AN INTERVIEW WITH GREG RUSH, CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER, PAREXEL & AIDA SABO, VICE PRESIDENT, DIVERSITY, EQUITY & INCLUSION, PAREXEL
Why was it critical for your organization to be involved in the Gender Parity Collaborative?
AIDA: It’s important for us to be part of the Gender Parity Collaborative for various reasons. First, we can learn best practices around gender equity/advancement. Second, we can share some of our successes so that others learn from them as well. We value collaborating on joint efforts to advance our industry. We have been formally committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion for more than five years and have a dedicated department for DEI at the corporate level. Active participation in the Collaborative is a reflection of our commitment.
As a CFO, why should companies care about gender equity?
GREG: First and foremost, companies should always do what is “right,” regardless of whether it is profitable or not. Doing what is right produces a better and ultimately more profitable organization. If we tap all our talent, we achieve the best results. Alternatively, if we don’t do the right thing, this can prove to be costly resulting in a damaged reputation, loss of key talent, and possible adverse financial consequences.
How has your company benefited from the Collaborative discussion forums with like-minded industry peers?
AIDA: We draw inspiration, validation, ideas, synergy and a strong sense that we are moving forward together towards a common goal. Because many of the members of the consortium are our customers, we continuously learn about their priorities and how they are aligned with ours and vice versa. This alignment is vitally important for the benefit of society and public health.
As one of your organization’s leaders, why are you personally committed to advancing gender parity in the workplace?
GREG: For most of my life I did not take the time to understand there actually could be gender disparity in the workplace. That all changed as a very powerful and much more intelligent individual than myself came into my life and educated me. That person was my wife, and later in life, my adult daughters. I embarked on a promise to my daughters never to be part of the “problem” but instead part of the solution. It became personal to me, not because it is the politically correct thing or to make the company “look good,” but because it is the right thing to do.
What makes this consortium unique compared to other initiatives/investments happening in your own organization?
AIDA: This consortium provides the opportunity to work collaboratively with other companies engaged in the healthcare field committed to gender parity. While our own corporate commitment is important, we gather further strength and validation through cooperation and comparison with similar initiatives at other companies in our space. There is truly strength in numbers.