Drew Collier recognized as a Notable Champion of Diversity by Automotive News Canada

December 19, 2023
In the News

As originally featured in Automotive News Canada December 18, 2023).

Drew Collier, 53


The right thing to do is never the wrong thing to do.” That’s how Drew Collier, CEO of LGM Financial Services in Vancouver, views diversity, equity and inclusion.

“There’s data that suggests that organizations that are more diverse have better employee retention, they have better employee attraction,” Collier said. “When you get people from diverse backgrounds sharing their views and perspectives, it creates more innovation.”

In a commoditized sector such as the auto industry, where even a minute price difference can make or break a deal, better ideas are worth their weight in gold, he said.

“I’ve talked to some of our OEM partners and they’ve said things like, ‘When it goes through procurement, if you guys are five bucks more expensive, we’ll move,’” said Collier, who credits the diversity of his teams for coming up with new and better products.

He’s proud that half of the leadership team are women or from a visible minority and, overall, 47 per cent of the 164 employees are women. But he also knows DEI needs constant tending and attention.

“I don’t think it’s a static bar to say this is the perfect definition of DEI forever. It’s continuing to evolve as we learn new things.”

Collier pointed to the current hostilities between Israel and Hamas as an example.

“The crisis in the Middle East right now is causing some of us to have to learn a little bit more.

“We’ve got people on our team that are on both sides of that conflict. How do you work through that as a leader?”

That constant evolution means organizations will never be perfect when it comes to diversity.

“We all slip up from time to time. We make mistakes, and those are good learning opportunities,” he said.

What LGM tries to do is instill a sense of respect and empathy in all staff, from the front line to the C- suite, he said. That allows people to “very quickly move away from judgment and move towards understanding and collaboration.”

Collier called on the industry to embrace DEI. Companies that don’t will find themselves at a disadvantage, he said, as customers wonder whether they are truly innovative.

“I would really question [a company’s] ability to meet my needs as a business going forward,” Collier said. “We don’t give enough credit to the importance of diversity in our industry and, as a result, we accept the status quo.”