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A Day in the Life of a Female CRE Leader – Diverse and Inclusive Corporate Culture

By Allison Marsales, Managing Director, Office Leasing

Progressive, smart, approachable, integrity, sense of pride and belonging – these are the key terms I use to define our culture and identity at Cushman & Wakefield. The cultural spirit of inclusiveness and diverse perspectives at the C-Suite level is what drives the employee engagement and collaboration throughout the company. 

Diversity in any company today is a business imperative. The most innovative and effective strategies are born out of diverse thought. Promoting and advancing women in leadership positions can’t be understated in fact, if you look at those real estate organizations that have a board balanced with female members and/or senior officers, those are the companies that outperform their peers by wide margins in terms of sales, stock price and investment yield.  

So, picture your workday in CRE as this: imagine entering a workplace surrounded by top female (who outperform their peers by wide margins in terms of sales, stock price and investment yield) and male performers, a sense of authenticity, approachability, and belonging. Imagine working for an employer that stands for working to be better as opposed to standing still at what is being the best.  

Success at Cushman & Wakefield comes in many forms, and it never seems to stand still as we continuously reach for what’s next. It’s a remarkable time in CRE with a hyper collision of generations and diversity. One of the big pivot points over these last few years, certainly within our teams in Toronto CRE, is how we no longer seek to advise our next generation of young woman in CRE differently than we would advise our next generation of young men in CRE. Our millennial workforce has come out of school and a social world where their interactions with their peer groups are simply equal.    

Where the work needs to be done however, is in bridging the gap between generations. As a woman, it’s funny, I do get asked often about my experience in working almost two decades in the CRE industry, and I often start by telling our younger generation that I need to learn as much from them as they may feel they need to learn from me.   

Cushman & Wakefield Culture & Brand Identity in Canada – What We Believe in for #IWD2019 and beyond: 

  • We believe diversity in our organization, supported by an inclusive culture, inspires our people to innovate and deliver better results for our clients.  
  • We believe that every touchpoint is an opportunity to deliver an exceptional experience
    for our clients.  
  • We believe in setting the highest standards for ethical conduct, mutual respect
    and sustainability. 

My day in the life as a CRE leader and what it’s like to work at our Canadian headquarters is continuously evolving with greater balance of powers, thanks in part to many women pioneers that led the way, but also to the business world and its influence of the technology sector. I believe more than any other time in history, we see a much greater population of young, successful men and women, being not only great influencers in the business world but making the decisions at the top as well.   

As for what’s next for #IWD2019, I would like to share a few positive statements to the CRE industry. First, I am tremendously proud to work with a leadership team at Cushman & Wakefield that really aligns with the need to inspire and empower our people. The best, most innovative ideas are fostered in organizations that are not micro-managed. Second, my message to our young woman and young men are one in the same: choose a mindset of success, find the value in a unique perspective, use confidence in your voice, “lean” hard and take accountability of your career. Remember thispatience, hard work and integrity win the race.  

And one final note the days of individualism are long behind us. It’s those teams that share in information and use their collective voices that will achieve the most powerful results.       

Allison Marsales is the Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield’s Toronto Office Leasing division.  Allison is responsible for the strategic oversight and overall growth of the office leasing service line, including developing growth initiatives that support broker advancement, talent recruitment, and increased market share. Toronto is the largest and fastest growing office market in Canada with more than 7 million square feet of office space in the downtown core and 10.1 million square feet currently in the development pipeline.

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