What does it mean to be a woman in leadership in the insurance and financial services industry?
Sarah Friend is one of those people whom you meet once and always remember. She has an immediately engaging presence – once she has your attention, she doesn’t lose it. Her words are clear, direct, and intent. Therefore, her influence is strong, in the best way possible.
“I am fortunate to work with the best people in the insurance and financial services business. It is an honor to serve as a leader for such a great company that serves both the community and the economy in such a positive way. However, women continue to be significantly underrepresented in senior leadership roles in the industry as a whole. While women make up a large portion of entry-level positions, we hold a small fraction of executive leadership and board positions within the field. The business case is very strong that representation matters. It creates the diversity of thought and perspectives that are necessary to get to the right business decisions to propel a company forward. I am proud that TPG’s rate of women in leadership is significantly higher than the industry average, and we continue to push it forward through focused DEI recognition and efforts. Our strong culture, commitment to a healthy work–life balance, and support of career and professional development create an environment where women grow at the same rate as men, and we are a stronger company because of it. Continuing to pave the way for the next generation of women to thrive in our industry is my privilege and my responsibility, and I hope my efforts have a long-lasting positive impact.”
As a member of TPG’s executive leadership team and board of directors, Sarah helps guide TPG’s nearly $50 million in revenue, four offices, and 180 employees (and counting!) toward greater heights. Sarah is responsible for blending all employer needs around wellness, data, and employee benefits consulting. Additionally, as the head of TPG’s Sales & Marketing teams, Sarah’s marketing leader and team have increased company awareness and put TPG on the map. In 2021, TPG enjoyed its highest sales to date and received multiple awards (including the Oregon Business 100 Best Companies, Portland Business Journal’s Corporate Philanthropy Award, and Washington’s Best Workplaces from the Puget Sound Business Journal).
Sarah lives TPG’s purpose: “Making a difference in our communities and inspiring others to do the same.” She is an ardent supporter, volunteer, and board member of the Sam Day Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to advancing research for pediatric cancer. She is an eloquent advocate both within the company as well as in the public sphere when representing The Partners Group and charitable groups with which she is involved.
“I am happiest when I am living a life that integrates family, community, and work. If there are ways I can positively contribute to individuals or the greater whole, I’m all in. To work at a company that shares that vision is a gift.”
Sarah is a proponent for change and is interested in hearing differing perspectives before efficiently making decisions. Her positivity is infectious (as is her laugh, which one can hear from several offices away). She is committed to family, community, and TPG, which not only makes her a woman of influence within our industry, but a role model for women in business.