International Women's Day - Interview with Diane Christensen, Cushman & Wakefield

Frazer Jones is proud to be supporting International Women's Day 2017. We have interviewed a series of our female clients asking them how they have been bold for change #BeBoldForChange

Frazer Jones interviewed Diane Christensen, Head of HR, Asia Pacific at Cushman & Wakefield

Diane Christensen

Who inspires you and why?
Hilary Clinton once said "We can tell stories all night and we can talk about the women who have inspired us. But what inspires me is not just who they are, but what they do. They roll their sleeves up and they get to work."

Hilary embodies so many traits that I admire and that I see consistently in strong, successful women: drive, tenacity, energy and resilience, as well as the strength of character which, in Hilary’s case, has seen her navigate some rocky patches with dignity and grace under fire, both personally and professionally.

What would your advice be to women who are trying to achieve their career ambitions?
Never let your plan stand in the way of an opportunity! Should you have a destination in mind and a roadmap of how you plan to get there? Yes, absolutely. But bear in mind that sometimes the straightest road or the shortest distance could mean that you miss other truly valuable experiences along the way – who knows, you might even decide to stop and spend a bit of time somewhere that wasn’t on your original itinerary. What I’m trying to say is: stay flexible and open to unexpected opportunities, even if they appear to come from left field – always take time to give them the genuine consideration that they warrant. It could lead to somewhere even better than you thought!

What were the main drivers in helping you succeed in your career?
From my first role onwards I have always been honest with myself about what I do and don’t enjoy, and that in turn has played a big part in my choice of roles as well as companies to work for. Trite as it may sound, we spend too much time at work to compromise on our choices. It is important to know what you want and what you are, as well as are not, prepared to do to achieve it. Twice in my career I have made choices that weren’t good because I allowed myself to be swayed by other influences – on both occasions I recognized it early and was lucky to be able to get back on track without too much impact to my career.

Most of all, I put my success down to flexibility, resilience, hard work, passion and energy about what I do, mixed with the confidence to back myself even when I was daunted by an opportunity!