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Case study

Building leadership capabilities to enable workforce nationalization in a key economic sector

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Building skills in a fast-growing industry

With the high level of commercial construction in the GCC and broader MENA, the facility management sector is generating significant employment opportunities. We were asked by one of the largest facilities managers in the region to identify the future workforce skills required to take advantage of emerging opportunities in entertainment, hospitality, healthcare, and transport while also nationalizing key roles that offer sufficient high skill, high wage opportunities to attract GCC nationals.

Attracting women to a male-dominated sector

Given the industry's historical perception as a male-dominated sector, a key challenge in meeting the client’s goal was to attract highly educated women to mid to senior-level management positions. We identified particular reservations women held about joining the industry and addressed them through a specialized program track that highlighted female role models and provided mentorship opportunities.

Developing a tech-focused leadership program

Technologies such as the internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), computerized facilities management systems are ushering in a digital transformation. Influenced by dual educational systems, such as Germany and Korea, and with an understanding of the weakness of GCC TVET systems in providing facilities management skills, we assisted the client in developing a program that specifically targets the growing prominence of technology in facility management.

Ensuring a structured track of progression

Due to a lack of knowledge of career tracks in the facilities management sector, potential program participants were reluctant to join the program. We were able to overcome this obstacle by articulating career trajectories and providing participants a structured development plan and mentorship. We also included divisional and geographic rotations in the program to facilitate organizational integration and retention.


Following the launch of the region’s first facilities management leadership program, participant surveys were fielded to the effectiveness of attraction, program delivery, and alignment with expectations. The program is now graduating facilities management specialists who are up to speed with the rapid technological advances in the facilities management sector and are enabling new, value-added service offerings that secure the client’s sector leadership and generate new sources of revenue.