Gina: Charissa, thank you for taking the time to chat with me. As a young female in business, your work ethic and drive have been an inspiration! What advice would you give to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
Charissa: It is no secret that women are not treated fairly in the workplace. For a young woman, I would advise that strength, passion and a drive to succeed are essential. As a woman you have to have the strength to prove your value and fight for your worth consistently.
Gina: How do you motivate yourself and help motivate others on our team?
Charissa: By putting integrity first at all times and treating people with kindness and respect. It is my experience, when people don’t respect you it is very difficult to motivate them. Each person is different and are therefore motivated differently. As a leader, I believe you must be a good listener, learn the tendencies of your team and what drives them. Motivation for me is very similar in that aspect, I am motivated most when I feel valued, respected and treated with integrity.
Gina: How did you get to where you are today, a powerful role within our organization, and who or what helped you get there?
Charissa: I have been blessed with strong leaders that pushed me and advised me along the way. Most of which are still there to advice me to this day. Each of us need encouragement, even how little it may be it sticks with a person. I believe all the little words of encouragement and advice have stuck with me all these years and continue to whisper in my ear when I need to be motivated.
Gina: What have you learned about leadership and entrepreneurship from your role here at ADF?
Charissa: I have been with ADF for over a decade. When I started, we were a very small company. I had to be very resourceful to teach myself the skills needed to succeed and find the necessary tools. This has taught me the value in having a growth mindset and how to encourage others to continue to learn and grow.
Gina: Did you have any female mentors that influenced your life? How did they do so?
Charissa: Absolutely! Above all else, my mother has been my strongest female mentor. All her life she worked extremely hard. She never wanted to be seen as a person that was weak. She always had an above and beyond attitude with a superior work ethic. As an immigrant from the philippines that came to the US, she had to fight to prove her value and respect. She was and is one of the most successful people in our family and I have immense admiration for her.
Gina: What are some strategies you’ve learned that can help women achieve a more prominent role in their organizations?
Charissa: I was asked this in the past and had to really think about what values I have and how to succeed. I think these phrases are key to success and what I try to tell myself consistently: I will go above and beyond, I will be resourceful, I will learn skills essential to grow, I will demand respect with my work ethic, I will be kind, I will have integrity. I will fail, I will correct my failures and I will be driven to succeed.
Gina: That also exemplifies our Culture Code. Charissa, thank you for your wisdom and input. You truly exemplify what ADF stands for and are a great role model.