NEWS9 March 2022

MRS board elects two new members

News People UK

UK – The Market Research Society (MRS) has appointed two new members to its main board, Parves Khan and Marie-Claude Gervais.

Head shots of Parves Khan and Marie-Claude Gervais

The former is vice-president of market research & insight at INTO University Partnerships, while the latter is a director at The Foundation. 

Khan (pictured above left) is an experienced board member and insight leader with two decades of market research practice, who has worked both client and agency side and headed the insights function at FTSE 100 companies. She brings with her strategic, commercial and digital experience with a solid understanding of financial oversight, risk management, diversity and culture. 

“I will draw on these competencies to support the MRS to achieve its mission; specifically, to influence, inspire and catalyse positive change across two areas I am passionate about”, said Khan. She explained further: “One is driving thought leadership on how market research should evolve to encompass innovative and disruptive technologies that we can use to generate impactful insights. The other is driving diversity. 

“Throughout my career I was often the only non-white person ‘in the room’, particularly at leadership level. Sadly, not that much has changed. The lack of role models for the future talent pipeline from black and ethnic minorities is an issue that needs addressing if we are to create a thriving and inclusive research sector.”

Gervais (pictured above right) is a regular trainer and presenter at MRS conferences, as well as being the winner of MRS audience and MRS cultural insights awards and a finalist in the MRS inclusive research awards. She was also honoured as a 2021 Research Hero.

She commented: “I know how valuable the support and recognition of the MRS can be. I would now like to give back and do all I can to amplify the value of the MRS to members, clients and society.

“My experience as a lecturer in social psychology and research methods at LSE will hopefully enable us to develop more high-quality training. I am particularly keen to increase the sector’s capabilities around inclusive research, as well as research with seldom-heard groups. 

Gervais is also involved in the work that MRS does in the diversity and inclusion sphere. “Last year, I authored the MRS report on DI&E. My expertise in this field will support the work of the DI&E council and will help ensure that MRS strategies and activities are ‘equality proofed’, from a governance perspective.”

She continued: “More generally, as ‘big data’ and technology change the sector, I wish to promote the enduring value of consumer insight for decision making, as well as help to make sure research is a force for good and serves wider interests.”

Welcoming the two new members, MRS chief executive Jane Frost noted: “It was great to have such an incredibly strong set of candidates for the board with such different skill sets. I am delighted to welcome Marie Claude and Parves, who I know will be a great asset to all of us and I look forward to working with them both.”