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Women in FM: 5 mins with… Nadia Williams

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

My role is business support manager for the London region. I lead the Business Support Team, which aims to be the font of all knowledge, and deliver an efficient service to our wider operational team, including internal and external visitors. I am responsible for all back-office functions. It means I have to understand the creation and implementation of all processes and ensure they are suitable for our region and the business as a whole. I am also responsible for creating Key Performance Indicators and financial and support on client reports. In addition, I provide assistance in setting up new contracts and support the operational team in inducting new colleagues.

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

I fell into FM about 10 years ago when I was encouraged to join a team after finishing university. I started out as helpdesk administrator and worked my way up as office manager, team leader and planned and preventative maintenance manager. I enjoy the industry’s variety, as it offers the opportunity to change direction at any time.

I trained as a triple jumper and competed internationally for Great Britain and England until 2015, while predominantly working in FM at the same time. Juggling the two roles was challenging but always exciting and the skills were transferable. My sporting competitiveness drove me to always do well at work and I incorporate the focus, structure and organisation needed in sport into my working days.

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

I appreciate how ever changing our roles are, how quickly the industry changes and adapts. I have experience in a lot of areas – from building maintenance, to finances, health and safety, communication and relationship building, HR processing and cleaning. There is always something new to learn in this industry in addition to standard training and development courses.

I have also made long-term friendships and met people from all walks of life, as this is an industry where everyone comes together to achieve a goal and no one complains about rolling up their sleeves to complete a task.

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

FM is a platform everyone can use to propel themselves onward and I have found myself surrounded by great men and women. My management mentors have mostly been male but they have wanted women to do well and be part of a diverse team culture. I do not feel there is a divide between the sexes In the London region – there is a family vibe and lot of banter. Increasingly there is a feeling women are coming together to encourage others and, now that our voices are being heard, that can only lead to great things.

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

Due to the nature of the FM industry, there will always be a place for us in the market, even if one division dominates for a while. Over the last 18 months there has been an enhanced appreciation for cleaning and our environment and we must continue to expand our impressive regimes around workplace hygiene even when pandemic restrictions end.

The pandemic has also focused our attention on everyone’s health and wellbeing and, collectively, we must ensure that shoulders are offered, voices are heard, time is given, action is taken and that individuals feel their problem shared has really been a problem halved. In my opinion, the pandemic has encouraged people to speak up and minimised embarrassment around behaviour and feelings which are normal to us all.