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Updated: December 20, 2023

Laura Shen leaves WEX for HR leadership role at IDEXX

Laura Shen, who led diversity and inclusion efforts at WEX Inc. for the past two years, has joined IDEXX laboratories Inc., in a leadership role for the company's global human resources team.

Both companies are publicly listed and have a global footprint.

Woman with dog
Photo / Winky Lewis
Laura Shen with her dog Tucker, a 6-year-old golden retriever.

Shen started at IDEXX on Dec. 4, directing more than 30 members of the company's global operational excellence team within human resources. Her official title is senior director, global HR technology and operations, according to her LinkedIn profile.

IDEXX, a Westbrook-based veterinary diagnostics and health care provider, recently raised its full-year earnings per share outlook and posted better-than-expected third-quarter results.

Shen said her team is responsible for executing payroll on behalf of IDEXX’s 11,000-plus employees, maintaining and expanding HR’s technology and analytics suite, and providing front-line HR support to employees.

“These teams provide the foundational elements that drive efficiencies, new insights and innovation across HR and the business,” she told Mainebiz.

WEX trailblazer

Before joining IDEXX, Shen had been at WEX for a total of five years. In January 2022, she was named the Portland-based financial technology firm's first-ever chief diversity and inclusion officer. 

“You don’t have the luxury of sitting back and seeing what others do, but the really fun part of my job is to be able to create something new,” she told Mainebiz in a May 2022 cover story about diversity, equity and inclusion in the C-suite. "There’s no real playbook for DEI, it’s about doing the right things.”

Looking back on what she learned from that experience, Shen mentioned the importance of listening, collaboration and patience.

“DEI can be a deeply personal topic,” she said. “My aspiration was to create a program that met people where they were and provided a vision and program that resonated across the organization from leadership to front-line employees and across our geographic footprint. We had an annual survey but the DEI team was also very intentional about when and how we listened to build trust and gather candid feedback.”

As far as collaboration, Shen said that "progress was most evident when leaders incorporated DEI into their objectives and held themselves and their teams accountable."

What she learned about patience: "Becoming a more diverse, inclusive and equitable employer doesn’t happen overnight,"she said. "One has to assess and chart a plan and path that is authentic to the organization [and] manage expectations with the organization and yourself."

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