Home' Facility Perspectives : Vol 11 No 4 Contents 66
FACILITY PERSPECTIVES | VOLUME 11 NUMBER 4
| DIVERSITY IN FM
DIVERSITY IN FM PROFILE
Name: Amanda Steele
Job title: Asset Services, Senior Managing
Organisation: CBRE Pty Ltd
Key responsibilities: I manage the Asset
Services business for the Pacific region. I lead
strategy development and implementation for
the Australia and New Zealand business, with a
focus on exceeding customer expectations and
delivering property management solutions that
lead the industry.
How did you end up as the Managing
Director for the CBRE Asset Services
With a lot of luck and some good decision-
making. I haven’t worked in property my
whole life, and that’s something that is really
important to me [with regard to] diversity – I
think the diversity of thinking is something
that we often ignore.
I have always looked for jobs that are
challenging, that put me outside of my
comfort zone and that are big problems to
solve. I had a career that was substantial
in sustainability, and in sustainability it is
all about strategy, long-term thinking and
solving big problems, so they are skills that
are easily transferable.
How do you see diversity in FM
Woeful – it’s a really sad state of affairs,
and it needs a lot of big-picture thinking.
FM is a space where we really need to
be innovating, and the only predictor for
innovation is broad diversity.
If there was one short-term thing and
one long-term thing that you could
do to promote diversity in FM, what
would they be?
Short term would be insisting that we have
men and women candidates during the
interview process – both as interviewers and
Long term would be ensuring that
graduate programs and broader education
promote the great opportunity that FM
provides for women and broader diverse
ethnic groups, religious groups and people
who have not worked in this industry before,
and an understanding of what skills are
required before they come across so that they
can feel confident.
You have mentioned that sometimes
people don’t want to talk to you
because you are a woman. Other than
having a man in the room (because
that’s not always possible) how do you
ensure that doesn’t stand in the way of
I deliver. Every time. I do the very best I can.
I was an unknown quantity when I took over
as Managing Director of Asset Services. That
was a gamble the business took, and I can
understand people are sceptical of my ability to
deliver, so I’ve made sure I delivered time and
time again. We wanted ISPT, we’ve delivered
Charter Hall, we have great growth, and we
go after clients wholeheartedly and exceed
their expectations. The way I overcome it is by
proving over and over again that I can do as
good a job as, if not better than, anyone else.
The FM industry is diverse and broad.
What skill sets do you think are
essential for adapting in this industry?
I think customer service can never be
undervalued, and because the FM industry
is all about people, that is a key skill set. Not
just kowtowing, but true customer service:
anticipating what the client might want,
anticipating their needs and delivering on that.
I also think customer service means building
a solid partnership and having the respect for
and from the clients, and the trust that you will
deliver for them and that you have their back.
Following that, innovation skills, which I
think will become more of a focus. There will
be a lot of technology that delivers that, but
we also need problem-solving in innovation.
What’s the problem the client has, and how
can I help them solve it? I think they are the
key deliverables in the FM space.
When you think of diversity, what
does it mean to you, and how is it
different from when you first entered
Diversity for me is about different
perspectives, different minds from all
different levels, and not just gender. Racial,
experiential, age, religion – I think the more
perspectives on decision-making and solving
problems, the more innovative the solutions
When I first started working, diversity
wasn’t a priority issue. I think gender
diversity is where we go to because we are
more than 50 per cent of the population, but
we’re not getting equality. Gender diversity
was on the agenda when I started my career,
and I think we’ve come a long way. But I do
not think we are anywhere near where we
need to be. Have I suffered discrimination
in my career? Of course I have; it’s gotten
better, but it’s also become more hidden.
I like the fact that people can’t call me
the ‘girl’ of the office, but I don’t like that
they may still think that I’m the girl of the
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