As technology improves in leaps and bounds, it enables and empowers more women to enter professions which have been traditionally male dominated. At Ericsson for example, it is not uncommon to see women engineers responding to calls to repair or fix radio base stations and telecom towers. In fact, shattering gender stereotypes follows the company’s inclusive work culture which empowers its employees – irrespective of gender – with adequate and appropriate training and tools to manage in unfriendly and dangerous situations.
Ericsson attaches a lot of importance to ensure its employees and people working with them to provide connectivity are regularly trained and they take all requisite measures to provide them a safe working environment. It remains committed to provide individuals with unique tools and processes including trainings, refresher courses and routine tests in order to ensure their safety while on duty. In this second part of the Network Heroes series we look at the inspiring story of Jaya Sapam, an engineer from Imphal, Manipur.
Jaya is known amongst her work colleagues as Mary Kom – she is one of the very few women engineers who works in the field as a Maintenance Engineer. In simple words, she is responsible for making sure people get mobile networks in their devices.
Yes, friends and colleagues refer to me as Mary Kom, which is quite humbling yet embarrassing, as I am nowhere close to her in terms of achievement and her struggle. Yet I look to her for inspiration.”
Jaya is out on the field at least once every week making sure everything is working seamlessly. At times, she even has to examine and monitor telecom equipment on top of the towers, which gets a lot of onlookers as people seldom see lady engineers doing such jobs, especially in Imphal.
Jaya shares an incident when she had to go out of city limits in the middle of the night to fix some radio base station. It is not common for women to be out so late, especially in remote areas due to the threat of insurgents. Jaya says,
I was a little nervous, to be in the middle of nowhere fixing the radio base stations with my team in the dark. But we had to complete a job that was critical.”
But things got a little tense on one occasion, when the team was stopped by a group of locals. However, the team was well trained to handle such situations and they spoke to the people explaining what they were doing. All this while the focus was on ‘restoring connectivity’.
Jaya loves the challenges that her job brings and enjoys the opportunity to do something which is not quite usual. Apart from fixing network sites and complex equipment, she loves to create new cuisines and play badminton.
I take great pride in donning my safety helmet and harness and going about my job…. Each working day, every single time.”
More About Ericsson’s commitment to Occupational Health & Safety
As part of Ericsson’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, they deliver innovative solutions to customers and governments to address global challenges. They also focus on how these are incorporated within the company. Health and Safety is an area where Ericsson takes an inclusive approach, not only regarding the safety and well-being of its employees but also those in their supply chain. The company is actively working to prevent incidents and work-related illnesses, with a vision of zero major incidents. To achieve this vision, they apply a risk-based approach and have a variety of tools and processes in place.
- Basic Health and Safety – this denotes the risks one is exposed to in any role and controls available to prevent them
- Basic Lab Safety – this helps outlining the security risks in lab environment
- Bio Risk – special training for individuals who work in environment where EMF exposure exceeds generally applicable limits
- Work at Height / Safe Climbing – recommendations on what equipment and methods to use for safe climbing in masts, on roofs and on walls
Other OHS Measures
- Medical Examinations – Regular medical check-ups are done for individuals involved in field maintenance work.
- Driving and Vehicle Guidelines – Detailed guidelines on how to drive safely using two wheelers or four wheelers. Tips on vehicle maintenance and upkeep.
- Security Guidelines – regularly updated guidelines including restrictions and special trainings for individuals working on sensitive areas or areas affected by natural calamities
- Zero Tolerance Safety Rules – Reinforcing the zero tolerance safety rules to increase awareness and adherence to inculcate and improve upon a ‘safety first’ culture.
Keeping the networks up and running across the country requires thousands of individuals to manage, monitor and troubleshoot any problems in minimal time. Our focus is to ensure a safe working environment for everyone engaged in Ericsson’s business. We provide regular trainings, conduct frequent medical fitness checks and periodic refresher courses for people to remember all necessary safety guidelines and procedures while attending to their jobs.