Promoting Gender Equality Across the Industry

Unfortunately, the glass ceiling still exists.

In many industries yet, women often hold fewer leadership positions when compared to their male counterparts.

In facilities management, this is strikingly evident: in the U.S., women only account for 25% of facilities manager positions.

To close this gap, young women across sectors need to be encouraged to pursue unconventional careers and leadership positions.

Role models play a large role in this empowerment. The hardships and successes of those who have made progress need to be shared and celebrated to raise awareness of the issues women face. Especially in unconventional fields, how women in leadership positions have progressed and achieved their dreams need to be shared.

The Role of Education

While higher education can be a highly valuable experience and first exposure for women to certain fields, it can also be the place where many women have the first run-ins with prejudice, especially in those areas where they are the vast minority.

This experience can be discouraging for many and lead to career changes because of self-doubt and other imposter syndrome symptoms.

More effort is needed by schools and staff members to ensuring educational spaces are inclusive and unbiased. Associations, scholarships, and recognition for women can help encourage more of a gender balance in classrooms, and training for staff can ensure unconscious biases don’t go unchecked.

The Role of the Workplace

While biases and prejudice can be encountered anywhere, the workplace is often a place of empowerment for women in facilities management.

Gaining first-hand experience can be hugely validating, and work on the job is a chance to prove one’s competence. It is where you discover your strengths and weaknesses, develop professionally, and have the chance to be recognized for your efforts.

The workplace is also a networking space and can connect women new to the field to those who have more experience, facilitating the exchange of experiences and advice and creating a stronger feeling of community and belonging.

Mentorships are a valuable asset that can emerge from these relationships, as they can help open doors within the industry and stimulate personal and professional growth.

The Role of Others

There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to the issue of under-representation.

However, it is clear that efforts need to be made by individuals, organizations, and wider industry cultures in facilities management to make the collaborative and holistic effort necessary for such wide and radical change.

For those already in the field, networks can be used to encourage women to pursue careers in facilities management.

For those in management, ensure that women are acknowledged for their work and represented in leadership roles.

For everyone, creating a dialogue and discussing biases openly and in constructive settings can help create a more inclusive workspace and help everyone achieve their goals.

The Role of Women

For women in the field, be assertive with your needs and experiences, and hold teammates accountable for their responsibilities. By doing so, you are creating a culture where everyone can feel included and valued in today’s workplace.

Confidence is key – you may not be an expert at the start, but knowledge will come with time. It can be daunting to be a woman in facilities management but always remember, you belong and are a valuable asset in this sector.

There are allies all around, so don’t be afraid to reach out to other colleagues for help. And at the end of the day, all you can do is your best.


The modern workplace is constantly evolving, and progress is continually made. No matter who you are or the position you are in, you can be a part of the change. Think about the ways that you can encourage, empower, and support the success of women around you.