By Susan Au, Managing Director, Integrated Facilities Management, Global Occupier Services
Cushman & Wakefield provides unlimited opportunity for growth, for men and women in all divisions and service lines. I am honored to share my experience in the workplace for our International Women’s Day series.
For me, as a member of the Global Occupier Services (GOS) group’s Integrated Management Facilities (IFM) team, our dispersed IFM crew travels a fair amount in support of account support and revenue growth by spending considerable time with clients, account teams and new business opportunities. Crucial to our success is team cohesion – we work and win as a team – with shared goals and a strong culture of trust.
The support everyone has for one another and our movement towards Balance for Better, incidentally this year’s International Women’s Day theme, allow all of us to shine and lift our peers up through shared knowledge and learning, as well optimizing the balance between recharging one’s energy and maximizing productivity, collectively as a whole. As a flat organization, there are fewer boundaries in communication across teams and within leadership hierarchies which enable us to work and deliver quicker, faster and better – whether it be in decision making or operational delivery.
From my perspective, Cushman & Wakefield truly supports women leaders in the organization and in the industry in several ways:
- We lead by example: There are many strong, talented women in leadership who serve as examples of what strong and effective leadership looks like, from Colette Temmink and Sheryl Moore-Marlette managing important platforms within GOS, and strong account directors managing important global clients in all regions. These leaders provide our current and new female (and male) talent an understanding of the various paths one can take to progress at Cushman & Wakefield, and by seeing them in these roles, employees can envision themselves advancing to significant leadership positions within our company.
- Strong leadership support for building talent and enabling success: As important as it is to have leadership examples, it is equally important to have strong sponsors and leadership support for women from our male counterparts. In the GOS organization, we have Steve Quick, Greg Schuster, Toby Dodd, David Susoreny, Raul Esparza, Martin Woodrow, and in the Tri-State region, we have John Santora, Lou D’Avanzo and others who always welcome the opportunity to hire and promote women leaders as platform leads, account management/account directors and market leaders. Most importantly, at the Board and corporate level, our organization ties diversity and inclusion (D&I) to performance reviews at all organizational levels, demonstrating Cushman & Wakefield’s real commitment to support D&I in corporate real estate.
- Listeners and Enablers: Our leaders can and will move mountains for you if you tell them what obstacles and barriers stand in front of you. My experience has time and time again shown me Cushman & Wakefield empowers all of its leaders. The executive leadership team stands behind their leaders, men and women alike, and does not second guess, question, undermine or diminish the leadership authority of female talent regardless of how loud or soft-spoken. Trust is paramount, and we are free and enabled to be the change leader or stabilizing force that we want to be.
The opportunities are endless. Whether you are just starting out or making a career change, at Cushman & Wakefield, it is possible to succeed, regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity, etc. We provide our employees with resource groups, such as Black United in Leadership Development (BUILD), our LGBTQ+ group UNITY, Hispanic & Latino Advancement (HOLA) and Women’s Integrated Network (WIN), to help them grow their career, create connections and find mentor/mentee opportunities.
If you can do one thing to personally demonstrate your support for women in the workplace on International Women’s Day, and every day, here are a few suggestions:
- Support/champion a woman’s idea in large group settings by giving her credit for her idea, especially if you borrow or expound upon her idea and/or see it being credited to someone else.
- As you consider distributing business or awarding contracts, please consider a member of a leading practice, partner, team member who happens to be a woman, i.e. the loyal “supporter” who is always there but has a lower profile than her counterparts — not because she is a woman, but because she is a competent, productive and unassuming champion of others in our field who is not always as aggressive as others in internal self-promotion.
- Be a mentor and supporter, especially in navigating the business and showing her the ropes on relationship building.
Thank you for your commitment and support — I wish you all a great International Women’s Day, each and every day!
Susan Au is a Managing Director in C&W’s Global Occupier Services team, and the Office & Business Services Platform Lead. As part of the Integrated Facilities Management platform team, Susan manages service line operational and business development needs for national accounts and is a subject matter expert in office, industrial and pharmaceutical space for IFM.