Riz Patel, 35 and from Leicester, works as a District Manager for British Gas, where she’s part of a large team installing smart meters in customers’ homes across the city.
After graduating with a degree in Computer Science, she joined Centrica’s graduate management programme in 2005. Riz then decided to take a role managing engineers responsible for the roll out of smart meters in her home area.
Riz has now been working in smart metering with British Gas for six years. She said: “After completing the graduate programme, I was really attracted to doing a technical job where I could work directly with customers. I was the first female in my position managing engineers and I’m really proud of that.
“Working in smart metering was the perfect option for me, as it involved meeting customers. I’m now a manager and it’s a great feeling sharing all my knowledge with others in the team.”
“I absolutely love my job! It’s fast-paced and challenging and no two days are ever the same. You get to meet a lot of different people and it’s a great feeling coming into work every day knowing that we can help customers save energy by giving them smart technology. British Gas has really been at the forefront of the smart meter roll-out and it’s a privilege to be a part of that.”
Talking about her pathway into engineering, she said: “When I was at school, I didn’t really consider science-based subjects, and I wasn’t encouraged to by teachers either. I think more girls should be encouraged to follow these subjects as they can lead to such rewarding careers.
Riz is passionate about encouraging others to follow technical careers. She said: “A lot of technical jobs like mine are male-dominated, but I’ve never really given it a second thought. We’re a real mix of characters in our team and that’s what I enjoy about the job most.
“I want to stay working on the technical side of British Gas, because I love it. For now, I’m concentrating on being the best I can be in my current role.
“I would definitely encourage more women to consider a technical career, like I have. It’s a fantastic option for anyone.”