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Employee Spotlight: Umi Sajidah

Employee Spotlight: Umi Sajidah

How long have you been working in the real estate industry?

I worked in the building management department of one of the health care providers in Indonesia for about two years before I joined Colliers two years ago. So I have been working in the real estate industry, especially in building management, for four years.

How did you get started in this industry? What was the path that led you to where you are today?

My educational background was in Health, Safety, Environment (HSE), and as the sectors that mostly need us are oil and gas, mining, factories, or construction, we learned quite a lot about them at university, and I tried to find a job in that one of those sectors when I graduated.

However, while searching for the jobs, I learned that the real estate sector, especially building management, offered a job that required my education background. It turns out I really enjoy working in this industry. In my opinion, this sector covers quite a wide range of knowledge. Because, even though my background is HSE, I have learned a lot of things besides my specialty, such as building management systems and utility management systems, which will increase the opportunity for me to have a career beyond HSE, which is what I am doing right now.

For those who are not familiar with HSE, what do you do?

We establish and apply systems to all employees to avoid and minimize any work accidents. To explain it simply, when we are appointed to manage a building we assess any hazard or risk that will possibly occur in the building. From the assessment, we will implement hazard controls that prevent any contact with the workers that might potentially create a work accident.

One way is to form a standard operating procedure (SOP) that eliminates the hazard, and substitutes the hazard. For example, a machine could be potentially dangerous, so what we do is to put protection or guards on the machine. That is what our team usually does with regard to HSE.

What do you like about the industry?

We associate this industry, especially building management, with a house; we to do everything from cleaning up and managing the utility maintenance, to learning how to manage the financial, health and safety. That’s how wide this industry is. Even if I learn one new thing now, I won’t stop there because there is always another thing to learn to upgrade my knowledge.

Who inspires you?

Actually the person who inspired me to get into this industry was the previous building manager from Colliers on my previous job. She opened my eyes to learning more about this sector. For me, the way she managed the building and the whole team was not bossy at all. Instead, as a leader she encouraged her subordinates to learn and work together as a team. However, since I joined Colliers, I have found that most of my senior colleagues are similar in character, and I am grateful to be able to work in this kind of working environment.

What has been your greatest achievement to date?

After four year working in this sector, and two years at Colliers, I know I don’t yet have the experience that my seniors have. However, right now, I am assigned to Pak Riswanto’s team to manage Colliers sites with regard to the HSE. This is my first experience in handling a lot of sites, because previously I was assigned one project at a time. For me, this is challenging and exciting at the same time, and I feel this is one of my most notable professional achievements.

As a woman working in this industry, what challenges do you usually face?

As a woman, the challenge I face in my job as a Health, Safety & Environment (HSE) professional is the bias that HSE is usually conducted by men. However, I see this challenge as an opportunity – an opportunity to be enthusiastic, exceed expectations and demonstrate that women are just as capable of working as HSE practitioners.

If you were not working in this industry, what do you think you would be doing?

I think I would be a fashion stylist or working in the fashion industry. My hobby is shopping and mixing and matching my clothes. So, if I hadn’t started the career I am in right now, I think I would have chased my hobby and interest in fashion.

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