Lily Brothwood

Marketing and Communications Manager, Middlesbrough

Sector: PR and Marketing

Lily Brothwood worried about having her opinion disregarded, a young woman starting her career in a male dominated industry. However, her confidence has grown and she knows her thoughts and opinions are equally as jusitified.   

Where do you call home? 

Middlesbrough. 

Tell us about your role?  

Marketing and communications manager at Intelect. 

How did you get to where you are today? 

I completed my A-Levels at King’s Academy 6th Form in 2016, however throughout my time in education, I never had a real understanding of what I wanted to do for a career. 

After enjoying a marketing module that I completed in my business course, I took the plunge and moved to the city of Leeds for university. In my third year, I realised that I still had no experience in career I was signing myself up too, so I made the decision to take a year out in industry, where I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to work for local Middlesbrough engineering company, Intelect.  

Whilst working for Intelect, I was fortunate enough to secure a mentor, Kirsten Donkin, which led to me being offered a part-time role as Communications Assistant at PD Ports whilst I completed the remained of my degree following my year out.

In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, I finally completed my studies at Leeds Beckett University achieving a first-class honours in Business Management with Marketing. 

Following my graduation, I went on to work full-time for PD Ports as Marketing and Communications Coordinator, supporting the team in achieving major milestones both in business terms and with wider community initiatives too. 

In 2021, an opportunity arose for me to return back to Intelect, this time in a management role. I decided to take the plunge and make the next step in my career, and so far, I’ve enjoyed the range of new challenges and experiences it’s brought with it!

What struggles or obstacles did you face along the way? 

As someone who comes from a close-knit family, I have always been lucky enough to have a strong support network, and I have always been motivated by the fact that I can achieve anything if I put mind to it. I did well at school, however I never really knew what I wanted to do as a career, and like everyone else I was pushed down the University route. Things like apprenticeships were never promoted when I was at school, and looking back now, it’s definitely an option I would have gone for, had it been more visible.

When I entered the working world, I found myself in industries that were highly male dominated, and I often found myself in situations where I was the only woman in the room, and the only young person too. This always brought with it a lot of self-doubt and imposter syndrome, and I often found it daunting to put my thoughts and opinions across, through the fear of being disregarded.

As time has gone on, and from attending events like the Tees Businesswomen Awards and the Power of Women launch, my confidence has really grown. It’s great to see more and more inspirational women coming to the forefront of these traditionally male-dominated industries, specifically when it comes to STEM subjects, and it’s really reassuring for the future generations to have so many visible role models.

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

Academically, my greatest achievement to date was being able to formally graduate after delays due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It was amazing to be able to share the celebration with my family, and finally get to wear the infamous cap and gown, which was something I had worked so hard for! 

I also think it’s important to look for smaller successes in daily life though too, as it’s often easy to focus on big goals, instead of the smaller ones you need to take first to get you there. Always try to focus on the positives, no matter how big or small, and you’ll see success in everything that you do.

Do you have any advice for aspiring young females? 

Never settle for anything less than what you deserve, and if you ever feel like things aren’t going your way, always remember that opportunities are like buses, if you miss the first one, another one won’t be too far away!

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

Don’t be afraid to say the work ‘no’ challenge something if you don’t agree with it, and ignore what other people think about you, if you do what makes you happy you won’t go far wrong  

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

Never doubt yourself.

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