.

"We’re hoping that Sophie is the first of many female applicants and an inspiration to any other women who are considering a career within STEM industries. 

“Due to rapid growth, Airband is currently on a recruitment drive for engineers and trainee engineers - both in Worcester and in Devon and we would like to hear from anyone interested in a career in this sector."