People

West Coast JLL engineer learned the ropes on ships

From maritime engine-side crew to property management

As a young girl, Rihan Boot remembers crawling into tight, dark spaces with her father to help him with electrical work. She operated as his sidekick, answering the call for a “flathead screwdriver!” from her dad by promptly placing the flathead in his palm. When her dad wasn’t working the graveyard shift as an electrician, she chose to accompany him on odd jobs. This is how it all started for Rihan, who’s now a Journeyman Engineer at 353 Sacramento St. in San Francisco’s Financial District.

Rihan graduated with a degree in Facilities Engineering Technology from Cal Maritime, where she was on the engine-side crew of the ship and visited five countries during her tenure: the French Marquesas, Tahiti, New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. After Rihan finished her education at the Maritime Academy, her dad asked her to work with him, which brought back all of the amazing memories of camaraderie they shared when she was young. He also expressed to her that working with him was a good start – but he dreamed of her growing above and beyond the power plant where they worked together.

In 2006, Rihan started working for a different commercial real estate company to kickstart her engineering career. She remembers feeling like the odds were against her as a minority in the industry – Black, female, and mother. At first, she noticed there was different treatment for her than the men on her team, as she was relegated to more administrative and less “hands-on” work compared to her peers. Nevertheless, she persevered and committed to learning anything she could to become a hands-on engineer who is trusted to get the job done right. Almost immediately, Rihan notes that her strengths stood out to break down unspoken barriers.

Rihan Boot and her family.

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In 2021, Rihan joined JLL to continue furthering her career with the goal of one day becoming a Chief Engineer. Above all else, she simply wants to help people. Being an engineer and working with tenants to solve problems satisfies her craving for that feeling of giving back. As a mother, one of Rihan’s greatest joys is coaching other young women to not take the world at face-value. She visits junior high schools and speaks with diverse young women, and she loves to tell them her story, hoping to inspire some of them to follow in her footsteps – especially her own children. She often reminds them, “If someone else can do it, so can you.”

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