Celebrating our fantastic women in FM
Our AM Services Group Women in FM
As a business we believe in enabling our employees to use their unique differences in thought, behaviour, skills and knowledge as we attract and retain talented staff who help to drive us forward and to expand and grow. Gender diversity is important to us in drawing in a variety of different experiences, viewpoints, ideas and insights, in attracting and retaining talented women for key roles, and in allowing us to serve an increasingly diverse customer base in FM. We believe in supporting our employees to carve an attractive career path in FM and that women bring critical skills to support the developing future workplace.
We hope you will enjoy reading about some of our AM Services Group women in FM in our newsletters, hearing more about what they do, how they came to be in FM, how they are developing with the company, their experiences as a woman in FM and some of the opportunities and challenges they may face.
We start by talking to Deborah Mudd, who is our Group Mobilisation and Support Manager:
Where it all started
I’ve been working with AM Services Group for 13 years now. When I started I was an area supervisor for cleaning. I got into cleaning working at the house of a wealthy neighbour in Knaresborough. I had hands-on experience and wanted to use this to forge a career.
My first role with AM Services Group was managing the cleaning contract for high street retailers Next in Sheffield, Rotherham and Leeds and then for two casinos in Nottingham and Leeds. After a few years, the business grew and restructured and required me to move over to Manchester where I was covering a wide area as a key account manager, looking after sites from Hartlepool and Hull down to Nottingham and across to North Wales and Ellesmere Port. I did this for just over nine years.
My career development
As my experience expanded, I developed into a technical support role, where I managed four major sites and began facilitating the mobilisation of new contracts, supporting and eventually handing over to the new account managers. My responsibilities were extensive in managing and meeting project deadlines, budgets, KPIs and audits, recruiting, managing and training and developing staff, allocating shifts and covering staffing, arranging TUPE transfers and onboarding, and supplying uniforms and equipment, and so on.
As my role has continued to grow, I have recently taken on the title of Mobilisation and Support Manager. My job is now an even split between contract management, for some sizeable and prestigious accounts such as DB Santasalo, Zen Internet and Prospect and Hildreds Shopping Centres, and I am also responsible for mobilisation and troubleshooting at a variety of other sites.
If there are any issues on a site, whatever that may be, I can be called upon to go in, look at the situation from the outside, ask the right questions, take an impartial view and ensure that things are put right, that they’re running smoothly again and that everyone is happy. I’m also heavily involved with security side of our business too now, which I very much enjoy.
What makes me good at my job
I think that, coming from the coalface of the job, has given me a strong awareness and empathy. I understand how my actions affect those around me and also have a good understanding of my own and other people’s strengths and weaknesses. I can set realistic expectations and goals, delegate responsibilities and enable other people to understand how important they are to the success of their team, our client and to our business. I can see things from other people’s perspective and give guidance and constructive feedback.
One important quality that helps me to be successful in my job is strong social and communication skills. It’s important to be able to build strong relationships with all different types of people, to establish and maintain trust and to keep good lines of communication open.
Empathy and social skills certainly support company culture, and encourage loyalty which directly impacts efficiency, turnover and retention, and productivity and we pride ourselves on rarely losing contracts and certainly not on poor performance.
What I find challenging
One thing that I do find challenging is the external lack of understanding that is often given to the importance of the cleaning staff’s role. They are so important to keeping our environment clean, fresh and safe and turn out willingly, often in difficult circumstances -especially during Covid-19.
What drives me
It’s never phased me to work in what has traditionally been perceived as a predominantly male FM industry. I feel, as a woman, that my presence can often positively change the dynamics on a site and make it feel more supportive and relaxed. I am confident and strong and would encourage other women who are confident, flexible, resilient, have great people skills and who are up for a challenge to get involved. Our effective self-management makes us particularly suited to FM. We can assess our actions objectively, think critically, deal effectively with the smaller problems before they become critical issues and take control of a situation.
I love my job, I love the fact that two days are never the same, and I genuinely care. Over 13 years, I feel I’ve learned so much and have given so much, and together we’ve accomplished so much with a dynamic and developing business.