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Women in facility management

Women in facility management Photo

EQUALITY AND DIVERSITY IN FACILITY MANAGEMENT — While organizations are actively trying to recruit women into facility management roles women still only constitute 22 percent of facility management professionals on average, but why is that?

In previous years we’ve discussed women in tech and the gender pay gap, but for this year’s Women’s History Month we wanted to take a look at the role of women in facility management.

What does the gender spread look like in FM?

The gender spread in facility management has changed a lot over the last decade, and according to IFMA, today women constitute 22 percent of facility management professionals on average with some regions having more or less women FMs.

What does the gender spread look like in FM?

10 quick facts about women in FM

  1. The average woman in FM is 45 years old (IFMA)
  2. Women in facility management are younger than their male counterparts (facilitiesnet.com)
  3. About one third of entry-level roles in facility management are filled by women (IFMA)
  4. Only fifteen percent are left when they make it up to senior-level positions (IFMA)
  5. From 2010 to 2023 the percentage of women in FM only increased by 1% (facilitiesnet.com)
  6. Women in senior-level FM positions receive a significantly higher pay than their male counterparts (IFMA)
  7. Women find jobs faster at every job level in facility management (IFMA)
  8. Women in facility management have a longer tenure than their male counterparts (IFMA)
  9. Women in facility management are generally more pleased with their compensation level and benefits than their male counterparts (IFMA)
  10. On average, women in facility management have a shorter time between promotions than men (IFMA)

Women in facility management are leaving instead of advancing

While all evidence points towards the conclusion that organizations are actively trying to recruit and retain, it’s still evident that women are leaving the facility management workforce — the percentage of women drops from 31% to 15% between entry-level and senior-level positions.[1]

Women are leaving FM instead of advancing

The primary reasons for this decline, that a lot of experts seem to point out, is that 1) a lot of people don’t know what facility management actually is, 2) there’s a general misconception that you need to have a technical background to work in facility management, and 3) representation matters, which means the low amount of women who currently work in facility management doesn’t help get more women interested in a career in facility management.

Why companies should want more women in facility management

When asking questions like why an organization should want more women in their ranks there’s a tendency to quote studies that find that the Fortune 500 companies with a higher percentage of women outpace their less diverse competitors financially, but financial benefits aren’t necessarily the primary reason you should want more women on your FM team.

A study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership found that generally there are benefits to having more women in management positions. And that employees in workplaces with more women tended to feel more dedication towards their organization and found their work more meaningful.[2]


[1] https://blog.ifma.org/women-in-fm-trends-in-the-workplace
[2] https://www.ccl.org/articles/leading-effectively-articles/7-reasons-want-women-workplace/

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