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Women in FM: 5 mins with… Jodie Phillips-Turner

What is your role at Churchill and what does it involve day to day?

I have just been promoted to head of business support and projects, London. For the last 2 years I have held the position of mobilisation manager and the new role is a progression of the fantastic work our team have delivered through mobilisations. My day to day will now consist of leading the London support function as well as managing mobilisations and other exciting projects.

My role within mobilisations is to manage the complete process from start to finish. I take pride in my responsibility to ensure the right people are involved, actions are ticked off, and our clients are kept informed.

Mobilisations are like a jigsaw puzzle – it’s my role to ensure all functions of our business are aligned for a seamless mobilisation. Working closely with our internal and external support teams ensures everyone has delivered on their promises and helps me provide accurate updates to our clients, build good relationships across the wider business, and deliver the perfect service.

How did you find your way into FM? (Tell us a bit about your background)

I began my journey into FM as an apprentice at the age of 18. This was my first role from college, with my apprenticeship predominantly focussed on administration within hard services. From there, I continued my apprenticeship from one year to three years, going on to win the national apprenticeship award, an achievement I’m really proud of.

I stayed within my previous company for seven years, gaining experience between numerous sectors, until I progressed to a managerial role. Through my extensive network, connections and industry insight my career journey led me to Churchill to take up the role as mobilisation manager. This role has benefited from all my past experiences, pulling out pieces of knowledge from the different departments I have been lucky to be part of. I have benefited immensely from joining Churchill, learning so much from the fantastic people within this company, a shared ethos for getting it right first time and always pushing boundaries to do the right thing.

What is your favourite thing about your job/the industry?

My favourite thing about my job is watching a plan come together. Seeing the achievement at the end of a mobilisation or project when you have worked so hard with your team and your clients is really empowering. I am also very passionate about the business and work hard to ensure all of our new colleagues who are being welcomed into the Churchill team are as excited as we are about them joining our business, so being able to adapt the onboarding process to suit that culture of the contracts is very exciting!

The effort Churchill puts in to making sure that new colleagues are engaged and feel part of something bigger is great. If I’m honest, I like most aspects of my job. The only downside is how quickly time flies when managing deadlines, but like they say time flies when you’re having fun!

As a woman in FM, what are your biggest frustrations?

FM has historically been a very male dominated industry and therefore being a woman, I could have found this quite intimidating.

When I joined the industry, I was 18. There were a lot of men in senior roles, and not so many women which was something I recognised quite early on. However, as times progressed, through working more in the industry and networking, I have noticed that it was no longer the case and I am proud to work alongside so many empowered motivated women.

Personally, I have never had a negative experience being a woman in this industry and have worked for both men and women. Of course, everyone can play their part in ensuring everyone in the room feels empowered to use their voice and has an ally when they do so. That’s why I feel it’s important to keep talking about it and recognising our achievements.

What are your key predictions for/the biggest issues facing the FM market over the next year?

The recovery of Covid-19 will be a fundamental topic for the foreseeable future and one we will all be working on together to get right. The wellbeing of our teams and clients has always been our priority and will remain a key focus as working environments change and individuals are gradually returning to offices.

As an FM industry, it’s vital we make sure our clients and colleagues are going back to work feeling confident and it’s our responsibility to ensure we are putting the tools and training in place to do this.

Advancements in technology will also play a huge part in our industry over the next few years. We are learning so much more through the utilisation of technology already – picking up trends that increase our productivity and using online platforms to communicate gives us a deeper understanding of hygiene and, as this continues to develop, it will really strengthen our industry and shine it in the light it so rightly deserves.