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Women in FM: 5 mins with… Karen Magor


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

I am responsible for the IT and digital transformation programme here at Churchill, overlooking a team of fifteen IT professionals, with four working directly with me on Mo:dus. We are two years through a five-year plan to create and integrate digital workflows into Churchill, helping to make operational processes more transparent and efficient. I and the Mo:dus team spend our time planning the next functionality to be created. We do this through discovery sessions, process mapping, and scheduling. This helps us create and plan rollouts of modules previously built, further supporting and improving parts of the system already in use.

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

My background is mainly IT within the construction industry, and when I joined Churchill I was new to facilities management. Previously, I’ve worked at some of the biggest construction companies in the world, where a business project might take a year and millions of pounds just to tender. It was quite a different environment – everything was done at a much slower pace, with the IT requirements for building design and planning very demanding, as well as needing to be globally networked.

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

It’s been really interesting to learn about FM and bring innovation into areas which initially didn’t have much. There are so many ways we can make a difference to operations teams that are using paperwork and long-winded admin processes, which makes the role really exciting. We have created a digital recruitment process which will eliminate lost documents and incorrect employee details, as well as creating a transparent workflow so everyone can see what’s been done and by who.  One of our next steps will be to improve communication tools across the entire workforce, enabling us to interact better with our operational teams.

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

I don’t really feel that being a woman has held me back in FM. Churchill provides a very level playing field for women – if you know what you want and work hard to deliver on what’s expected of you, anything is achievable.

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

Like every other business, this industry has to make sure it is ready for the post-Covid world, providing the services required for a changing workplace. This is about anticipating our clients’ new needs, finding ways of offering new services, and then presenting them to the market at the right time. There are plenty of opportunities for us, from offering additional services as people return to the workplace to reacting to demands in additional standards of hygiene and cleanliness. Although it’s been a really tough year for all of us, we should be grateful we’re part of an industry that’ll be growing stronger and more in demand after the pandemic. I for one am really glad to be part of the FM journey and am excited to see where we’re going next.

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