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Meet PPD’s Business Resource Groups

What is a business resource group (BRG)? BRGs allow employees with shared interests to establish a space where they can grow in their professional careers, network with peers and leaders, drive business results and advance diversity and inclusion.

BRGs exist to provide a way for employees to connect across roles, learn more about the experiences of those around them and grow as both individuals and a unit. Membership to each group is open to all PPD employees who support the mission and purpose of the group.

Since the BRGs launched in 2019, over 2,000 employees have joined the groups. They have hosted more than 35 events, including educational and professional development events, as well as celebrations recognizing International Women’s Day, Hispanic Heritage Month, Pride Month, Juneteenth and more.

The following list includes established and newly launched BRGs with chapters in every region across the globe.

49 Voices
Katy Tam, senior director, biostatistics and statistical programming

This group seeks to create an inclusive and empowering environment that amplifies Asian and Pacific Islander voices and encourages personal and professional development. The name, 49 Voices, was selected to recognize all 49 countries of Asia and the many distinct backgrounds and cultures that make up the Asian American and Pacific Islander experience.

“As PPD continues to grow, I think the existence of these diversity efforts, especially the BRGs, is key to ensuring that employees feel welcome and appreciated. Getting to be a part of that effort is something that interests me. Having been an employee at PPD for over 20 years, I want to be able to give back to the company and my peers. Through my involvement with 49 Voices, I look forward to being able to pass on my experiences to others so that they are able to grow in the same way.” – Katy Tam, senior director, biostatistics and statistical programming, based in Morrisville, North Carolina

BOLD (Black Organization for Leadership Development)
Kevin Robinson, QA auditor I, PPD Laboratories

The Black Organization for Leadership Development (BOLD) is passionate about providing Black employees and allies with an engaging, collaborative and informational forum, while creating an empowering environment that focuses on personal and professional development. Among other initiatives, BOLD hosts a video series centered around Black excellence in clinical research, a mentorship program and a safe space discussion forum.

Since joining BOLD, my network and skills have grown exponentially. BOLD has provided me the opportunity to meet other leaders from various departments within PPD, engage in safe spaces discussions, converse with a mentor and more. I was able to join the education committee and make an immediate impact, as I now serve as a BOLD board member.  My experience in BOLD has been great, and I recommend every Black or allied employee to join.” – Kevin RobinsonQA auditor I, PPD® Laboratories, based in Richmond, Virginia

capABLE (Caregivers, Allies and Persons with Disabilities)
Colin DiPaola, associate director, finance

The capABLE BRG at PPD works to enhance our culture of inclusion for persons with disabilities, caregivers and allies by leveraging each employee’s unique abilities, raising awareness, valuing differences, removing barriers and encouraging a workplace built on dignity, trust and respect.

“This BRG provides an incredible opportunity for those who have been affected, whether directly or indirectly, by physical, mental or other disabilities. This BRG gives me hope that the future is brighter for people who face every day with physical or mental differences. It means that we are taking concrete steps to carve away at misinformation and negative perceptions that surround individuals living with disabilities, while creating a space for supporters and caregivers to find resources and offer advice.” – Colin DiPaola, associate director, finance, based in Wilmington, North Carolina

EPIC (Empowering Professional Individuals of Colour)
Christal Douglas, executive director, project delivery, neuroscience

EPIC, Empowering Professional Individuals of Colour, is a UK-based group that is passionate about celebrating people of color at PPD by embracing everyone’s differences and similarities, which enrich our personal lives and professional careers. EPIC strives to support colleagues in their career aspirations and establish a network focused on growth, collaboration and empowerment. Together we thrive, harnessing and enriching our environment for the inclusion of all. Excellence and equity are achieved with all voices working in collaboration.

“Giving a team of employees the time to start EPIC is a testament to PPD’s commitment to acknowledge the importance of a diverse workforce and to celebrate our differences. I am looking forward to further developing this group. I feel passionate about supporting, developing and advising young people on the start of their careers.” – Christal Douglasexecutive director, project delivery, neuroscience, based in Cambridge, United Kingdom

Hispanic Organization for Leadership Achievement)
Leina Otters, senior accounting manager

HOLA, the Hispanic Organization for Leadership Achievement, seeks to build, inspire and empower a strong network of Hispanic employees and allies across the United States by focusing on education, leadership and professional development.

“HOLA BRG has given me the opportunity to express my passion for the Hispanic culture at work! My personal background as a triple minority – Hispanic, immigrant and female – pushes me to find the strength to build awareness by creating a strong network of Hispanic and Latinx employees and allies. Hispanic and Latinx people are an underrepresented community, so being part of HOLA feels like being at home at PPD. In my house, I can showcase my Peruvian paintings, and in HOLA, we are fostering a sense of “familia” by sharing the Hispanic culture and learning from our diversity.” – Leina Otterssenior accounting manager, based in Wilmington, North Carolina

Military Veterans & Families at PPD (MVP)
Stephen Kulawiak, associate director, operations, medical communications

This group was created to connect veterans, reservists, National Guard members, military spouses and employees who support these communities. Its purpose is to attract, connect and support veterans, service members and their families by acknowledging their expertise, experiences and challenges, while providing continual support to create a community of employees with shared experiences. This serves to elevate PPD as an employer of choice for the military community.

“As a retired Marine officer, I appreciate this unique opportunity to serve and support both the organization and fellow veterans. Veterans and their families experience many challenges when transitioning into the civilian workforce, and that experience is not always easily understood. I am looking forward to being a part of something bigger and helping others learn how to apply their skills in the workplace through mentorship. I am also looking forward to supporting PPD through educating our leaders on what veterans can bring to the table. I love the mission and the goals MVP has established, and I am excited to see what this BRG can accomplish.” – Stephen Kulawiak, associate director, operations, medical communications, based in Morrisville, North Carolina

Pride
Arnelio Lamar, medical writer

Pride connects LGBT+ employees and allies to create a safe, inclusive and supportive network that brings education, visibility and awareness across communities. Pride hosts numerous educational sessions on topics like transgender awareness, intersectionality and support for LGBT+ youth.

“Prior to the Pride BRG, I was very reserved at work and did not open up to anyone about my personal life. When I joined the Pride BRG, I became more open at work and was able to share my experiences with other members. Through my involvement, I also had the opportunity to develop professionally by taking the role of co-lead for the Pride chapter in Manila, Philippines. In that role, I collaborated with other Pride members to develop projects and events for our chapter.” – Arnelio Lamarmedical writer, based in Manila, Philippines

Women's Empowerment Network (WEN)
Resha Jamkhandi, senior manager, clinical data management

The Women’s Empowerment Network (WEN) has a mission to provide an inclusive support network that advances and advocates for the empowerment of women. With over 1,000 members representing 10 chapters around the world, WEN provides professional development sessions, book clubs, mentorship programs and wellness sessions featuring women’s health experts.

“I am co-leading the India chapter of WEN, which was formed in September 2020. It excites me to be a part of this enthusiastic team, which encourages and motivates women to develop and achieve higher success in the workplace. Through regular meetings and talks with experienced leaders, WEN has given us a platform to network with women across the globe, which gives us the unique opportunity to enhance cultural awareness and to develop a global perspective.” – Resha Jamkhandi, senior manager, clinical data management, based in Bengaluru, India

Learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion at PPD.