Dee Sawyer is a vice president of T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., and T. Rowe Investment Services, Inc., becoming the head of HR for Distribution and Product earlier this year. Previous roles with the firm included serving as head of Corporate Marketing and Communications and as head of Individual Investors, US Investment Services. During her more than 25 years in the financial-services industry, Sawyer has also held executive positions with Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Fidelity Investments.

As head of Human Resources for Global Distribution and Product, Sawyer is responsible for championing and driving HR best practices across various distribution channels that are charged with growing the firm’s client base and expanding product adoption across the globe.

A strong advocate of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, she served as chair of T. Rowe Price’s Women’s Roundtable, a professional development group that brings together female leaders to offer ideas for increasing the representation of women in management and leadership. The Group also helps create an environment in which women (and men) leaders can influence the firm’s culture regarding gender-related issues, workplace policies and practices.

“As I reflect on my career, I didn’t think of it as having one destination. It’s a journey. When I started working in financial services, I never thought I would end up in a senior leadership position within the Human Resources department,” relates Sawyer. “You may find yourself weaving in and out of totally different departments before landing a senior role, and that’s okay—careers aren’t always linear.”

Sawyer has definite ideas about the qualities female leaders should possess. “It’s a fact that men and women are different; however, I think we should try to step away from assumptions we may have made. I think all leaders should be confident, diligent, positive, transparent and, perhaps most important, self-aware. I think a vital part of being a leader is recognizing and acknowledging the impact you have on others,” she explains.