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Alumna of the month - January 2010

Fiona Bowman
Master in Business Administration (MBA), 2000

Fiona Bowman

Courage and confidence mark out the story of our Alumna of the Month, Fiona Bowman. Her courage to overcome difficult experiences that affect many women of today and the confidence she gained from her Masters degree in Business Administration has made her a successful business woman.

Fiona works for ISS UK as a Senior Facilities Manager for Addleshaw Goddard an award winning law firm. She manages their national portfolio that includes offices in London, Manchester and Leeds. This is a new opportunity for ISS and she is currently building the team which will deliver a high level of customer service to this prestigious client.  The elements of the MBA Course that are proving most useful at present in her career are the Strategic Management module and the Financial Accounting element.

Fiona graduated in 2000 having completed her Masters Degree in Business Administration at London Southbank University Business School as a Part Time evening student. At the time she began her MBA course Fiona was employed as Faculty Manager (FM) in the Built Environment Faculty of LSBU and very soon, her studies and her increased commercial understanding led to a senior role with HSBC Bank. By the time she graduated she was working as a European Property Manager for Goldman Sachs the Global Investment Bank and had again significantly improved her salary and her seniority level.

Her thesis was entitled “In Pursuit of Service Excellence” in which she examined the qualities and considerations of how companies can get their staff to “go the extra mile”.  She used the outcomes of this to develop and design Motivation and Reward programmes for her staff in all of her management roles thus far.

Fiona’s most recent role was also with ISS UK the Global FM Company as an Account Manager working on their flagship contract at Lloyd’s of London at the heart of the City of London.  Here she was able to use her management experience to assist her client in their drive to advance the business technologically, but also to retain the historical, more traditional side of the business.

She was responsible for nearly 180 staff that delivered Engineering, Projects, Security, Cleaning, Helpdesk and a number of other services for the client and actively encouraged her staff to pursue further education to help progress their careers.

Fiona states

Gaining an MBA was a critical tool in her career and she is absolutely convinced that unless she had undertaken this significant piece of academic work, she would not have been able to progress to the level that she has done so far.

Her other previous management roles since graduating have included Facilities Manager at the Bank of America site in Docklands and FM at a Secure Private Mental Hospital in Essex, which represents the flexibility and resilience required in the Facilities Management world.

In 2002, she started her own business, Dysart Ltd as a Facilities Management Consultant. Her company provides a key service in helping businesses to improve and grow. Once again, the experience she gained on the MBA Course gave her an excellent grounding in setting up and running her own business. She was also able to assist Mike Burton, MD of one company, Albany Washrooms to achieve Essex Business Man of The Year.

As well as being a successful businesswoman, Fiona is also an Executive Member of the UK Corporate Alliance Against Domestic Violence (UKCAADV) that is chaired by Baroness Patricia Scotland, the Attorney General. Fiona is also a Trustee of Basildon Women’s Aid.

She speaks both at International and National level to businesses about the importance of employers in the lives of Domestic Violence Victims. She continues to campaign relentlessly in her spare time for businesses to adopt Domestic Violence Policies as part of their HR Policies and Procedures.

Fiona’s knowledge comes from her personal experience over 30 years ago as a victim of domestic violence and she did not talk about her experiences for many years. Until in October 2005, she was interviewed by Jenny Murray for Radio 4, Woman’s Hour. Chris Davis of The Body Shop was also on the programme and invited her to come along to the UK Corporate Alliance Executive meetings and subsequently she was invited to be an active member of the UKCAADV.

Since then she has spoken; at the launch of the NI Corporate Alliance at Hillsborough Castle, the Local Government Association Conference in January 2007, in Madrid at a UK/Spain Seminar on Domestic Violence and in October 2007 at the Raising the Standards Conference in Guernsey.

Fiona was nominated for the 2007 Dods Woman of the Year Awards in recognition of the work she is doing to campaign against Domestic Violence and was honoured at a reception for the finalists.

Dods is the leading political information, public affairs and policy communication specialist in the United Kingdom and the E.U. Dods provides a key function in delivering tailored information on the business of the EU Institutions.

More recently Fiona was shortlisted for the Jaguar, Women in the City, Woman of Achievement Award 2009 and also was included in the final selection for the Coutts & Co Lifetime Achievement Award.

She regularly speaks on local radio, appears in the local and national press and has written a book about her experiences, which she hopes to publish in the future. She has been invited to speak at the Guildhall in the City on 12th March 2010, alongside other successful businesswomen at the International Women’s Day event, the proceeds of this business breakfast going to Refuge the Domestic Violence Charity.

At a 2009 Guernsey Conference the Guernsey Theatre Company used her words to create a narrative play, which was performed on day two of the Conference. The play is being re-recorded for BBC Radio Guernsey for future transmission.

She was filmed, as herself, for the Channel 4 programme, “When did you last beat your wife?”, which was screened in March 2007 and recently appeared on the BBC Breakfast sofa with Sian Phillips and Bill Turnbull.

Fiona has become an accomplished speaker and believes that her professional and personal experiences give her an exceptionally powerful platform from which to speak and give voice to the thousands of victims of Domestic Violence who will never be able to talk about their experiences.

Her first experience of speaking to a large group came as part of her MBA Course, on the Marketing Module.  Since then she has developed to become a competent orator of a distinguished level.

She lives in a picturesque village in Essex with her husband David and enjoys her garden and entertaining friends in her free time.