Scentre Group

02 December 2022

Why a services background is perfect for our Facilities team

Our Facilities Team manage our complex building systems to maintain ideal conditions for our customers, business partners and people in our Westfield Living Centres.

In the past our Facilities team ‘did the doing’ but today, our people are responsible for managing our assets end to end, calling on expert technical support as required and using data and analytics to make tangible progress towards our net zero target. This is industry best practice, and it requires diversity of skills and people.

Hiba Jomaa, Assistant Facilities Manager at Westfield Eastgardens, joined our Facilities team with zero trade experience and tells us about her transition from Services to Facilities.

Hiba Jomaa

Prior to Scentre Group I was an Operations Manager with a large retailer. I loved it but joined Scentre Group as Services Supervisor at Westfield Bondi Junction looking for career progression.

I loved being in our Westfield Living Centres but I saw the work the Facilities Manager did and I knew that’s what I really wanted to do.

I was open with my manager about wanting to move into Facilities but without any trade experience, initially there were questions about whether I had the skills needed for the role. My manager was a big advocate, and the business supported my move to Westfield Parramatta as the Facilities Coordinator.

While I lacked trade experience, my services background set me up perfectly for the facilities role. A lot of our time is spent engaging with people to understand the problem and then coordinating the necessary outcomes, so my ability to provide business partners’ with a positive service experience and to engage our contractors is really important.

Having said that, you do need enough technical skills to get yourself out of trouble at times.
To begin, I relied heavily on my team and my manager to teach me technical skills and knowledge on the job – and they did. We have engineers in Support Office, the Design & Construction team, as well as Operations and Facilities team members with years of knowledge and technical experience who we can call on for support whenever we need it. On top of that we’re lucky to have great contractor support in place – and I’m the first to ask for help. But over time, I have learnt and gathered knowledge and understanding, and now people ask me questions and I think, yeah, I know about that!

I was a Coordinator for little over a year before seconding as an Assistant Facilities Manager for two months and then being promoted to Assistant Facilities Manager at Westfield Eastgardens.

Westfield Eastgardens is the first team where I’ve been the only female on the Facilities team in centre. While it’s not necessarily the norm in the industry, having gender diversity on our team feels normal to me, and I think the guys who hadn’t experienced having a female in their facilities centre team before, appreciate the benefits. It’s great to have a workplace culture where gender-biased attitudes simply aren’t tolerated.

So, despite not having the traditional trade background and being a female in a male-dominated industry, I love being a part of our Facilities team – it feels right and it’s where I want to stay. I’m also really pleased that since I made the move, there’s been other team members who have come into the Facilities team without trade experience. I think it’s great it’s now a normal career progression opportunity in our business because I can’t recommend it highly enough!

If you’re interested in joining Scentre Group, explore the current job opportunities we have available:

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners and communities of the lands on which our business operates.
We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to their Elders past and present.
We recognise the unique role of Māori as Tangata Whenua of Aotearoa/New Zealand.
Scentre Group

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