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Women in FM: Avoiding Feeling Stagnant In Your Career

Women are looking to develop professionally in order to feeling pigeonholed in their careers

There are many stereotypes that surround being a woman in the workforce: how they should look, act, talk. The list goes on and on. These negative stereotypes reinforce the idea that women can only be one thing instead of someone with multiple talents and skill sets. This mindset can potentially pigeonhole women to a certain level in their careers, which can potentially instill a negative mindset about the workplace.

These days, women are striving to avoid feeling stagnant in their careers. Whether it be with facilities management or other industries, women are looking to develop themselves professionally.

“A dear friend of mine once said to me that one of the ways to thrive in this [facilities management] industry is to know just enough about a lot of different things,” says Danielle J. Floyd, director of public works for Delaware County in Pennsylvania. “I’ve carried that forward with a lot of the things that I’ve done. I rely on my colleagues, who I look at as subject matter experts, to define a program and define their needs and be able to engage in conversations about how we can provide better services than what we do now. It’s very much a team effort.”

Being collaborative is a must-have skill when it comes to growing yourself professionally. Being able to work well with one another and engage with team members and colleagues helps bolster the work environment and creates a productive space. These are the people who are experiencing the same challenges as you and are able to help you navigate what you are going through. These are the people that you are going to rely on when things get hard.

Networking and collaborating with others can help develop a solution faster. There is nothing scarier than doing something challenging for the first time. Knowing that others in the industry have experiences the same things that you do can make the job feel less daunting at times.

“I get to learn what challenges other facilities managers are facing and I get to offer what my thoughts are,” says Alishia Jolivette Webber, executive officer - facilities, maintenance and operations, Houston ISD. “Maybe we have an experience that was similar here in Houston. By listening to them and understanding what some of those issues are, it makes me think ‘why don’t you do it this way.’ Active listening helps me make my plan and come up with solutions.”

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Career & Staff Development