We knew we wanted to go big for Women’s History Month. After all, we hired our first female CEO this year, and we’re a tech company that’s 87% female—70% of whom is incarcerated at the Department of Corrections in Arizona and Indiana. It’s counterintuitive to so many that you can successfully tap into quality professionals in a women’s prison, but it’s absolutely the case. The confidence and dedication these ladies have to their work is unmatched and we love when people visit our prison-run call centers and see them where they shine. And that’s really the point of our #SeeMe campaign for Women’s History Month, as Morag Lucey shared in her blog. We want all of you to see our women for who they are today and the vast strides they’re making to rebuild their lives.
First up is an interview with Cristy Chacon, an inside sales rep at Perryville Correctional. Cristy has been with Televerde 11 years and says her professional success is in large part because of her female tribe. “The women inside these prison walls band together. It’s a sisterhood, a family, a support system. People who have never been incarcerated can’t understand the type of bond that comes from the everyday pain of being incarcerated. We share a unique journey and are stronger together. We will never give up.” #SeeCristy
What’s one misconception you want to change about women who are incarcerated?
I’d like to change the misconception that women who are incarcerated lack talent. While working at Televerde the past 11 years, I’ve been surrounded by brilliance and talent diversity. Any company would be lucky to have any of the women that Televerde has invested in. Our employees are different because of our work ethic, drive and determination. Why? We have everything to prove!
What is one accomplishment you’re most proud of?
I am most proud of my Televerde work in prison. While serving more than 17 years in prison for a non-violent crime, I’ve wondered often why I’d have to be here so long. I’ve had a lot of time to think and I believe I’m here to learn how to love—above all else. For the last 14 years, my purpose has been to help incarcerated women succeed in their personal and professional lives. It makes me feel good to know I am using my incarceration to touch and support one of the most oppressed and disempowered populations in the world.
A woman from the past who inspires me is…
Princess Diana for her strength, tenacity and the courage to push boundaries.
A woman who currently inspires me is…
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG). Teeny, tiny, itty, bitty but tough as nails! The little dynamo has paved the way for so many women in America. I was thrilled we welcomed her back to the bench on Feb. 19, following surgery to remove two cancerous nodules from her lungs. She is a fighter!
How would you like to be remembered in history books?
When someone thinks of Cristy Chacon, I’d like love, positivity and strength to be the first words that come to mind. People don’t remember what you did or what you said, but they will always remember how you made them feel. Whether I’m conducting big business or personal interactions, I make sure that every person I come in contact with feels how valuable and important they are.
This Women’s History Month, what do you want to shine a light on?
This Women’s History Month, I’d like to shine a light on femininity and the unique strengths that women possess to set them apart in the corporate world. Women are unique in that they can turn caring, giving and nurturing into effective sales and leadership techniques. On occasion, these very skills are used as a weapon against them to demean their professional prowess and make them seem less than their male peers. What encourages me is when women turn this negativity into a source of strength and succeed irrespective of these challenges.
Women’s History Month 2019