Living Our Values Makes Us a 2021 Best Place to Work
Finding a meaningful, fulfilling and supportive workplace is much like moving into a stable home with a trustworthy foundation. It can take years to locate, but when you finally do, you can’t imagine your life without it. Both provide warmth, comfort and the space to wholly be yourself, and are essential chapters in the story of your life. Just like any home, areas to refresh and transform will always exist at work, but with the right employees, beautiful, life-enhancing changes can result. At Girls on the Run, we take great pride in creating this promising ‘home’ for every member of the team, which is why employee feedback led to the Charlotte Business Journal’s selection of Girls on the Run as one of its ‘Best Places to Work’ in 2021.
From the new employees who make an immediate impact, to the seasoned staff who continue to innovate, we celebrate every employee and the unique gifts they have in store. Keep reading to see a few reasons why our staff is not only proud to call Girls on the Run home, but consider it the best workplace they’ve ever had.
We lead with an open heart and assume positive intent
One of the most effective ways to promote staff engagement and dedication is through values-based leadership. At Girls on the Run, Elizabeth Kunz, chief executive officer, directly reflects all that we strive to instill within our participants: kindness, empathy, confidence, bravery and so much more. As a lifetime advocate for girls’ and women’s issues, Liz has always encouraged others to use their power to create and enhance their own lives and the world at large. Her career was not born in the non-profit sector though. After years working in corporate America, Liz transitioned to the non-profit sector and has never looked back.
Knowing that her spark shined brightest when she was uplifting others, Liz joined Girls on the Run first as a volunteer, then chief operating officer, and finally, in 2008, chief executive officer. Her unique path to and successful leadership at Girls on the Run has inspired many on the team. Quite simply, it shows that regardless of your background, when you follow your bliss, you can use your talents to make a true difference in the world.
We express joy, optimism and gratitude through our words, thoughts and actions
Allison Riley, senior vice president, programming & evaluation, is fueled by both the creation of needle-moving programs, as well as the important relationships she has built through the years. “At Girls on the Run, every day is a new day to innovate, inspire, bring your full self and have FUN,” Allie shared. “I love working for this organization because of the culture, mission, challenging and motivating work, and all of the smart, compassionate and dedicated people I am honored to call my colleagues.”
We embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness
Just as every girl deserves the opportunity to reach her full potential, so does every staff member. Girls on the Run is an organization that values the dignity and humanity of all people to the fullest degree. For Ivory Patten, director of legal & risk, this value is paramount and one of the reasons she is most proud to be a part of the team. “My proudest moment at Girls on the Run was seeing our core values in action through the formation of our Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) Commission,” said Ivory. “I am deeply moved to work for an organization that puts such intentionality and action behind their words as evidenced by our leadership and my sister staff.”
We nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual health
The ‘Best Places to Work’ Award is uniquely meaningful as it is an honest reflection of an organization’s true feelings. If Girls on the Run did not internally embody our mission, our staff would not be the hard-working and compassionate team we are today. Throughout the years, Girls on the Run employees have come from a variety of backgrounds. Some of the pathways were complicated, some were smooth, but the common thread is that all of our journeys led to a place of complete empowerment.
Our programming inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident. This influence is equally present in the Girls on the Run workplace. The spirit, mind and soul that infuse our initiatives aren’t just words that sound good on paper – they are practices that come from the hearts of people who embody them every day of their lives. Believing in others, lifting them up during moments of doubt, celebrating our differences – this is who we are and what we do. And it’s far beyond just ‘a job’, it’s a place we call home.