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Women in FM: 5 mins with… Lizzie Neave

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

I am the group marketing and communications director at Churchill. Every day is different and I have a wide variety of responsibilities. I am accountable for the development and creation of Churchill Group brands, the evolution of the Churchill Group brand, as well as engaging my team on internal projects and everything in between.

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

I started in FM when I joined Mitie in 2009, initially knowing nothing about the facilities management industry. I was attracted to Mitie as it was a large company listed on the FTSE250 and thought there would be lots of opportunity to develop. I quickly realised FM is an extremely varied industry to work in and that no day is ever the same, an aspect I really liked and continue to enjoy.

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

I really enjoy working with so many different people and personalities, all contributing to a wide range of projects. I love the variety and forward-thinking nature of Churchill – we never stand still and are always able to harness ideas and turn them into a viable offering. By working with Churchill, I’ve discovered new things about myself, particularly around my own passions for seeing people thrive. Whether it’s within our organisation or the communities we work with, it’s through social value and engagement projects that we can really see individuals flourish, further shaping the people at Churchill Group into who they are.

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

From my 13 years within the FM industry, I can honestly say that gender has never been an issue for me. As an industry, facilities management is very good at celebrating gender diversity, with both my FM roles always having senior female colleagues to look up to.

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

I think there will be a lot more focus on attracting new talent to FM and building on the successful young leader platforms that already exist. Additionally, with the pandemic accelerating the rise of digitisation, companies are having to re-invent themselves for the new generations of workforce and create different types of roles. Hybrid working solutions and flexible spaces are undoubtedly going to be even more prevalent, making fast-tracked thinking essential in keeping FM providers relevant. I also think the wellbeing agenda will continue, with organisations continuing to better understand the needs of tomorrow’s workforce and workplace.