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Spotlight: Holly Chessman On Women Re-Entering The Workforce And Building A Reputation

By Innovation Women In this week's spotlight, Innovation Women member Holly Chessman shares her thoughts on women re-entering the workforce after a gap, having confidence and building a reputation as an expert.

Holly Chessman uses the word accessible a lot. As the principal of her own marketing firm, Holly Chessman Marketing, specializing in social media and content creation, Chessman understands how important accessibility to data—and opportunities—can be. Until recently, Chessman served as the vice president of marketing of Glance, a company built on the idea of simplifying online visual engagement. In that capacity, she developed and implemented marketing strategies to increase her company’s visibility. In all of Chessman’s professional roles, she works toward making women more visible and more involved in management.

“I’m passionate about equal rights for women and helping to integrate women, who have left work for family reasons, back into the workplace,” said Chessman. “Often these women are put down or undervalue themselves. That bothers me. It’s daunting to re-enter the workplace after a gap, but it’s important to remember a person’s intelligence doesn’t change because she was out of the workforce for a few months or even years. She’s still a smart person. Taking time to stay home and take care of children doesn’t turn her brain into mush.”

Chessman should know. She loves her work, but spends as much time as she can with her husband, four children, and dog.

A natural communicator, Chessman often gives talks about the value of public speaking in growing your career, increasing confidence, and building a reputation as an expert in your field. She also writes monthly columns on marketing strategy, social media, and content marketing for publications like Forbes, VentureFizz, and Business2Community.

Social media is a favorite subject for Chessman. Though she acknowledges it’s a mystery for some, Chessman is a proponent of using social media to sculpt an online image and grow business.

Many people find it intimidating, but diving in and controlling your social media presence can help nurture your network. There aren’t enough hours in the day for you to get to every networking event. Social media gets your name and your reputation out there even when you can’t be,” Chessman said.

Chessman is generous with her knowledge. “I’m inspired to encourage the growth of women in business to benefit both women and the world. I find myself increasingly moved to speak up and encourage women to create a strong presence in the workforce, to help not only themselves, but also the next generation.”

About the author

Innovation Women

Innovation Women is a “visibility” bureau helping entrepreneurial, technical and other innovative women get more visibility for themselves, their careers and their companies. Meanwhile, event managers and the media can use the site to search for female speakers and subject matter experts in order to ensure they are able to offer gender-balanced panels, speaking slates and articles.

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