Stefanie Collins is Program Manager of Talent Management & Diversity at Cushman & Wakefield. This is a national role focused on developing strong internal relationships while implementing and managing employee engagement programs and initiatives. She serves as the internal resource for diversity and inclusion efforts, including employee resource groups such as: Women’s Integrated Network, LGBTQ+, Future Leaders.
Why is diversity important in the workplace?
In this day, there is no question whether diversity is important or not in the workplace. It is well understood that diversity permeates every aspect of a firm’s operation, from leaders to brokers to staff to clients.
To me, diversity implies different perspectives. It helps teams think creatively, outside of the box and connect the dots. Why wouldn’t we want to encourage all of those things? If diversity of perspective leads to more innovation, better risk management, and stronger connections with clients, employees and business partners, then of course we want diversity in the workplace. In the same way that good governance will drive good decision-making, diversity in a firm will enhance the conversation around the table.
How can the workplace best support LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies?
Promoting diversity helps our firm retain talent. By recognizing that we all come from different backgrounds, by valuing our diverse backgrounds, by creating employee resource groups across gender or sexual preference, our employees feel they are part of a community and as a result give their best, both to our firm and to our clients.
Our firm’s leadership is committed to supporting our LGBTQ+ community and diversity overall, though it is the responsibility of each employee to make a similar individual commitment. This commitment means that if our day-to-day work involves a business, ethical, or values-based decision regarding diversity, we will take the action necessary for diversity to become a reality.
It is important to remember that creating diversity is crucial to a firm’s long-term success, but also to our own personal and professional success.