Women in FM – Paula Tuck – June 2022
The cleaning industry – a workplace that fits all – we talk to our Supervisor, Paula Tuck
Paula Tuck, our supervisor at Zen Internet’s headquarters, has gained her extensive industry experience over 30 years and believes that the cleaning sector is a great place for young women to get training, to develop strong workplace disciplines, to gain confidence and to take on professional responsibilities.
“I have young women coming to work with me from school and university. Cleaning is about ensuring that the facilities are healthy and welcoming for people, and with that comes achieving high professional standards by meeting and exceeding audit targets, working hard to ensure a quality service, and taking personal responsibility for your own area of work.
“They learn these things, they grow and develop and this gives them a solid grounding which can drive ambition. Some have gone on to university, and have continued to work with me throughout their time there, and some have gone on to start their own business.
“I believe that the skills and experience you are able to get from working in the cleaning industry can be so formative that I encouraged my two daughters and granddaughter to work with me too.”
And Paula certainly practices what she preaches by seizing the opportunity to push herself to learn new things in her job. Zen’s state-of-the-art headquarters in Sandbrook Park, an attractive leisure and commercial facility in Rochdale, reflects a pioneering brand that competes in a highly-connected world.
Colleague of the Month
Recently, Paula received an AM Services Group staff award for embracing and using new technology to ensure that client KPIs and vital environmental information are captured electronically. She also learned software systems to support the smooth running of back-of-house systems. Paula says that she has enjoyed the challenge and loves to learn something every day.
It’s not “just” a woman’s job
Research specific to the industry has found that gender-diverse teams make better decisions and are better at complex problem-solving. However, It was also shown that having more female leadership resulted in improved work culture.
According to Paula, the cleaning industry is not only a vital component to ensuring that UK workplaces across all sectors remain productive, it’s also a sector that can work for all with flexibility for people to work around family and caring responsibilities.
“I want to show that it’s not “just” a woman’s job”, explains Paula. “I do have a large number of women in my team but it’s great to have a mix and interesting to see how men and women work with each other in the team and how different skills, and ways of thinking and working, complement each other.
“I’m very proud of them all. They help me and Zen to “shine”. We took a top honour for cleaning excellence in commercial offices at the Loo of The Year Awards this year… while I’ve been working at Zen for 17 years, and have progressed to supervisor during that time, I can say it was one of my proudest moments in my career. My team is fantastic, I have a great relationship with the client, and I couldn’t do it without them.”