by Benjamin Gleisser
After meeting Gloria Steinem at Lafayette in 2008, Lia Mandaglio Parifax ’08 vowed to work for social justice. Today, she advises corporations about the value of diversity in marketing strategies and recruiting practices.
A psychology and English graduate with the highest cumulative grade-point average in her class, Parifax is an attorney and COO at Coda Leadership in Manhattan, a consulting fi rm with Fortune 500 clients.
Businesses recognize the importance of diversity and gender rights because consumers who support these ideals account for $740 billion in spending power, Parifax says.
“Young people want to work at companies with a progressive business philosophy that features LGBT inclusion,” says Parifax, who earned a J.D. from George Washington University Law School.
She and her husband, Hudson Taylor (above left), founded Athlete Ally in 2011. The group seeks to end homophobia and transphobia in sports by encouraging athletes to support LGBT rights. Former U.S. Congressman Barney Frank penned an article praising the couple’s work in the March issue of Vanity Fair. Frederick Raffetto ’87, a partner with the law firm Ansell Grimm & Aaron, Clifton, N.J., is also on the board.
Athlete Ally has been featured in The New York Times, MSNBC, and other media outlets. Last year, Mazzoni Center, Philadelphia’s leading HIV/AIDS health provider, honored Parifax for her work.
Parifax credits Carolynn Van Dyke, March Professor of English, for sparking her interest in social justice. Van Dyke also advised her honors thesis, “Women’s Reproductive Rights Rhetoric,” which was published in Cambridge University’s International Journal of Law in Context.
As an EXCEL Scholar, she collaborated with Ann McGillicuddy-Delisi, Metzgar Professor Emerita of Psychology, on research about aversive prejudice and anti-Semitism in health care decisions, which she presented at a national conference.
Her commitment to gender equality is reflected in the new last name she and her husband created—combining the Latin words pari (same) and fax (flame).