Building a Culture of Change

Senior executive Sue Rice is spearheading change that is driving engagement across a $17 billion company with more than 50,000 employees doing business in 50 countries.

As senior vice president of Human Resources at Thermo Fisher Scientific, Rice is a champion of inclusion. Her colleagues say she is actively creating an environment where all employees are able to bring their whole selves to work each day.

Rice takes a broader approach to traditional diversity and inclusion initiatives by focusing on less visible elements, including communication and working styles, and conflict resolution techniques. By valuing and promoting a culture of diversity and inclusion, she is enabling all employees to contribute their unique perspectives and fully leverage their individual talents.

“Being part of a company whose mission is to enable our customers to make the world healthier, cleaner, and safer gives me the ability to realize my best, personally and professionally,” Rice said.

As the senior sponsor of the company’s six employee resource groups, Rice challenges employees at all levels of the organization to “open their eyes” and understand the business case for diversity and inclusion. The power of inclusion-first thinking is that it fosters behaviors that lead to better business results, enabling employees to more fully engage in their work and sparking more innovative thinking toward achieving the company’s goals and overall mission.

By supporting the strategy set forth by the Office of Global Diversity & Inclusion, Thermo Fisher Scientific has strengthened talent acquisition, development and retention, created supplier diversity and – ultimately – customer engagement.

Rice joined the company a decade ago as vice president of human resources for the Analytical Technologies business. Within a year, she took on additional responsibility for HR leadership in Asia-Pacific and Emerging Markets, and three years ago she assumed her current role. She said the turning point in her career was realizing she could influence positive change for employees that would have a direct correlation with business performance.

Rice holds a master’s degree in public health from Yale University and a bachelor’s degree in biology from Bates College.