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17 January 2019
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My four years with the Risings and the women who made it inspirational 

2 March 2015  

I can still remember the call from Sam Bowman in March 2011 enquiring if I would be interested in coming along to a couple of the Risings committee sessions, blogs Andrew Hulbert.


For those who know Sam, when I say call, I mean a tough 30-minute phone interview, whereby I questioned my own credentials, as she looked to build a meaningful committee and weed out the time-wasters. 

Countless committee members, dozens of events, masses of meetings, four careers days, three chairpersons, two SIG of the year awards and a ‘highly commended’ BIFM recognition award later and my time with the Risings has come to an end.

It’s been a fantastic experience.

The team made significant progress over the past four years and my personal highlights/involvements have included:

  • The pioneering engagements at schools, academies, colleges and sixth forms as we developed and exploited the ‘Inspiring The Future’ programme to devastating effect – as well as delivering formal lectures on the FM Industry to Kingston University undergraduate students and UCL postgraduate students. 
  • Being part of the original team that created, developed and delivered the careers day from scratch – an event that I have worked on every year since, and one that is now integrated into the BIFM AGM. 
  •  Gaining recognition as one of the leading advocates of promoting FM as a career of choice alongside the development of the BIFM training levels 2-7. Leading the way around training and development.

All this formal work sounds great, but when I look back all of it is dwarfed by the inspirational people (but most notably women) that I’ve had the pleasure of working alongside and learning from. From Sam Bowman, Claire Akin and Sajna Rahman, all of whom showed great leadership and passion in their senior roles, to Tanya Brick, Mary O’Connor and Pleun van Deurssen, who have all shown unbelievable levels of dedication as part of their volunteering. Sam, Claire, Tanya and Sajna have, of course, all been recognised for their work via the BIFM volunteer awards – each thoroughly deserved.


As the success of Pareto Facilities Management puts greater pressures on my time, hence my decision to step down, I have reflected on the positives of being involved in such a committee. My advice to anyone is get involved. Not only do you have the opportunity to shape the industry, but you also get to work alongside some of the most inspirational people within it. This is not just ‘networking’; this is building meaningful relationships that will no doubt be of specific use one day, whether personally or commercially. 

We all have a responsibility to play our part in the continuous development of the FM sector and now is a great time to do so. Become a thought leader and use your skills to shape the future.


See http://www.bifm.org.uk/bifm/groups/sigs/rising


See http://www.inspiringthefuture.org/


Andrew Hulbert MSc CBIFM, managing director