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Colliers focusing on gender diversity, ERGs to attract talent

Colliers focusing on gender diversity Hero
Colliers North America is building a diverse workforce by promoting gender diversity and using feedback from its employee resource groups, says Muriel Thompson, the organization’s director of social impact and employee relations.

“In commercial real estate, we’re all competing for clients who are increasingly interested in our commitments to diversity, equity and inclusion. Many of them have their own commitments and initiatives and they’re looking for synergy.”

However, she notes employers’ efforts must be authentic and DEI can’t end with recruitment. If women don’t see themselves reflected in the company’s leadership, it might be difficult for them to see a long-term future with the organization.

“When DEI is factored into the entire employee lifecycle, including advancement and leadership positions, you can build a culture that makes women and diverse talent stay — avoiding the costs associated with being an expensive, unsustainable revolving door for high-value talent.”

Thompson suggests employers examine their policies to make sure they’re supportive, be transparent with their progress and use employee feedback. “Don’t just wait for yearly satisfaction surveys. Build channels for regular feedback like quick pulses, stay interviews and exit feedback. Even your turnover trends can tell you how your female and diverse employees are experiencing your workplace. Use this important feedback to guide your actions.”

Employee resource groups are another effective way for diverse employees to connect over shared experiences and create change, she adds. “ERGs bring together individuals with common backgrounds, identities or interests. By connecting over their experiences, they can find supportive communities within their workplaces they can really tether to. They also provide safe spaces to discuss challenges, seek advice and foster a sense of belonging that can sometimes be a little challenging to find organically.”

Colliers’ ERGs also offer professional development opportunities for its communities and the wider population with programs like workshops, mentorship and leadership training.

Thompson notes ERGs can also serve as influential voices within the organization to advocate for real change to policies and practices that promote DEI. “I just think, without ERGs, how do you get the right perspective? Even with the best intentions, they can speak more clearly for their constituents than any employer or other group. So we’re very open to hearing those ideas and making them a reality in our workplace.”

This article was originally published in the Benefits Canada on June 02, 2023.

For More Information, Please Contact:

Pamela Smith

Senior Director, Communications I Canada

Vancouver - Oceanic Plaza

As the Senior Director, Corporate Communications I Canada, Pamela  leads and motivates the team responsible for executing external and internal communications, ESG  and diversity and inclusion strategies. She provides leadership to the communications team and advises senior leadership to ensure the successful execution of communications strategies and objectives. With more than 20 years of experience working with national and global media outlets, Pamela understand the importance of building relationships and developing consistent messaging to elevate and protect Colliers' brand. 

A key part of the National Marketing and Global Brand & Communications teams, Pamela  is responsible for developing & implementing internal and external communications strategies for Colliers Canada to: 

• develop and ensure consistent messaging across all business lines - brokerage, real estate management services, Colliers Project Leaders, Valuations and Advisory, Strategy and Consulting Group, and shared services; 
• enhance and protect the Colliers brand and reputation through proactive media relations, issues management, and crisis communications, serving as a spokesperson for the company with media;
• engage our people from coast to coast - developing creative communications plans, and communicate cohesive messaging across internal channels to foster a diverse culture based on inclusion and equality. 

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