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Meet Pollyanna

Read Pollyanna's interview to see what she thinks about working with us at Western Power Distribution.

I have always been interested in science and technology, and WPD gives me the opportunity to apply my skills on a daily basis. I enjoy the challenges that each new enquiry brings, and find that no two days are ever the same.

My role involves designing and quoting new electricity connections, and other projects such as moving electrical services, increasing supplies, cable diversions, and disconnections. I have a number of projects that I am working on at any one time, and enjoy the varied nature of the role. With each enquiry, I will introduce myself to the customer and find out more about their requirements, then determine if a site survey is required and attend if necessary in order for me to build the connection quote. This also helps with identifying risks and managing safety for the project going forward. I then design a scheme on our network software, and quote the costs of the requested works, before sending it out to the customer with guidance and information. I look after their scheme until it is paid for and accepted, then hand it over to a Technician for delivery. As well as the design part of the role, I have some operational authorisations, and am working towards my LV authorisation.

The role is varied and challenging, and as somebody who gets bored easily, I find that the diversity of projects and the pace keeps me switched on! The training is very good and through the company I have attended many courses to help improve my knowledge and skills, and keep on top of the latest changes in legislation.

My impression of Western Power Distribution is that they want to deliver the best service to the customers, keep employees and the public safe, and maintain our network reliability. I am proud to be a part of this, as these values are something that are important to me too.

Being customer focused, and having the determination to never give up are very important. When problems and difficulties arise, it can be challenging, but grit and determination see you through.

WPD has its own training centres and also supports certain employees to attend college and even university to gain further qualifications, depending on their roles. Vacancies within the company are advertised for all to apply for.

My section of the company was previously owned by E.ON. During my time there, I achieved my ONC in Electrical Engineering, and also represented my depot for a conference in Munich where we looked at the future of distribution networks and challenges to be faced. I also helped with developing a website for schools to teach children about electricity networks, and had some input with the National Schools Diploma. I really enjoy sharing my love of this work with others, and whilst working for WPD have taken time out of my own personal time to teach school children about electricity and encourage more to aspire to work in this industry. I am also proud to have completed WPD’s Design course, which took place over the course of a year-and-a-half and has brought me up to speed with the Company’s design standards and the best ways to design a scheme for a customer.

It can be challenging at times to have some more traditionally-minded people to understand that I am qualified and technical! Naturally there are issues such as the gender pay gap and career progression based on assumptions that women are not involved in this line of work. However, WPD as a Company supports equality in the workplace, and I know that the Company fully supports me in my role and career progression. I have also built working relationships with a lot of regular customers, who were dubious at first when they found a woman was looking after their Enquiry, who now ask for me in person and are pleased to see that I am looking after their projects! Changing perspectives and pioneering the way for more ladies to work in this sector are very satisfying. Ultimately, I am not here to make a point; I am here to make a living to support my family. And WPD treat equality in the workplace seriously.

The work can be challenging, and at times you will be under a lot of pressure. Yet it is incredibly satisfying when you work through issues and achieve the outcome you need. If you want an easy job, then perhaps this is not for you. If you enjoy problem solving and dealing with a diverse range of projects, then you will certainly enjoy this. It is a sector and role I am proud to work in.