SWM: Celebrating a Women-led Company this Women’s Month

SWM: Celebrating a Women-led Company this Women’s Month

by Amaris Naidoo, Communications Officer

In celebration of Women’s Month, we take this opportunity to recognise and honour the incredible journey of SWM Communications, a company that was founded by an inspiring engineer, Sandy Wardle. As a majority female-led company, SWM has been a trailblazer, providing an empowering environment for women in the industry. As an intern at SWM, I have had the privilege of witnessing first-hand the impact of promoting women in engineering and the tremendous importance it holds for the entire industry. As we celebrate Women’s Month, it is essential to recognise the achievements and contributions of women in various fields, including industries traditionally dominated by men. Working in a majority-female company that works alongside a male-dominated industry has been an exciting learning experience for me.

The Engineer Who Started It All

At the heart of SWM’s story is its visionary founder, Sandy Wardle, who created a company that fosters innovation while celebrating industry excellence. As an intern embarking on my recent journey with SWM, it quickly became apparent to me that the company is a direct result of Sandy’s engineering passion and her belief in her team’s potential to deliver exceptional outcomes for clients. SWM’s slogan, “Engineers Promoting Engineers” reflects the dedication of the company to uplift and support engineers and those involved in the built and technology environment, regardless of gender or age. Through SWM, I’ve had the privilege of working alongside talented and remarkable women who confidently assume their leadership roles, in a traditionally male-dominated landscape of the built environment industry.

A Female-Led and Majority Female Company

What sets SWM apart is its challenging of norms within the industry itself. With a majority female leadership team and a strong representation of women across the company, SWM has defied stereotypes and exemplified the potential of female professionals in traditionally male-dominated sectors. This not only creates a welcoming environment for women but also cultivates a diverse and inclusive culture that encourages innovative thinking and new perspectives. Here are five invaluable lessons I’ve learned on my journey with SWM:

  1. The Importance of Promoting Women in the Industry

Promoting women in the engineering industry is not just a matter of fairness; it is essential for the growth and progress of the entire field. Diversity brings innovation, and by fostering an inclusive workplace, SWM has experienced the power of diverse perspectives and problem-solving approaches within the communications field and brings this approach into the built environment  and technology sectors it works closely alongside. When women are encouraged and supported, they can break through traditional barriers and create a more equitable and prosperous industry.

  1. The Power of Representation

Being part of a majority-female company in a male-dominated industry has highlighted the power of representation. When women hold prominent positions and leadership roles, it shows that gender should never limit potential. As I witness successful women in various roles, it inspires me to break barriers and reach for my own career goals fearlessly. Representation matters, and it motivates us to believe that we can achieve anything we work hard towards.

  1. Breaking Stereotypes

Working in a mostly female company has shattered gender stereotypes that persist in male-dominated industries. It has shown me that success is not defined by gender but by dedication, competence, and determination. Seeing women excel in various roles traditionally deemed as “male-only” encourages us all to see beyond gender biases. Normalising female leaders in action has motivated me to and embrace opportunities regardless of preconceived notions and trust my own ability and skill.

  1. Empowering Each Other

In a predominantly female company, I have experienced the power of empowering each other. Through mentorship and support, the women at SWM lift each other up, ensuring that no one feels isolated or overlooked. The culture of empowerment creates a positive work environment where individuals can thrive and reach their full potential. As an intern at SWM, I can confidently say that this experience has been transformative. From day one, I was embraced as a valued member of the team, with my ideas and contributions genuinely appreciated. The female leaders at SWM served as inspiring role models, proving that success in engineering knows no gender boundaries. Through their mentorship and guidance, I gained valuable insights and confidence in my own work.


Working in a majority-female company within a male-dominated industry has been an enriching experience that has taught me valuable lessons. As an intern at SWM, I have witnessed the transformational power of empowering women in the industry. SWM has demonstrated that a female-led company can thrive and inspire generations to come. As we celebrate Women’s Month, let us continue to recognise and appreciate the contributions of women in all spheres of life, breaking barriers and transforming industries for the better.