Lily Brothwood

Marketing and Communications Coordinator, 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? 


Tell us about your role?  

Marketing and communications coordinator at PD Ports. 

How did you get to where you are today? 

After moving to the city of Leeds for university, in my third year I took 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.  

While working for Intelect, I felt I needed a mentor to guide me through the year, which led to me approaching Kirsten Donkin, head of marketing, PR & communications at PD Ports. Kirsten kindly agreed to be my mentor and upon returning to university, I was offered a part-time role at PD Ports, with the opportunity of going full-time upon completion of my degree. In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, I finally completed my studies at Leeds Beckett University with a first class honours degree in business management with marketing. I now work full-time for PD Ports and continue to advocate the importance of supporting young people. 

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. 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.  

While at first I found it daunting to put my thoughts and opinions across, through the fear of being disregarded, I quickly realised that my thoughts and opinions were equally as justified, no matter who was in the room with me. From attending events like the Tees Businesswomen Awards, this confidence has only grown, and I now see more and more women coming into these industries, which is fantastic to see and reassuring for the future 

Describe the moment you first got a feel for success? 

Academically, my greatest achievement to date was being able to formally graduate this year, 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, something I has worked so hard for! 

When it comes to work successes, planning and executing a visit for Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak following the Teesside Freeport announcement was definitely an event to remember. As a team at PD Ports, we worked around the clock to ensure it was delivered without a hitch and following the visit, we received a letter from the Prime Minister to thank us for our efforts. 

Do you have any advice for aspiring young females? 

Never feel out of place when you’re the only woman in the room, you deserve to be there. 

Keep shouting about positive female role models, especially in the Tees Valley – you might just inspire a little girl somewhere to go out and get something she only ever dreamed of. 

What advice would you give to your younger self?  

Never settle for anything less than what you deserve.  

What three words inspire you and encourage a positive path?  

Just keep going. 

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