Geetha Shanmugam, Senior Manager – Client Relations, Ejadah
From a very young age, Geetha was always fascinated by the fact of how some buildings last for decades. And this opened her mind to the science & management practices that go behind extending the life of the buildings. Interestingly, her first job was also at a FM and a space management company. It has been 18 years since then, and Geetha’s passion for the built asset has only grown, and her drive to do more has paved her way into the built environment of the UAE.
Among the many proud moments, Geetha recollects the time when she was responsible for the service delivery of a healthcare provider in the UAE. Once there was a small fire in one of the units that triggered the sprinkler unit inside. Although this managed to extinguish the fire, the risk of the flood was high. We had a good emergency response plan in place that allowed my team, and I to reach the venue in time and secure the medical equipment. This allowed us not only to save the millions of dirhams' worth of equipment but also to make the clinic functional by the next day without disrupting the services. This also led my team to win a global award from the parent company in the UK.
Barriers in Female Leadership
According to Geetha, the barriers are more of a mental than a physical one. “I have been fortunate enough to work in a forward-thinking institution like Ejadah, where equality, diversity, and gender balance are not just buzz words but it is lived every day,” she added.
“Fear not, as the built environment is not just a man’s world. There is enough for everyone to deliver and innovate. Wearing a hard hat, with safety gear and comfortable shoes is what you need to go out there and do your job. Women, who want to enter this industry, have to be passionate and strong-willed, and the rest will just follow.”