When a 75mm pipe bursts at midnight, pumping 20,000 litres of water per minute into your luxury hotel room, you probably aren’t expecting a petite, blonde woman to be the person in charge of getting it fixed.
But Louise McArdle, Senior Facilities Manager at The Bay Hotel is exactly that person. “Some people don’t have a head for crisis situations. I do,” says Louise.
A Woman in Facilities Management
But it makes sense to be surprised that a Facilities Manager would be a woman. According to information provided by the Houston-based International Facility Management Association (IFMA), the overall percentage of women in facilities management sits at approximately 24 percent. While the specific numbers vary from country to country, women are definitely outnumbered in this field. But, women are changing the face of Facilities Management. Louise’s take? “People tell me that I am a lady in a man’s world. But I say, ladies do it better. We are good at multi-tasking. And that is what Facilities Management is all about.”
And multi-tasking goes beyond crisis management. For Louise, it is all about constant attention to detail to prevent crises.
Attention to Detail
Walking with Louise one early morning at The Bay Hotel, she stopped nearly a dozen times in five minutes to flag out specific details for fixing, from smudge marks on a glass door to checking timing with the maintenance crew.
“Should that door be open?” she pointedly asks a nearby staff member, “Can you please go check on that?”
Because of the on-going water crisis, The Bay Hotel is having a new borehole drilled to match its existing well-point which fills the pools. As well, the laundry and boiler room will be updated to be more water wise.
A new recycling centre is in the works and Louise is training staff to be recycling savvy.
New to Hospitality, But Experienced in Facilities
Louise has been in Facilities for ten years, working her way up from Coordinator to Senior Facilities Manager. But her experience has mostly been in big industry, such as massive call centres.
But when she saw the recent job posting at The Bay Hotel, she couldn’t resist. “It has a reputation for being this amazing luxury place.” And her experience in big industry has given her iron will she needs to take on The Bay Hotel.
One major upcoming project is the plumbing updates, which needs to be done without disturbing the guests in any way.
Louise’s role is not only about dealing with contractors and daily maintenance tasks; she is also responsible for dealing with the administration and budgeting. For Louise, it all adds up to make sure The Bay Hotel will always exceed its incredibly high standards for luxury.
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