Meet the team: Network Technician Kate Sperring-Lee
International Women’s Day is all about celebrating women’s achievement, raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality.
This year, we’re shining a light on one of our own outstanding female colleagues Kate Sperring-Lee. Kate’s been part of the mua Group for five months and she’s responsible for approving designs of new utility networks from independent connection providers (ICPs).
What’s a typical working day like for you, Kate?
As a mum of a 17-month boy, my day starts early! I start by prepping that night’s dinner in the slow cooker, then I drop my son Sebastian off at the childminder before my working day begins.
I spend the majority of my day liaising with our ICP clients, collaborating with them to approve designs of all kinds of new utility connections. These connections could be EV charging points, substations or even new housing developments. I’m always looking for ways to expand my knowledge and skills, so I often squeeze a bit of extra training into my day too.
I like being busy and being active, so if I’m not looking after my son in the evenings, I’m at bootcamp or playing netball as part of the Birmingham Woman’s League.
What do you like most about your job?
Being a network technician is a reactive, fast-paced role and I’m in my element with that. Our ICP clients come to me needing advice on how they can best design their new connection to the existing utility network. I love the challenge of coming up with a solution and doing that quickly so there’s no delays to construction. I get a real buzz out of exceeding their expectations with the solutions we create and how quickly we’re able to approve their connections too.
I was actually approached to take on this role by Luay Elia, my now manager. I’ve wanted to work for a company like mua, a network operator, for years. I’d always gone above and beyond in my previous jobs and hoped to progress, but hadn’t felt like it was paying off. When Luay contacted me about joining mua and taking on this amazing role, I was over the moon! I was so proud that my years of hard work and dedication had finally paid off. Getting this role is definitely my proudest professional achievement so far.
What’s it like working at mua?
One of my favourite things about life at mua is the flexible working culture. Working from home full-time means I can get out every lunchtime and walk my little dog Freeda, a wild working cocker spaniel. Whatever the weather, we’re out the door for an hour’s walk every day without fail! For me, it’s a great way to keep healthy and have some uninterrupted thinking time.
Being a parent is full on and you often have to deal with the unexpected. That’s never a problem here as everyone understands there’s more to life than work. We’re all human and family comes first. If I have to leave early because my son’s poorly, it’s not a problem. Everyone gets it. I feel lucky to have a job I love that works well around my family too.
What’s life like as a woman working in the construction and utilities industry?
There’s no denying construction and the utilities industry is male dominated. While I was working at other companies in the past, I’ve experienced inequality as woman – particularly when it came to being promoted and applying for new roles.
It’s different at mua though. Everyone is equal and everyone is valued. People are at the heart of the company. There’s also a real sense of wanting to promote from within. I’ve been in my role for less than six months and already I’m being encouraged to develop and progress.
What advice do you have for other women considering a career in construction or utilities?
Just do it. It’s a great industry to be in. The world is always changing and we’re the industry powering that change.
What’s next for you, Kate?
mua Group is growing. We have the right people with the right knowledge and motivation to achieve our vision of being the first-choice multi-utility network operator. As the company grows, we’ll need more network technicians like me. I’d love to lead a team of network technicians and see us become the best team in the industry. Watch this space!