Teresa Elder

After overcoming COVID in early 2020, Elder returned to her role more committed and with more gusto than ever before, orchestrating sales of specific WOW! markets to reduce debt and identify ways to more aggressively pursue investments in the company’s network. Through her careful deliberations with the board of directors at WOW!, the decision was made to sell five of the company’s service areas in two separate transactions totaling $1.8 billion. Under Elder’s guidance, WOW! this year “took a clear-eyed audit of our diversity, equity and inclusion recruiting and hiring practices,” she says, which resulted in partnering with an organization to improve recruitment and hiring, and redesigning its Careers web page.

What’s one way your company has broadened the recruiting process to ensure greater diversity?
At WOW! we took a clear-eyed audit of our diversity, equity and inclusion recruiting and hiring practices and, with that knowledge, we developed a robust and thoughtful strategy. This strategy includes partnering with a professional DEI organization to provide training and to help improve the ways we attract, recruit and hire candidates. We redesigned the Careers page on our website to better reflect our customers and the communities we serve and we revamped hiring guides, hiring manager tool kits and updated policies. In addition to the concerted efforts teams have put into closing our DEI gaps, our ability to effectively work remotely has significantly expanded our reach and the communities from which we can find talent.

Best advice for someone looking to re-enter the workforce after a hiatus?
I have taken a couple of breaks in my career to care for family and to do non-profit work. Fortunately, I have been able to jump back into my career once I was ready.

My advice:

  • Stay engaged with the industry through your network, recruiters, and industry groups.
  • Broaden your perspective through education such as board directors’ conferences and being involved with relevant complementary companies (i.e. start-ups) perhaps as an advisor as well as staying up on key issues in your industry.
  • Further hone your leadership skills through roles (paid or volunteer), for example, chairing a non-profit board or committee.
  • Finally, I think it is important to let your friends and mentors know when you are interested in re-entering the workforce. Don’t be afraid to let people know what you’d like to do. If you don’t, you might not make it on the consideration list because people assume you are happy doing what you are doing.

Do you have an example of male allyship that made a difference to you?
Jeff Marcus has been a wonderful mentor to me since I accepted the position of CEO of WOW!. He is the WOW! Board Chair so we work closely together on the strategy for the company. Jeff has a rich background in our industry and has been CEO and Chair of multiple companies, including, of course, Marcus Cable. Because of this, he provides insightful guidance and asks the right questions at the right time. I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity to work with him. He is generous with his time, whether it is our weekly check-in or the random text on quick issues.

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