Cheryl Manley

Manley and her team played an integral role in supporting Charter’s employees through the last two years of uncertainty and disruption, monitoring shifting emergency orders and adopting workplace safety protocols. She is used to being the only woman on a team and having to count on male allies, but one senior leader at Charter stands apart from the rest. When an issue arose that would have been easier to sweep under the rug, he showed himself to be a man of integrity and honesty. “That leader earned my respect and trust, and I consider him the epitome of a role model,” she says. Outside of her day job, Manley chairs NAMIC’s board of directors and is an active member of WICT and the Spectrum Women and Spectrum Multi-Cultural business resource groups.

Best advice for someone looking to re-enter the workforce after a hiatus?
I would advise anyone re-entering the workforce after a hiatus to have the courage to be authentic and the patience to work in an organization that may not immediately or perfectly meet every expectation. Authenticity allows leaders to more accurately assess a person’s strengths, potential, and where and how that person fits best in the organization. Moreover, a person who is authentic from the outset is likely to be less stressed and more engaged. Gone are the days when – to have a successful career – we had to perform, behave, look, and aspire in a manner pre-determined by others. Today, we embrace and invite diversity. Patience is a reminder that organizations – including the leaders that run them – are constantly evolving; striving to do and be better. A person who is impatient or short-sighted may miss out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Do you have an example of male allyship that made a difference to you?
Throughout my career, I have often been the only woman. Whether I’ve been the only woman on a team or the only female leader or the first woman to reach a certain position in the organization, my allies have been men. A male ally who has impacted me the most is a senior leader at Charter who demonstrated remarkable integrity at a time when it would have been easier to sweep the issue under the proverbial rug. That leader earned my respect and trust, and I consider him the epitome of a role model. I learned from him that it is far more important to do the right thing rather than to please the right people.

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