Navigating Uncharted Territories: My Journey as an Engineering Graduate in PR

Navigating Uncharted Territories: My Journey as an Engineering Graduate in PR

By Phyllis Chikondo, Trainee Account Manager 

My professional journey has been a remarkable one, marked by challenges, growth, and empowerment. Working as Trainee Account Manager at SWM Communications, a company founded by the visionary electrical engineer, Sandy Wardle, I have found a safe haven that not only champions female empowerment but also promotes engineers in the technology and built environment sectors.

SWM Communications is unique in its approach as the only PR and Communications Agency in this industry led by a female engineer, with the majority of its staff being women. When I joined SWM, I was struck by our slogan: “Engineers promoting Engineers” which reflects our unwavering commitment to supporting and uplifting engineers, helping our clients gain visibility, build their professional reputation, and unlock opportunities for business growth. This slogan also embodies our spirit of inclusivity, fostering a supportive community in the male-dominated built environment industry.

My journey began as a civil engineering student, driven by a passion for innovation, construction and problem-solving. Despite being one of the few women in my classes, I was determined to prove that gender should never be a barrier to success. Along the way, I faced moments of doubt and subtle biases that reminded me of the uphill battle women often endure in male-dominated industries.

As a person who always had a deep-rooted passion for writing, I was intrigued when I stumbled upon SWM’s search for a technical content writer with an engineering background. Surrounded by a very supportive team of experts and mentors, it was easy for me to fit in and excel at my tasks. Not only did this boost my motivation, but it also intensified my fondness for my duties.

Transitioning into the PR realm, I found a powerful tool to amplify the voices of engineers and help promote gender diversity in the field. I realised that effective communication and storytelling play a pivotal role in shaping perceptions and breaking down barriers. By utilising my engineering background in my Account Management role, I am learning to bridge the gap between technical expertise and public awareness, promoting the talents and accomplishments of our clients, especially those that often go unnoticed.

I take great pride in being a part of SWM, and I am excited about the journey ahead as we continue to champion female empowerment in this industry. My growth in this field has been remarkable.

During this Women’s Month, let us come together to raise the voices of all women, inspiring future generations and paving the way for a more diverse and inclusive society.

At SWM, as a female-dominated company, we serve as living proof that when women are given opportunities, we ignite a wildfire of brilliance that sets the world ablaze with innovation and excellence. By providing our team with training and opportunities for career advancement, we empower them to reach their full potential. As more women rise to leadership positions, they become role models and mentors for the next generation, creating a positive feedback loop that drives lasting change. Together, we can create a stronger, more inclusive engineering community that thrives on diversity and equal opportunities for all.