A roundtable discussion: Expanding beyond Public Affairs with WiPA and guest speaker Katherine Bennett CBE

We recently sponsored and attended a fantastic breakfast roundtable, in partnership with Women in Public Affairs (WiPA), a networking group focused on increasing female opportunities within the Public Affairs industry. The event explored the evolving role of public affairs professionals and offered valuable insights for talent in the sector looking to expand their opportunities beyond traditional political work.

Discussion Focus: Discussions highlighted the importance of public affairs for organisations and industries, emphasising the growing significance of adjacent disciplines such as communications and media relations.

Keynote Speaker: Katherine Bennett CBE, a prominent figure in UK design, engineering, and manufacturing, shared her career trajectory and insights. As an ambassador for industrial transformation, Katherine has led multiple initiatives aimed at diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Her contributions to the aerospace and aviation sectors were recognized with a CBE in 2019.

Ella Fallows, Co-Founder of WiPA, chaired a fascinating and empowering discussion with the following key takeaways: 

Expand Your Network:

Building connections beyond your immediate circle is crucial. Attend in-person events, industry meetups, and leverage LinkedIn to connect with professionals across various sectors. A diverse network, including governmental staff and political figures, enhances your reach and influence.

Leverage Well-Connected Advisors:

Seek guidance from advisors who offer fresh perspectives, differing experiences, and strong networks. Their support can provide invaluable insights and opportunities that can significantly benefit your business.

Be Persistent and Vocal:

Do not hesitate to be persistent about issues critical to your business and sector. Consistency in messaging and advocacy can help align your targets with your objectives. Embrace the role of a "stone in an organization's shoe" to drive important agendas.

Accept and Seek Support:

Collaborate with individuals who possess complementary skill sets and experiences. In today’s complex professional landscape, leaning on others and accepting help can be crucial for career expansion. Building a support network can facilitate your transition into new roles and industries.

Investing in Career Growth

For many professionals, expanding a career beyond public affairs requires a strategic investment in new skills and disciplines. This journey involves a commitment to continuous learning, networking, and advocacy. By embracing the key takeaways from this event, public affairs professionals can successfully navigate new career paths and achieve sustained success.

This event highlighted the dynamic nature of career development and the importance of leveraging diverse skills and networks. By focusing on expanding beyond traditional public affairs roles, professionals can unlock new opportunities and drive their careers forward.

If you're looking for your next step up the career ladder, or are interested in a new opportunity, let's talk. We partner with global and local brands across the public affairs, communications, sustainability, digital marketing and sales sectors, sourcing leading talent to help grow and develop their businesses. Browse our open roles today.

Posted on 04.07.2024

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