Colliers International’s HR Director has a desire to change the way diversity is seen within her industry in the new year
By Mindy Geisser
I am incredibly passionate about diversity, yet ironically I work in an industry that’s not. In fact, if you look at any Corporate Real Estate (CRE) website, you’ll see a pretty homogenous work force – especially in senior leadership. 2015 is our year to change that – to make a difference.
Diversity brings new ideas and perspectives, it broadens minds and expands horizons – it brings opportunity. I want to strengthen that opportunity within our organization by helping to attract and develop a more heterogeneous workforce. We actually have an amazing corporate culture and, in our industry, we do have one of the more diverse workforces. But we can, and should, keep getting better. We want to lead the industry in this particular category.
We’ve already started by reaching out to leading diversity experts and actively partnering with various organizations in an effort to increase our own knowledge so that we can more effectively raise awareness in others. But there’s still so much to learn and do, which is why I’ve made it my focus for 2015.
For me, diversity is about embracing differences, and recognizing the amazing things that are possible when it’s woven into an organization’s culture. It’s about recognizing a person for who they are, and what unique skills, experience, knowledge or background that they bring – valuing all the things that make each of us interesting and unique. By further embracing this value in our organization, and weaving it into our corporate fabric, I believe it will only make us stronger.
The most talented leaders I know recognize this, and consciously build teams who bring value through their diversity. They purposefully hire talented individuals with viewpoints, skill sets and experiences different from their own; people who are not afraid to share their different perspectives in an effort to achieve a common goal – delivering the best results possible. And we know it works. Through collaboration and innovation, these teams are highly successful, and deliver even stronger results.
Someone once said, ‘don’t be afraid of being different, be afraid of being the same’, and I think that is so true. The world is so much more interesting when we are open to learning and exploring and embracing what is different, not simply looking for what is the same. Some of the greatest inventions in history came from embracing diverse perspectives and ideas.
Mindy Geisser is the HR Director at Colliers International. She was featured in Issue 7 of Forefront Magazine.