GHD hires EY leader Sadaf Parvaiz as inclusion & diversity head

19 March 2021 2 min. read
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GHD, a global design and engineering consultancy, has hired Sadaf Parvaiz as its first global inclusion and diversity head. She will remain based in Toronto.

Parvaiz will join GHD’s global senior leadership team, where she will oversee efforts to advance inclusion across the consulting firm’s global operations. Headquartered in Sydney, Australia, GHD has 10,000 people across 200 offices globally.

“This newly created leadership role places inclusion and diversity at the heart of our business, continuing the work we have been focusing on for the last five years,” said Ashley Wright, CEO of GHD.

Parvaiz joins GHD from Big Four firm EY, where she has spent the entirety of her two-decade career. She most recently served as director of diversity, inclusion, and belonging – focusing on developing and implementing strategies and initiatives to build an inclusive workplace.Sadaf Parvaiz, Inclusion & diversity head, GHDBefore specializing in organizational change and inclusion, Parvaiz worked in the assurance practice at EY, serving clients primarily in the automotive and consumer products industries.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from York University, and is a chartered accountant in Ontario and a certified public accountant in the US.

“As a global organization that is focused on encouraging creative minds to solve some of the world's biggest problems, it’s really important that GHD has a truly inclusive culture,” said Parvaiz. “My focus is to weave inclusion and diversity into all facets of our culture and business processes to create a workplace where everyone feels like they belong.”

Wright added, “Around the world, our people are working on projects across geographical boundaries with colleagues and in teams who they may never physically meet, from cultures very different to their own. At the same time, we have an enormous opportunity and responsibility to ensure our workplace is welcoming of people who have previously been under-represented in engineering, science and other technical fields. We strongly believe that diversity of thought, background, and experience helps the business to create imaginative and responsive solutions for our clients and the communities in which we operate.”

GHD delivers architecture, engineering, construction, and advisory services in the areas of water, energy, environment, buildings, and transportation.

The Australia-based company in 2014 greatly expanded its North American presence via a merger with Canadian firm Conestoga-Rovers & Associates, which had 3,000 employees. Four years later, GHD opened a new North American headquarters in Waterloo, Ontario.

As of 2018, more than half of GHD’s US$1.7 billion in annual revenue came from its North American business.