24 AUG 2020
Glenda Martin AssocRICS has worked in the construction industry for her entire nearly two-decade career, and there has never been a question that this is where she’s meant to be. Starting out in sales and accounting for a building supply firm, she is now undertaking duties as the Training and Development, Safety and Quality Assurance Manager with the Cayman Islands Public Works Department.
Her career and path to RICS has been diverse, and she brings a great deal of experience to her new associateship.
“I started out in Jamaica in a specialty project role, and while it was certainly foundational for my career,” says Glenda. “I quickly developed a keen interest in the industry, which touches so many parts of society and the economy. In 2013, when I took a business development position with a major construction firm, I recognized a need to acquire a more holistic approach to the field. I then took strategic steps to acquire the necessary skills and competence. Training and mentorship were essential to my growth and success. Over the years, I have acquired professional qualification/designation and memberships in Project Management, Management, Talent Management, Quality Assurance and Health and Safety. The RICS qualification is the culmination of years of effort.”
That experience and career development make her excited to see how she can use RICS’s resources, thought leadership and global standards as the Cayman Islands looks to grow its workforce to deliver on the growth in the construction industry, especially in light of the constraints caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The islands are now seeing a boom in the industry with construction and proposed construction of hotels, commercial offices and new residential buildings.
With this comes a major need for qualified professionals to drive this built environment growth, which is where Glenda comes in. In addition to working as the project administrator for a major mental health facility being developed in Cayman, a major focus of Glenda’s role with the Public Works Department (PWD) is training and development of PWD employees across various departments (Facilities Management, Consultancy Services, Project Management etc.) and also the operation of the PWD Construction Trades Program. The program is designed to train persons in the various trades, address identified skill gaps while at the same time creating a feed stock for the local construction industry. Graduates of the Program are employed in both the private and public sector.
“We’re creating an ecosystem of quality across the field here,” says Glenda. “RICS is highly valuable to this effort, because they bring in a level of standards, ethics and experience that enable us not to reinvent the wheel, especially because Cayman has such a diverse population of people from various backgrounds and countries. My little contribution is to help train and develop people to speak the same industry language and understand the same international standards.”
“It’s ultimately not just about formal training; it’s about exposure to ideas, resources and tools and techniques and RICS is very helpful for that.”
Glenda herself found RICS through research and other professionals in her field in the Cayman Islands.
They told me that with my passion for new industry knowledge, I would be a great fit for RICS, and that with my experience, there was a direct line for qualification. My goal is to become a leader and change agent in project management in the construction industry, and RICS is the clear global resource for that.
Though she is just recently qualified, she is already recognizing the applications for her Public Works projects. With all the work ahead in the Cayman Islands to build sustainable prosperity, it’s important to “get it right the first time.”
“RICS is helping me ensure that I can do my little part in getting us there.”