Name: Chris Williams
Role: Regional Operational Lead, GWS
Time at CBRE: 4 years
How would you describe yourself in 5 words?
How would you sum up your role?
Regional Operations Lead with full accountability for the Kimberly-Clark FM operations covering the North West Europe Region, namely UK, France, Spain, Netherlands & Italy, accountable for cost management, service delivery, SLA & KPI performance, stakeholder management, compliance, technical and front facing services at the client facilities.
How did you get into the industry?
My father told me to secure a trade and after completing an electrical apprenticeship I drifted into the facilities management arena when I worked direct for the Royal Albert Hall.
Ten years ago, where did you think you would be in your career now?
I thought I would be Managing Director.
Who would you invite to your celebrity dream dinner party (dead or alive)?
Chadwick Bosman, Barak Obama, TD Jakes, Tony Robbins, Robert Nesta Marley, Martin Luther King, Muhammed Ali, Maya Angelou, Aretha Franklin, Michael Jackson, Richard Pryor, Harriet Tubman, Albert Einstein, Jesus Christ.
What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?
My mother drowning in Barbados and not being around to see my journey, it has definitely caused me to appreciate life irrespective of the obstacles.
What has been your biggest (professional) challenge so far?
Navigating a part time Executive MBA course, alongside my wife, 4 children, a busy job spanning across 5 countries has been very challenging but very rewarding.
What are you most proud of?
The individual careers that I have helped to shape and progress over the last 15 years.
What is the best advice you have been given and why?
I read something recently which I consider to be excellent advice and it is a quote from Henry David Thoreau "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away." This resonates with me as I have been raised with strong traditions and values and find it important to not be easily influenced by the beat of a new drum without careful consideration.
What can CBRE and the wider sector do to improve racial diversity?
- Make D&I an appraisal objective for all
- Create equity programmes to ensure there is a level playing field for all (as some people may require additional support due to their social context)
- Prioritise collection of ethnicity data and overcome any challenges to achieve this