Team work: Foreground, from left, Larraine Stevens, LaQuita Jones and Imari Wade. On the ladders are Collisha Hendrickson, left, and Marshallene Robinson. Missing from the picture are Tanaia Simmons and Deonna Hill. *Photo by Gary Foster Skelton
Team work: Foreground, from left, Larraine Stevens, LaQuita Jones and Imari Wade. On the ladders are Collisha Hendrickson, left, and Marshallene Robinson. Missing from the picture are Tanaia Simmons and Deonna Hill. *Photo by Gary Foster Skelton

Marshallene Robinson is often met with confusion from her customers when she and her all-female team come to fix and install their CableVision.

“So when is the guy going to turn up?” she has been asked, to which she will reply, “We are here to do the job.”

A mother-of-four, Robinson decided she wanted to train to be a technician because jobs on the island were few and far between. 

She became fully certified in 2011 after CableVision brought in the National Cable Television Institute to teach courses at Bermuda College. These included installer, installer technician, service, service technician, maintenance technician and fibre optics. Knowing she was able to do it, she decided to encourage more women into the role. 

She now leads a team of six female technicians and they do everything from trouble shooting and pole work to ripping up pavements for installation. 

Robinson told the Bermuda Sun: “We do it all from the pole straight through to the house. We rewire, trouble-shoot, pull wires, dig, labour, everything — you name it, we do it. 

“I feel with me being in the field, if I show I can do it there may be other females who might want to get into it. I wanted to give somebody else a chance… it is hard getting a job in the field — there are
females out there who are technically inclined but they get discouraged
because they are told that it is a predominantly male field. I said, you know what? If I could do it and other people are interested then why not?

Robinson started with a subcontractor team in September of last year and began recruiting for her female crew as of January this year. 

“Basically there are a lot of females out here who need jobs and who will be willing to learn to do whatever it takes to provide for their home. For me, as a single mother, I had no problem reaching out and helping somebody else because somebody believed in me and helped me. 

“I believe it is only right to help the next person. I can’t help everybody — I still get many calls but I am doing my part to help a few people and that matters to me.”

As a mother of four, Robinson admitted her journey had not been easy and she found herself juggling her responsibilities as a mother and student.

“The NCTI course was a very intense course — what you can do in a year or six months I had to cram into a short time. 

“It was nerve-wracking I have kids and I was in tears. I had to settle the kids, they were trying to study and crying at the same time but I had to get this done — I did everything necessary to get my qualifications, it wasn’t about failing at that point. 

“Once you find the balance, everything comes easy. It’s much easier now — it was just the training. You are cramming your brain you have to know different specs and for the modules you have to be able to read and your maths has to be on point. You have a baby crying, a new-born crying and I’m crying and the next day is the test! But I have laid a foundation now.”

Initiative

Speaking of her all-female team, Robinson said: “I’m really impressed with them. They came on and I don’t have to babysit them or tell them what to do and they all take initiative. 

“The girls love it — we all have kids. It is all about team work — I don’t look at myself as a boss — some people have a mind-set that when they become a boss that they forget and that’s when things can go downhill. 

“I intend to treat people equally how I would want to be treated myself. 

“We still have kids and do what we have to do. I like the way we communicate with each other.”