Most businesswomen are familiar with the term ‘old boys club’ – an exclusive network of business men who can call in favours from their exclusive group to help close a deal, get new business or progress their career. There is no reason why women can’t do the same! This is exactly what most business women groups are doing: networking with other women to support an exchange of ideas, help trade through business contacts, including enhancing entrepreneurial skills for business success. When a woman helps another woman through networking, they both benefit, and that is why the 2016 Global Diversity List, supported by The Daily Telegraph, exists.
This List recognises the achievements of employee network groups established to help improve gender diversity within large organisations. Topping this year’s list for the second year running is the CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBG), which announced that its CBRE Women’s Network earned a top 10 ranking on this Global Diversity List. CBRE’s Women’s Network is an industry leader in delivering real advantages to female professionals by providing them with valuable networking, learning and career development opportunities. Other organisations recognised by this List for their women’s networks includes A.T. Kearney, United Nations, Sodexo and General Electric.
There is a myth that women don’t support each other; it’s not true, as women can be powerful allies at work. There are simple things we can do every day to celebrate and support our female coworkers. At CBRE, growth, connection and mentorship are the three guiding principles of its Women Network. It operates with an inclusive philosophy, focusing on mentoring, professional development, personal enrichment, networking and community service.
This recognition on the Global Diversity List is a credit to the work of CBRE’s Women’s Networks, which started 16 years ago and since then, has built a very credible world-class professional alliance. The company has Women’s Networks in each of its global regions – the Americas, led by Lisa Konieczka, an executive vice president in the firm’s Chicago office; Europe, the Middle East & Africa, led by Sue Clayton, an executive director based in London; and Asia Pacific, led by APAC Talent, Diversity and Inclusion Leader Olivia Walsh. The Network has played a big role in providing a work environment at CBRE that attracts, develops and celebrates the professional successes of its people; it is the fastest growing and most populous employee network in the company.
Currently, the commitment to gender diversity is at an all-time high within companies, but many are struggling to put their commitment into practice, as they find not all employees are on board. Therefore, to level the playing field, companies need to treat gender diversity like the business imperative it is, starting with better communication, more training and a clearer focus on results. Though hard work, it is well worth doing: many studies link diversity to better business results and all employees benefit from a workplace that is inclusive and fair.
Photo Credit: CBRE