KEY FOCUS AREA FOR DEI AT COLLIERS FOR 2022-23
Diversity and inclusion make us better. They strengthen our business by enriching our culture, helping us deepen relationships among our people and accelerating success for our clients. Championing diversity and inclusion is not a commitment we take lightly. We pride ourselves in attracting, developing, and retaining top, diverse talent from around the world. As part of that, we are on a progressive journey to foster an environment in which everyone at Colliers, regardless of background, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, sexual orientation, or experiences feels respected and comfortable bringing their authentic selves to do their best work.
To ensure that our people in every country, at every level, every day can come into the workplace and feel like they truly belong, we hold a collective commitment to the following:
1. Establishing processes to continually assess and track our diversity and inclusion progress. We will implement qualitative measurements designed to capture our people’s experiences, as well as quantitative measurements to anchor those results and monitor progress.
2. Understanding and confronting unconscious biases. We will expand our unconscious bias education to help our people recognize and minimize their learned biases. As leaders and role models at Colliers, we will hold ourselves accountable to understanding our biases, and interrupt when we see others engaging in biased behavior.
3. Creating a trusting environment where meaningful, complex, and sometimes difficult conversations can take place. We will create and maintain environments where our people feel comfortable reaching out to their colleagues and encourage our people to move outside of their comfort zones to learn about the experiences and perspectives of others.
4. Establishing relationships with external organizations to help us learn best practices. We will learn and gain insights from others to extend our horizons and strengthen our programs.
Through these commitments, we aim to bring increased focus and accountability to our diversity and inclusion progress and bring the best of our global organization together.
LEADING DEI INITIATIVE IN COLLIERS
Much research has been done to demonstrate that when done well, diversity and inclusion in the workplace can lead to increased revenue, reduced costs, greater innovation, and increased employee engagement, productivity, and commitment.
Colliers has classified these findings into four areas in which diversity and inclusion have significant impact:
1. Talent engagement:
· Recruit & retain diverse workforce
· Establish climate of trust
· Increase job satisfaction & commitment
2. Innovation & group performance
· Spark creativity
· Reduce groupthink
· Solve problems faster
3. Reputation & responsibility
· Build brand value
· Enhance reputation and client interest
· Manage risk
At Colliers, our DEI initiatives include:
· Created a Global DEl aspirational statement signed and acknowledged by leaders
· Formalized basic policies, such as the Global Anti-Discrimination Policy
· Included more DEI focused questions on the global engagement survey to gather employee perceptions on the topic
· Built relationships with external organizations to help us learn best practice
· Established a set of baseline global recruitment, engagement, and retention metrics for diversity (gender-specific)
· Celebrated our people through International Women’s Day and Pride campaigns
EMPLOYEE TESTIMONIAL FOR THIS INITIATIVE
“In this highly competitive world, working women juggle many responsibilities demanded by their various roles. Colliers has great work environment and flexible work patterns which have helped me strike a great work life balance. With great leadership, flat hierarchy and approachable mentors, Women are given equal opportunities to grow, learn and create a stronger career path. Women friendly Initiatives such as having Active sessions on physical and mental wellbeing to address stress, return ship policies after maternity breaks, zero tolerance towards sexual harassment, Colliers surely understands and acknowledges the contribution of women to the organization.”
Maithri Ballal, General Manager – Interior Design Services
“I am an introvert by nature, being in my own bubble and comfort zone. However, being part of Colliers family empowered me to come out of my bubble, involve, learn and grow. The inclusive culture that is imbibed in all employees helps us to be diverse in our own ways as well as shine in whatever we do. Through regular trainings about unconscious bias, Colliers is taking steps towards achieving complete
awareness, understanding and appreciation of diversity in our company. For this reason, I’m proud to be part of Colliers family.”
Rineetha Charles, Sr. Engineer (Building Services) – Project Management
Historically, real estate has been a male-dominated industry, and this comes at a business and reputational cost. As studies such as Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Survey have shown, D&I directly enhances business performance, as it increases creativity and innovation within an enterprise. The survey showed organizations with inclusive cultures are twice as likely to meet or exceed financial objectives, and three times as likely to create high-performing teams. There are also indirect effects because of a diverse and inclusive workforce, such as an improved brand and positive contributions to talent attraction and retention.
Colliers, one of the leading real estate professional services and investment management company has published its global diversity & inclusion statement, which has been endorsed by Global CEO and President Jay Hennick and all the firm’s regional CEO’s.
“At Colliers we believe making inclusion and diversity one of our strategic areas of focus and not only the right thing to do, but the only way to lead our industry into the future”
We recognize that Colliers, and the wider real estate sector, has a way to go to achieve a better gender balance. This is our pledge to our employees and our clients, that Colliers is a company that wants everybody to feel like they truly belong and can achieve success.
ADVICE FOR ORGANIZATIONS LOOKING FORWARD TO WORKING IN THIS AREA
1. Momentum and Consistency: build momentum and ensure an organization attracts a broader array of candidates include, removing educational requirements that do not bear a direct relationship to the essential duties of a position; Using diverse interview teams; it’s not enough to cultivate a diverse workforce if all employees don’t feel fully welcome and included. That is why a big part of establishing momentum and consistency centers around retention efforts. Some key inclusion questions to ask include:
- Do employees feel respected, valued and understood?
- Are there subtle ways in which people are being excluded?
- Does the organization celebrate differences?
- Is there an effective mentoring program in place?
- If employees feel valued and connected and have a sense of belonging, they are far less likely to leave. Reducing turnover remains cost effective for any employer.
2. Transparency: There is a growing trend towards publicizing information on workforce representation and pay equity. To be viewed as an employer of choice, companies are increasingly publicizing what their workforce looks like and showing inclusiveness on their websites.
3. Inclusion Challenges Amidst Remote Workforce: Inclusion issues can be particularly acute in a remote work environment, as organizations look for ways to maintain culture and community when employees are not working in the same location
4. Broadening the Discussion: A key factor in the success of any DEI initiative is having the ability to see every person’s point of view. There is a need for supervisors to manage different types of employees in different ways. They must create psychological safety for all to feel a sense of belonging as some employees from underrepresented groups may not be comfortable speaking up at meetings.
MISTAKES TO AVOID
1. Taking A One-Size-Fits-All Approach: Each work environment is unique, Employees’ demographics, their work relationships, collaboration levels, and operational functions will vary. Companies should develop the program to the unique requirements of their workforce.
2. Focusing on Diversity but Not Inclusion: A common mistake is when companies focus only on diversity and leave out inclusion. Look at the individual and how they will add to your culture instead of just how they will fit. An inclusive culture requires an environment for open and sometimes difficult conversations to help people understand about the biases they might bring to the table.
3. Focusing on One Demographic: A common mistake is to focus only on one demographic group in the workplace, such as women or racial and ethnic minorities. Doing so makes other demographic groups feel that the D&I initiative is not for them.
4. Making Individuals Champion the Cause: Individuals holding marginalized identities are often put in the spotlight or expected to help management implement D&I programs for the organization, often without regard to their existing workload or position. they’ve also held the burden of speaking up for their group and advocating for greater fairness, representation, and power.