Blog: MS3 shining a light on gender diversity

Thu, 7/03/2024 - 09:58
l-r: Sarah Hirst, Evie Huber, Vicki Miller, Natalie Harvey, Courtney Clark

According to Tech UK, women make up around 50 per cent of the UK workforce. But in tech roles, that number falls to just below half at 24 per cent. To bridge the gender gap, it’s down to companies to recruit, upskill and retain an inclusive workforce. Ahead of International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March, Hull-based fibre network operator MS3 Networks shines a light on some of its female team members.

Fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace is no longer optional — it’s vital for business success. Not only does it enhance a company’s reputation, but it's also proven to increase profits and drive innovation. 

A report by McKinsey found that companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are, on average, 15 per cent more likely to have above average financial returns. It also highlighted that companies with female leadership teams performed better compared to less gender diverse companies by 48 per cent.

The telecommunications sector is historically male-dominated, especially in senior technology-based roles. However, companies throughout the sector are now aiming to transform this trend and support a more inclusive workforce.

With this in mind, the industry is beginning to make change. In June 2023, Ofcom and the UK’s largest network providers signed a new pledge, committing to supporting more women to enter technology careers. The pledge involves increasing senior representation of women in technology-based roles over the next three years, as well as employing more women in their own workforces.

MS3’s mission requires talent from a range of backgrounds. With this in mind, let’s hear from some of the team’s full fibre experts.

Courtney Clark — Senior Streetworks Coordinator

I started working for MS3 Networks in November 2022 as a physical infrastructure access (PIA) advisor. After six months I was promoted to the Senior Streetworks Coordinator. This role involves the day-to-day management and scheduling of streetworks activity and the deployment of the streetworks team. I also liaise with local councils and other stakeholders to ensure the fluid management of contractor workloads.

Within the build department I am the most senior female employee, representing the streetworks team. MS3 Networks creates an environment where everyone feels valued and can contribute to their fullest potential. My team in particular offers wide diversity and recognises the values and differences between individuals.

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to reflect on the progression made not only for women’s rights across the world in general, but also within the organisation I work for. It also inspires the next generation of women in a male dominated industry who are working up the corporate ladder.


Vicki Miller — Senior Project Manager

As a Senior Project Manager, I’m responsible for ensuring the team works towards a common goal. It involves strategic planning, effective communication and adept problem-solving skills. I act as the linchpin, ensuring that objectives are met within scope, budget and time constraints.

What sets MS3 Networks apart is its unwavering commitment to diversity, equality and inclusion. The company's dedication to fostering an inclusive environment is evident in its recruitment practices, employee resource groups and leadership initiatives. At MS3 Networks, every voice is not only heard, but valued.

For me, International Women's Day serves as a poignant reminder of the strides we've made towards gender equality and the road ahead. It's a day to celebrate the achievements of women worldwide to dismantle barriers, challenge stereotypes and pave the way for a future where every individual, regardless of gender, can thrive.


Evie Huber — Marketing Assistant

I began my career at MS3 Networks as a Wholesale Account Manager, helping to look after and grow several wholesale partners on our network. Over a year later I moved into the marketing team.

I now organise and run company events, liaise with our PR team on press content, work with our wholesale partners on their marketing strategies, organise market research projects, help to create our advertising campaigns and coordinate our customer review platforms.

At MS3 Networks, I feel like I can bring my authentic self to work, and I’m accepted for who I am. I always feel heard and that my opinion and ideas matter, which creates a fantastic environment for growing as a person and as a business.


Natalie Harvey — Facilities Manager

I manage two offices and two warehouses across separate locations, as well as managing health and safety relating to the building, including contracts and maintenance. I work closely with both the Chief People Officer and Chief Financial Officer for all the business insurance needs, along with managing a fleet of company vehicles.

For the first part of my employment at MS3 Networks, I was carrying out the role of Office Manager. However, alongside this role I have undertaken an apprenticeship in facilities management, with the view for my role change. Facilities management is a very male-dominated sector, with my first experience of this during my apprenticeship as the only female student in the class.

MS3 Networks is a very forward-thinking employer, which empowers and educates staff, allowing them the autonomy to build their career path in a typically male dominated area. 


Sarah Hirst — Financial Controller

As MS3 Networks’ Financial Controller, I ensure we have the right level of funding in place and work with budget holders to meet the targets. I oversee the accounting functions and maintain financial controls across the business.

MS3 Networks supports the fact that work is not all of your life, allowing me to work flexibly, with genuine hybrid working and flexible hours to suit my needs. The leaders at MS3 Networks appreciate the importance of family and home life as much as they appreciate the work we put in. As a fast-growing company, we have seen significant change over the last two years, which has created a culture that makes MS3 Networks a great place to work that everyone can thrive in.  

International Women’s Day is a celebration of all the achievements of women. It acknowledges the hard work women have endured to break down barriers, while also highlighting the work that’s still required to get to a position with true gender equality.

This International Women’s Day, I encourage women to trust in themselves, their gut feeling and their dreams. To find comfort in acknowledging how far society has come, to jump at opportunities and find inspiration from women in leadership roles. We all have a place in the workforce, male dominated or not, we just have to be brave enough to go for it.

Pictured l-r: Sarah Hirst, Evie Huber, Vicki Miller, Natalie Harvey, Courtney Clark