The more ways corporations are supporting DEI, the better, Crichlow believes. For her part, she’s pushed for greater workforce representation at every level of Charter, including its executive leadership. At the same time, she’s found ways to support diverse businesses through the company’s community impact function. Charter committed $3 million to the National Urban League’s small business lending subsidiary in an effort to lift minority-owned businesses. She has a personal connection with those looking to re-enter the workforce, having taken time away herself once upon a time. “My pre-hiatus work experience was a valuable aspect of what I brought to the table, even though I wanted to move into a different direction professionally,” she says. “I did not let anyone negate the importance of what I learned and accomplished before I took time off.”
Best advice for someone looking to re-enter the workforce after a hiatus?
This question is deeply personal to m—earlier in my career, I struggled with navigating how best to re-enter the workforce when I took time off after I had my first child and my family relocated to a new area for my husband’s job. Further complicating this experience—I wanted to do something entirely different! Hopefully my experience and learnings can help others:
- Know your worth. My pre-hiatus work experience was a valuable aspect of what I brought to the table, even though I wanted to move into a different direction professionally. I evaluated my core competencies and how they mapped to different jobs/career paths that were of interest to me. It was also critical that during this time, I did not let anyone negate the importance of what I learned and accomplished before I took time off.
- Build your skills. I volunteered to develop new skills that were more closely aligned to the career path I wanted to pursue. On my resume, I highlighted the challenges/obstacles I addressed through volunteerism and related results, which strengthened my candidacy for future roles.
- Leverage your network. Use your network to help open doors not only to new professional opportunities, but to additional individuals who can offer a unique and different perspective as you transition back to the workplace.
What one female empowerment book do you think every woman should read?
While not strictly about female empowerment, “Becoming” by Michelle Obama was an inspirational and informative read that provided interesting anecdotes and valuable advice to accomplish great things in the face of uncertainty, and continually refine what success means to us as individuals.