A recent survey from the BIFM’s Women in FM group revealed that women are under-represented in the FM media, with 40 per cent of respondents not even wanting to be featured in the FM trade press. To help to resolve this issue, the WIFM committee brought together the editors of three of the leading FM magazines – Martin Read from FM World, Charlie Kortens from FMJ and Simon Iatrou from i-FM – together with PR expert Cathy Hayward, Magenta’s own MD, and former editor of FM World and FMJ, at an event at Channel 4 on 25 February.
None of the editors deliberately discriminated against women, but they claimed that senior leaders in the sector are usually male, so it was inevitable that it would be these people who articles were written about, and attributed to. Blame was also laid at the door of female FMs themselves who sometimes lack the confidence, time or inclination to come forward and grab some press attention. Even when they do, the individuals are often too quick to thank their team and not give themselves the true credit, added Julie Kortens, BIFM chairman, sitting in the audience. The editors also called on PR professionals to work harder to encourage women from within their client organisations to promote themselves.
Being featured in the industry press is just one way of boosting your personal profile. Cathy talked about the many other ways FMs can carve out a personal brand including networking at any of the numerous industry events on offer; volunteering for one of the many industry and institute groups; hosting events at your premises; putting yourself forward to speak on panels and at events; and submitting an award for an individual, team or project you’ve been involved in. “Cultivating and managing your personal brand is an important way of furthering your career, whether you’re in a junior role and want to move up or have years of experience under your belt and want the recognition, responsibility and remuneration that you deserve,” she concluded.
Magenta has written a guide to boosting your personal brand. To download a copy click here.