In celebration of International Women’s Day, we are looking at how women in Hard FM can be a catalyst for more diversity in the maintenance industry. We are pleased to introduce Lauren, our Compliance Supervisor, as she shares her experience of working in a largely male field, along with her advice to women considering a career in Hard FM.
As the Compliance Supervisor I am in control of all of the statutory documents that are required by law. On a day to day basis I monitor our eLogbook accounts, as well as the unique CAFM system’s provided by clients, checking that all paperwork has been completed and filed correctly. This helps to ensure that all equipment in a client’s building is compliant. I am also in charge of making sure we comply and exceed our KPIs, flagging up any issues which may arise. A lot of the time the role can also involve speaking to FMs, assisting with anything they may need advice or further information on.
How would you describe the importance of your role, along with the importance of having a dedicated Compliance function?
At Hemlow, Compliance is something which we have taken a unique approach to. Many companies tend to look at Compliance from a Helpdesk perspective and not a dedicated function. Our dedicated Hemlow Compliance team is something which is relatively new to the industry. By providing a dedicated function we are able to deliver a client focused team, ensuring them that we are taking Compliance seriously. A reason for this unique role is the fact that clients want to see reporting in real time, therefore ensuring our teams and supply chain provide documentation in a timely manner. This means that information is readily available to the client. A primary reason for maintenance is to provide compliance with legislative requirements so it is very important that all areas are covered and that lines of communication are always open.
Please describe your career path?
My career background has always been largely in service. Initially, I worked on a Helpdesk at Wincor Nixdorf on the mechanical side, however they moved their operations to Germany and so that was that! I then moved to WestWay, where I worked for 5 years, before moving over to Hemlow!
What has your experience been like as a woman in a largely male field?
Generally, I have found that in this industry you have to be assertive. A lot of the time it is perceived that women often don’t know what they are talking about, particularly when it comes to maintenance. However, it is important to have confidence in yourself, and believe that you can always achieve your goals.
At Hemlow, the routes of progression for women throughout the company, including myself, have been far clearer. A lot of managerial roles at Hemlow, including Contract Managers are women, and this is great to see in our industry. As a privately owned, progressive company, Hemlow are always happy for you to implement your own ideas, allowing for progression.
What advice would you give to other women considering a career in Hard FM?
My advice to other women would be to just be yourself! Be confident in your own abilities, as there is no one to tell you that you aren’t capable or that you can’t do it. Don’t be afraid to say what you think as it is always important for your voice to be heard!