Facilities management – the strength of diversity
Kate Langan is CoreNet Global’s Board of Directors Chair. CoreNet Global is the world’s leading professional association for corporate real estate executives, with more than 10,000 members in 50 countries. In part 2 of our interviews into diversity in the FM industry, we sit down with Langan to learn how the association harnesses the strength of diversity.
Q. What do you see are the key issues around diversity in FM workplaces?
Men and women of all walks of life need to nurture a more balanced professional society together. In any workplace, the most important thing is that people can be their authentic selves without fear of bias or discrimination.
As a result, we believe that any workplace needs to encourage diversity, which is proven to enrich decision making and improve the bottom line. There are now many frequently referenced reputable studies that prove that gender diversity in the senior levels of an organisation has a material impact on profitability and success.
The FM industry, and in fact the property industry as a whole, is still male dominated. There is a greater need for society to encourage young women into STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and professions that can help bring more gender diversity into the facilities management arena. Furthermore, successful men and women can make themselves accessible to younger women to mentor, role model and share, as a way to promote more diversity through the industry.
Q. How effective are CoreNet Global’s diversity policies?
CoreNet Global ‘walks the talk’, and we are very lucky to have Angela Cain as our association CEO. Under Angela’s guidance, the core management and support team are representative of the diversity of the organisation.
The CoreNet Global governing board is also consciously inclusive of diversity and appropriate representation of our global membership. In 2017, the Executive Office comprised four women and two men from across two global regions; whilst the profile of the global board itself was 47 per cent female, with 24 per cent representation from Asia Pacific, 18 per cent representation from European markets and 58 per cent from the US.
With diversity at the helm, there is a more conscious bias to maintain a very broad level of diversity and inclusion in all that we do.
Q. Why is all of this so important for the future of FM?
The world has roughly a 50/50 balanced (male and female) population. Women still tend to outlive men, but a slightly larger percentage of boys are born each year. Appreciating this demographic from a business perspective, means being able to appeal to, support, nurture a clientele or customer base that has the greatest chance of being successful.
The property industry serves this diverse population. Irrespective of age, gender, nationality, ethnicity – we are essentially human and require the same basic comforts in our lives. Having greater diversity in the property industry means offering the industry the best opportunity to succeed.
Technological change is reshaping society at an exponential pace; successful business can no longer remain a male bastion. Diversity brings an expansion of ideas and solutions; differing perspectives that can be combined to generate new offerings. The property needs of corporates, management and maintenance of facilities, need highly creative and technical minds to remain relevant in today’s world – and the best way to achieve this is to harness the strength of diversity.
CoreNet Global Australia Chapter is a supporter of Total Facilities and hosted a Leadership Breakfast onsite this year. To see more of what happened at the nation’s most prized FM event, click here.
About the Author: Annie Reid
Annie Reid is a qualified journalist, professional copywriter and published author with a passion for everything bricks and mortar. For many years, she’s written thousand of stories for newspapers, magazines and clients around the world. Somewhere between the heady buzz of headlines and deadlines, she discovered a niche for creating tailor made content for the property, real estate, architecture and design industries. Annie holds a Bachelor of Arts and is currently studying a Masters in Publishing and Communications, both from the University of Melbourne.