National Volunteer Week Spotlight: Meet Jackie Richards
Agency Head, Medical Communications, Syneos Health
HBA Chapter: HBA London
Current role with the HBA: European Leadership Summit (ELS) Speaker Team Co-Chair
Volunteering with the HBA is especially important to me because it gives me the opportunity to share my experience with the next generation of leaders and hopefully have a positive impact on future leaders. For me, it is about being a positive role model and acting for the causes that I believe in. Volunteering with the HBA allows me to be purposeful.
Volunteering has impacted my career by giving me wider exposure to senior leaders in the healthcare industry. The opportunity to gain diverse perspectives has allowed me to challenge my own thinking and the way that I lead and manage my teams. It has also allowed me to have a greater understanding of how different organizations approach the issue of DE&I and the initiatives that have been put in place.
Volunteering has expanded my network by introducing me to passionate, committed individuals who all have shared goals and aspirations. I am always in awe of the dedication of my fellow volunteers and how readily they give their time to ensure that HBA events are successful.
The most valuable lesson I learned from a fellow volunteer was the importance of having a positive mindset and believing that sometimes the unachievable is achievable with hard work, determination, and the support of those around you.
My employer encourages me to volunteer for the HBA because as an organization, Syneos Health is very committed to the work the HBA does and the value of fostering an inclusive environment for all employees.
What skills have you acquired or fine-tuned during your time as an HBA volunteer that you feel will help you create a future full of possibilities? I think the art of persuasion has been key in my volunteer role – persuading speakers to give their time free of charge for our events has been interesting sometimes. Learning to leverage existing networks and connections that have been made over the years has also been beneficial.
My favorite part of volunteering for the HBA is being able to interact and work with an amazing group of volunteers to organize the HBA European Leadership Summit.
I applied for my current role with the HBA because I am passionate about empowering women to be the best they can be, and I love seeing the HBA European Leadership Summit take shape. I get a real buzz out of a job well done and it’s always great to see what a positive impact HBA events have on those who attend.
I volunteer for the United Force for Change because we all bring different perspectives to the table based on our past experiences, and our individual identities and personalities. Encouraging diverse and inclusive behaviors is important to me. Providing an environment where individuals can be their best selves is how I feel we can make the most positive changes.
What would be your advice to someone thinking about joining or getting more involved with the HBA? Go for it! There’s something for everything no matter where you are on your career journey, and you will learn so much from the great men and women who are part of the HBA. It’s never too late to get involved in the HBA, so seize any opportunities that are offered to you.
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