Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 11 No 3 Contents 70
FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 11 NUMBER 3
| DIVERSITY IN FM
DIVERSITY IN FM PROFILE
Name: Debbie Bond
Job title: Owner
Organisation: Bond Creative Content
Key responsibilities: After nine years
working in business development for
major Australian facilities companies, I
have recently launched my own consulting
business providing short-term marketing
and tender writing services, focused on the
FM and property industries.
What attracted you to the facilities
I must admit, I think I really fell into it, rather
than actively choosing FM. I was lucky
enough to receive two job offers within
weeks of arriving from the United Kingdom.
I came from the building industry, so one
offer was from that sector, and the other
was from a female leader in FM. When she
counteroffered to get me on board, I thought,
‘Wow, she is really backing me and I have no
experience in this industry – I feel like I am
going to be really well supported if I choose
FM’. I have never looked back.
What is the best thing about working
in the FM industry?
The range of opportunities is huge. In my first
year in FM, I worked on multimillion-dollar
public-private partnership projects; worked
through the night with a big team for a tender
deadline; travelled to four major cities; and
spent two weeks running the mobilisation of
a remote mining camp! What other industry
gives you that range of working environments
and range of skills?
Do you have any concerns about
diversity in the FM industry?
The strongest and most determined women
I know work in FM and are successful, so
I don’t actually think that diversity in terms
of gender is a major issue, though more
representation at a senior level in the larger
organisations would balance decision-
making. What I do see, though, is a lack of
younger people choosing FM as a career.
Our industry has a lot of mature, experienced
professionals, so we all have a responsibility
to bring the next generation up.
How do you think the FM industry
could improve its diversity?
I was lucky enough to attend the European
Facility Management Conference (EFMC)
for the last two years in Europe, and I met a
number of young students doing FM degrees.
What surprised me was their choice to
study FM over core subjects like hospitality
(which was my degree!). When questioned
about it, their response was that FM was a
broader career opportunity, and the women
felt it matched their skill set. This is what is
lacking in Australia; we haven’t developed
that culture yet, or really targeted the student
Despite low representation, the
number of women in FM has been
steadily increasing over the years.
What do you believe is the reason for
The new role of FM is about creating
partnerships and being a trusted provider
that comes up with solutions, rather than a
reactive, traditionally back-office role. That’s
a huge step forward, and is an exciting
change. I feel that women are well suited to
deliver that change; we are good at listening
and being empathetic to people’s needs,
and then building a relationship based on
trust. Both sexes can manage the technical
side, but I think that the changing role of
FM is opening it up to a more gender-
In addition, having worked alongside a
number of women in the FM industry, the
one overriding strength I see is support and
encouragement – I’ve never experienced
it in any other industry. When I started my
business, my first few opportunities came
from other women in the industry reaching
out to me. It could be because of the size of
the talent pool, or the industry traditions that
we face, but the women in FM have strong
rapport, and years later, we still all look out
for each other, and encourage development
and promotion. Who wouldn’t want to be a
part of that?
What advice do you wish you had
when you first started, and what
advice would you give to other women
interested in joining the industry?
I think I saw FM as a job-based industry
rather than a career-based industry, which
was wrong, as I have achieved my long-term
ambition because of FM. Perhaps I may
have progressed faster if I had been more
aggressive in my pursuits, or had set a path to
follow, rather than fumbling my way through!
I think having a strong mentor who had
achieved what I wanted would have sent me
down the right path earlier on. That would be
my advice now: use your network, and
associations like the FMA, to find someone in
the industry who has achieved what you
want, and follow their guidance.
Links Archive Vol 11 No 2 Vol 11 No 4 Navigation Previous Page Next Page