Women in FM

Ask An Expert: Women in Leadership

Ask an Expert in April focuses on women in leadership, particularly from the perspective of what organizations can do to help advance women into leadership positions in their organization.

During April, Joanne Cleaver, president of Wilson-Taylor Associates, a consulting firm focused on advancing women in business, will be available to answer your questions on this topic. Please submit your questions below.

This Ask An Expert segment is a continuation of Building Operating Management's April cover story, "Women in FM: How women are reaching leadership roles and how companies can help."

» Click here to reply to submit your questions 

4 Replies

  • Hi,


    My name is Martha Silva and i have two question:

    How is it that a woman does succeed in a man´s world?

    As a woman, how can you fight agains social stereotypes?


    Im FM for JLL in mexico city and sometimes it´s hard to being a woman in a man´s world.



  • In reply to martha.silva:

    Answers posted on behalf of Joanne Cleaver, president of Wilson-Taylor Associates, in response to the questions above.

    How is it that a woman does succeed in a man´s world?

    It HAS been a man’s world, but is quickly evolving to become EVERYONE’s world, as gender and generational priorities start to shape workplace culture. But in any world, it is essential to identify your own definition of success, both professionally and personally. For me, it was enlightening to realize that I should work WITH my natural capabilities and preferences, instead of always trying to backfill what I am not naturally as good at. I’m good at communicating, project management and ‘connecting the dots.’ I’m not good at arithmetic….so I hired two contractors for whom ‘spreadsheet’ is a native language. That frees me up to be my best at what I’m naturally best at. Realizations like this can help you define success on your own terms, and then pursue and win assignments that make you even better at what you are already good at.

    As a woman, how can you fight against social stereotypes?

    It’s wearisome to always feel that you are correcting people’s impressions of who you are and what you are good at.And for women, it often feels that every conversation has the potential for misunderstanding in both what you say and how you say it. One way to stay the course might be to form a peer networking group of other women at the same level. If you have strong relationships with a small group of women who are committed to mutual success, you can give each other honest feedback on communication style, personal presentation style, leadership goals and such. You might even consider pooling resources to have a private workshop with, say, a sales coach or other consultant who can give you all help with a commonly held issue.

  • In reply to Naomi Millán:

    After being in the FM world for 34 years, to me, the trend for acceptance depends on where you work more than what you know. The more rural south, the worse it is.... just my opinion

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