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IWFM boosts EDI commitment

Beyond Buzzwords, published by The Young Foundation on 7 March, underlined the economic and social benefits that equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) can bring, while noting substantial barriers to progress. The report confirmed the critical role that professional bodies like the Institute of Workplace and Facilities Management (IWFM) can play in bringing about the ‘systematic’ change needed to reap these widespread benefits.

IWFM publicly committed to EDI in 2021 and says since then it has got involved to understand how it could make the most impact. Adding it believes a “diverse and inclusive workplace and facilities profession (WFM) – as a lynchpin profession in organisations – can be a powerhouse of progressiveness”.

Yet compared to the other professions in the survey, the Institute says the FM specific findings make “uncomfortable reading”. The report and the sector case study data give a stark warning of the consequences for this community of not acting – aggravating an already chronic skills crisis.

People in FM experience more severe discrimination and exclusion. More FMs change jobs, take career breaks, choose self-employment, experience mental health issues and turn down professional opportunities. They are more likely to exit FM because of issues related to EDI. The report also found that within marginalised groups, professionals disagree on the state of EDI progress, at best hampering progression.

IWFM CEO, Linda Hausmanis said: “The only way to guarantee that the workplace and facilities profession can attract and retain the best possible talent is ensure that equal opportunity exists for all those who may want to enter, or are already in, FM and to celebrate their differences so they may thrive.

“Professional bodies hold a key lever for positive action and lasting change. They set the standards of what it means to be a professional. They have the capacity to ‘raise the bar’ for what it means to be a professional, in relation to the values of equality, diversity and inclusion.”

Committing IWFM to adopt – or further progress – all of the Young Foundation recommendations for professional bodies, Hausmanis continued: “They are our blueprint for how we drive change in the short, medium, and longer term across our themes of leadership and governance, IWFM team, membership and professions.

“We can only control what is within our sphere of influence, but through our members, our ambition is to make a difference in the world they operate and influence.”

In an updated EDI Public Statement published today (21 March), IWFM has pledged to:

  • Put EDI at the heart of professional life through updated codes of ethics/conduct, reviewing professional standards and reframing EDI as non-negotiable.
  • Foreground EDI in upskilling and reskilling, including the accreditation based on core competencies around EDI.
  • Create opportunities for professionals to shape EDI in their organisation, such as forming working groups and building accountability though feedback and communication.
  • Ensure all strategies, policies, procedures and practices are approached with an EDI lens, continuously monitoring progress.

A high-level action plan has been informed by the EDI Focus Group and approved by the Board, who will review progress on a regular basis. IWFM will engage on a regular basis with its membership to communicate the progress it has made in this area.

FM Tech Survey 2024 

Service Works Global (SWG) is conducting research in partnership with FMJ, to find out how you are using technology in your role through a short survey.

Whatever your FM role, your responses will help to provide analysis and insight into the use of technology, as the FM industry rises to meet the challenges of sustainability, new ways of working and data-driven decision making. This will enable FMs to gain insight into future trends to stay ahead of the curve, and be able to benchmark against the industry as a whole.

The anonymised results will be published so that you can see how you compare to others within the sector.

The survey should take just 5-10 minutes of your time, and as a thank you, participants will be entered into a prize draw where one lucky winner will be picked at random to receive an iPad 10th Generation worth £499.

To take part click here.

About Sarah OBeirne

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