Martha McIver on Being Named One of Toronto’s Top Women Leaders

September 27, 2022 4 Minute Read

Martha McIver

Martha McIver, CBRE Canada’s Head of People, was recently named one of Toronto’s Top 50 Women Leaders of 2022 by the Women We Admire publication.

We spoke to McIver about her career path, her advice for job seekers and women in the workplace, and insights on the current employment market.

What does being named one of Toronto’s top 50 women of the year mean to you?

I feel so honoured to have been included alongside such an accomplished and diverse group of women leaders working across various roles and industries. I’m also touched by the number of messages I’ve received from people I have worked with, both in previous jobs and here at CBRE. It’s both overwhelming and gratifying at the same time.

Tell us about your career path to this point

I’ve always worked in human resources. From compensation to recruitment to now working as a business partner, I’ve gained experience across various aspects of the field over the years. My current position requires me to leverage all that expertise as a generalist to assist organizations undergoing changes with all facets of HR. It’s what I enjoy the most because I get to collaborate across the organization with groups like finance, communications and legal. Every day is a different challenge.

How would you describe yourself?

I’m a lifelong learner. Over the years I’ve faced challenges and have had to adjust to change, but I’ve always had a willingness to learn and improve myself. CBRE is a very fast-paced environment, so I’ve had the chance to learn tremendously and adapt to changes in a way that has made me more resilient and responsive.

It's inspiring to see women who support each other in their successes. - Martha McIver

Do you have any favourite projects to work on?

Acquisitions are very exciting because you’re working with the business to support growth. They’re a great challenge, too, because of the complexities related to legal agreements, answering questions from employees merging into the organization and ensuring that they feel supported. HR can also bring value to businesses undergoing reorganizations and downsizing by supporting people impacted by that shift.

In this tight labour market, what does it take to attract and retain top talent?

You have to be particularly fast when it comes to recruitment because the people applying to your position are likely interviewing for other opportunities as well. Managers need to really sell the benefits of working with their team and communicate effectively with candidates.

The best way to retain talent is to ensure that managers support and connect with their employees. By building a strong one-on-one relationship, managers can understand their employees’ needs and goals, and furnish them with the resources to assist them in growth and development. My team and I coach and collaborate with managers to ensure that they have all the tools and training they need to set up their teams for success.

What inspires you about the next generation of women leaders?

We have made great progress with regards to gender equality over the years, but we still have a long way to go. As a mother of two daughters growing up in this ever-changing world, I want to ensure that they are independent and successful, and that they receive the recognition they deserve. Everything we do to champion women in their careers is important, and it’s particularly inspiring to see women who support each other in their successes.

What is one piece of advice you would like to leave for the next generation of women in the workplace?

I recognize that much of my success has come from working alongside various teams of hard-working people throughout the years. Find a team that complements your strengths and that empowers one another to succeed. Take chances, grasp every learning opportunity, and make the most of networking. And don’t be afraid to speak up and raise your voice in a productive manner. People are usually more than happy to help when you ask.

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