Many seasoned facilities management pros retired during the COVID-19 pandemic or plan to soon, causing experts to warn that the industry may be facing a skills gap and worker shortage. Therefore, it’s encouraging to hear that relative newcomers like Liz Bishop enjoy being part of the FM space and are eager to learn.
Bishop has been in the industry for three years, starting at a retailer before taking on her current role as Assistant Facilities Manager for tech company Bazaarvoice.
“I have held this position for over a year now and am loving every minute of it,” she told Facilities Management Advisor.
Based in Austin, Texas, Bazaarvoice assists retailers with product sampling and reviews. In her current role, Bishop helps oversee all eight of the company’s offices globally.
“I assist in managing our contracts and leases for our worldwide company,” she explained. “I helped to build a strong front desk team that I am very proud of. The three women we have now are some of the best admins I have worked with. We work with subtenants, brokers, and real estate deals. I manage our various vendors with the help of our front desk staff. We manage our space management with the use of [third-party software].”
Bishop’s efforts recently won her a Star Award at Bazaarvoice for great teamwork. She is also a proud member of IFMA and advocacy group Women in Facilities Management.
To learn more about Bishop, please read her “Faces of Facilities” interview below:
How did you get your start in the field?
It started when I owned an HVAC company with my ex-husband for six years in California, where I learned about contracts, proposals, and OSHA regulations. My first actual facilities position was with a retail company as a team lead before joining Bazaarvoice.
Who is/was your biggest influence in the industry, and why?
My biggest influence in this industry is my current manager, Chris Bowen. Chris has been the first manager in this field to actually take me under her wings and teach all that she can. She grants me the time to continue my education, as I am currently working on my FMP certification.
What’s your best mistake, and what did you learn from it?
I worked with a horrible manager for over a year and almost allowed that experience to make me walk away from the field of facilities. It taught me the importance of good leadership.
What are some of the biggest FM issues at your organization? Are there any unique challenges compared to some other organizations?
For a while there, one of our biggest issues was lack of personnel, but now we have a full team and things are great. I think one challenge is the amount of contracts and leases that are involved in a company like Bazaarvoice, whereas my past job was mostly hands-on work.
What’s your favorite part about working in the industry?
My favorite part is that every day is something different. Never the same day twice.
What changes would you like to see in the FM industry?
The FM industry is very male dominated. I would love to see more women in the industry.
How can company leaders make facilities management a value within their organization?
By understanding how much facilities management really touches everything from the building to finance to IT.
Where do you see the industry heading in five years? Are you noticing any major trends?
With the way the world is today, who knows where we will be in five years? We are living in a COVID world, and things are changing daily. The biggest trend is more people working remote.
What are you most proud of?
I am most proud of how much I have learned and grown in my current position.
Do you have any advice for people entering the profession?
Join the FM world—it is far more than what you may think it is!
Anything else you’d like to add?
IFMA has been a great organization to make contacts with vendors and fellow FM professionals. I would highly recommended new FM professionals join.
Are you or a colleague an FM professional interested in being profiled for the “Faces of Facilities” series? Please contact Editor Joe Bebon at JBebon@BLR.com