Trailblazer 2020


Steve Gladwin

Trailblazer 2020

They say anyone awarded the ‘Trailblazer’ Award will be someone who ‘needs no introduction’, and that is patently true of this year’s winner. Steve Gladwin is, quite simply, one of the most highly recognised professional figures in our industry.

In a lifetime of running businesses and volunteering, Gladwin has become known as a true ambassador for workplace and facilities management, and a key figure within IWFM itself.

2007 was when Gladwin was invited by the then BIFM’s chief executive to assist across several aspects of the Institute’s activities, going on to become lead judge on various BIFM Awards categories before taking over from Oliver Jones as the overall head of judges. In his time in this role, Gladwin introduced a robust governance structure for their delivery that continues to form the bedrock of the awards judging process today. He worked with the then BIFM board to develop both the commercial and industry success of the annual international Awards, developing a strong team of Lead and Support Judges.

Gladwin is also lauded for the discretion he showed in his support and guidance for the terminally ill BIFM Chairman he worked with. His energetic support contributed to an exceptional period of professional success and commercial sustainability for the Institute.

Gladwin’s employment history is extensive. A former managing director of major service providers in both the UK (Hochtief) and Australia (Haden), he’s seen through major re-structuring programmes and built up new divisions, showing an acute eye for business and the evolving nature of the FM function. A non-executive director of BIFM and a former board director and chairman of Global FM, Gladwin has in recent years set up in consultancy with a client list of instantly recognisable national and international brands.

Many will know Gladwin for his dynamic chairing of the IWFM’s International Special Interest Group, which has been transformed under his leadership. Using his contacts, today’s ISIG includes global broadcasts and a constantly interesting, informative and strategically pitched programme which always has the professional development of group members at its heart. Under his watch, the ISIG has extended its reach within IWFM, serving as a vehicle to recruit senior level FMs.

But it is in the overwhelming appreciation shown by his peers and contemporaries that Steve Gladwin’s work and character is best assessed.

He is seen as passionate not just for his work but his family, sport, friends and the wider FM profession (indeed, endorsement of Gladwin’s ‘passion’ appears in every personal statement sent in support of his nomination for this award).

Gladwin, we are told, leads by example and thus encourages others in his team towards the delivery of their collective goals. His enthusiasm is infectious, and the respect for his achievements lasting.

He sets out a clear vision; he “points the way, takes risks and changes the environment.”

All told, Gladwin is described as ‘the’ trailblazer for the workplace and facilities management profession. Winning this accolade as part of the awards process he has done so much to develop is a fitting tribute.

Key takeaways

A successful FM businessman with a strong record of volunteering for the IWFM and others.
Through his public speaking, teamwork and training Gladwin is known for stimulating, encouraging and exciting his audiences.
“He has a vision for the best future for our industry, a faith that turns our dreams into reality, and a determination that cuts through barriers and obstacles.”
Leads calmly with humility, integrity and real conviction.
A quiet, distinguished, pioneer of all matters relating to FM, Workplace and the industry – ensuring that people from whatever sector are enthused and have the ability to flourish and grow.