The Leading News & Information Service For The Facilities, Workplace & Built Environment Community

Spotlight Interview | Mary-Jane Pettit

Spotlight Interview | Mary-Jane Pettit
08 October 2021
 

Pioneer FM provides total FM services for offices, schools, commercial and retail facilities, government agencies, and other large sites.

CEO and Founder Mary-Jane Pettit is looking to disrupt the status quo in the FM industry, by caring for her staff, refusing to use harmful chemicals, and pledging to become carbon zero by 2025.

She spoke to ThisWeekinFM about Pioneer’s ambitions and her personal journey from cleaning operative to company CEO.

 

Watch the Video...

 


 

 

 

 

From Cleaner to FM CEO

 

Mary-Jane is described as coming from "stellar frontline FM stock". Her mother was a cleaning contracts manager, and her father was a plumber and school caretaker. "I had so much much respect for my mum and dad growing up", she said.

"Getting up exceptionally early and working through the weekends and summer holidays, they worked continuously to give us the best that they could."

Mary-Jane herself also worked as a cleaning operative, working her way up to a supervisor role. She is now the founder, owner and CEO of a £30 million turnover FM business, Pioneer FM.

Her ethos is to look after her team and to drive positive change for them, reduce the use of harsh, unnecessary chemicals, and only partner with clients who share her values, helping to reduce the impact the FM industry has on our planet.

 

"It’s hard work. I’ve been a cleaner and it's manual work. Going into London at 4.30 am, everyone out there is out there to get the sites ready for everybody to go to work and keep them safe. We are a Real Living Wage employer and our cleaners deserve the money they are paid."

– Mary-Jane Pettit

CEO, Pioneer FM

 

Paying Cleaners a Fair Wage

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a huge change in public attitudes towards cleaning operatives, putting cleaning and hygiene at the top of the agenda and bringing widespread recognition for the vital work of the sector’s previously invisible workforce.

Mary-Jane feels passionate that cleaners deserve fair pay for the work that they do:

"It’s hard work. I’ve been a cleaner and it's manual work. Going into London at 4.30 am, everyone out there is out there to get the sites ready for everybody to go to work and keep them safe. We are a Real Living Wage employer and our cleaners deserve the money they are paid."

 

75% Female-Led FM Company

 

Pioneer's leadership team is 75 per cent female-led and Mary-Jane is incredibly proud to be a woman in the facilities management sector, despite its challenges.

Talking about her experiences as a woman in FM, she said: "There’s been a couple of negative experiences, I’d say three or four. But, for the three or four negative comments I’ve had, I've also had thousands of positive ones and I’m really proud of working in the industry in which I do."

 

Contract Wins

 

Speaking about some of Pioneer's recent projects, she said:

"We are a support partner for Sodexo, looking after HMRC sites, and we were brought on purely because our recruitment style is so different to other companies in FM. Every one of our operatives out on-site goes through BPSS security clearance, which makes us a little bit niche."

"We work with companies who share our ethos and direction."

Picture: a photograph of Mary-Jane Pettit

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 08 October 2021

Share



Related Articles

Spotlight Interview – Jenna Pollock

Jenna Pollock is Divisional Director at ABM, responsible for Scotland and Northern Ireland. Jenna has 16 years of experience in the FM industry,...

 Read Full Article
Spotlight Interview – Shumon Choudhury

In this Spotlight Interview, we speak to Shumon Choudhury, a Residential Property Manager at Lendlease, based in London. Shumon has over 15 years of experience...

 Read Full Article
PwC Report Says Net-Zero Goals at Risk from Lack of Gender Diversity in Industry

Data released by POWERful Women & PwC UK has demonstrated that the energy industry may be ill-equipped for its net-zero targets, in part due to a lack of gender...

 Read Full Article
Spotlight Interview – Roshan Deshmanya | CBRE

With the world slowly moving through large social, economic, environmental and technological megatrends, how is the FM industry adapting? We explore this with Roshan...

 Read Full Article
Spotlight Interview – Daniel Hawkins | JLL

Daniel Hawkins has spent his career leading, delivering and developing commercial workplace operations and solutions. He is currently the EMEA Account Director for...

 Read Full Article
World FM Day 2022 – Leading a Sustainable Future 

ThisWeekinFM spoke to several leaders in the FM and built environment space to find out what World FM Day means to them.   Watch the...

 Read Full Article
Spotlight Interview – Dr Alisha Damani – Stress Awareness Month 2022

To mark Stress Awareness Month, we spoke to Dr Alisha Damani, Founder of The Medic Today, about how facilities managers can use their influence to promote wellbeing at...

 Read Full Article
Using Inclusive Language in the Workplace During Ramadan

With Ramadan approaching, D,E&I and Wellbeing Consultant Ash Ahmad shares her tips on how employers can support their Muslim employees and colleagues during the month...

 Read Full Article
We Still Need ‘Rallying Cry Events’ to Address Gender Imbalance, says ISS CEO

Liz Benison, CEO at ISS UK & Ireland, spoke about gender-balanced workplaces to mark International Women’s Day. Gender balance is one of the five pillars...

 Read Full Article
Why Do We Need International Women's Day?

ThisWeekinFM collates thoughts from women in our industry and key statistics to demonstrate why action towards equality for women is needed in the...

 Read Full Article