Women Employed is excited to welcome Cherita Ellens, who took the helm as WE’s new CEO earlier this month. Cherita Ellens is a proven non-profit leader with experience in strategic analysis and planning, operations, staff development, project management, and marketing communications. She brings decades of commitment to increasing opportunity and advancing equity to her role at WE, and a firm belief that all people should have agency over their lives. Prior to joining Women Employed, she held executive roles at Skills for Chicagoland’s Future, as well as the South Side and Wabash YMCAs.
Learn more about Cherita and why she’s so excited for her new role here.
Tell us about yourself! What would you want WE’s supporters to know about you?
Let’s begin with the stuff you won’t find on LinkedIn or Facebook. I am a proud mom of an amazing young lady who is in her 2nd year of college, and she is one of the primary reasons why I push myself to be the best version of me every day. I am a Chicago native — a product of Chicago Public Schools — and while I have lived on every side of town, I consider myself a proud Southsider. I believe in living my life in service to mankind, which for me translates to working to remove barriers in order for individuals and families to be well and self-sufficient.
What excites you about leading WE and how do you hope to make a difference?
As a results-driven leader, I am attracted to organizations that focus on results, not activity. WE has demonstrated a commitment to not just thought leadership and vision but to actionable advocacy. Over the years, WE has been able to accomplish an impressive list of wins for women and families. I feel honored to take the helm of an organization that has had such a long history of impact. I am excited to get to work relentlessly pursuing equity and equality for women in the workforce by effecting policy change, facilitating access to educational opportunities, and eradicating unfair work practices. I am hopeful that with my leadership, and an intersectional approach to gender equity, WE will continue to activate current supporters and gain visibility and engagement of new audiences of supporters all committed to making the world a better place for ALL of us.
What is your message for women in the workforce?
Take your seat at the table. You deserve it! You earned it. And, many have fought for you to have access to it.