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May 19, 2020

One Day at a Time: How Women of Checkr Are Dealing With Shelter In Place

Checkr Editorial

We celebrated International Women’s Month throughout March (which admittedly feels like more than just a few months ago) by having our employees nominate their peers who demonstrate workplace excellence, leadership, and alignment with our company’s core values.

The world looks a lot different than it did back in March, so we thought we’d ask our nominees to reflect on recent changes and hear how they’re striking a balance in our new remote world. Here’s what they had to say.

1. What motivates you to empower others in your day-to-day work?

 love seeing others succeed, especially new leaders and individuals early in the career.  I enjoy being a sounding board and helping others come to good decisions.  I hope that by sharing my previous experience others can learn from my mistakes or struggles and accelerate their career progress. –Kristen Faris, VP of Industry Strategy

“I believe that if we’re actually going to build a fairer future we need everyone. I’m motivated to push people around me to challenge themselves, get out of their comfort zone, and do things that scare them. My empowerment style is a little intense, but I work at it relentlessly because I truly believe that everyone has the potential to be a leader in their own right, and I’m absolutely certain that unless we do this together with everyone contributing in a real way a fairer future for everyone just isn’t gonna happen, period.”  – Rehana Lerandeau, Fair Chance Program Manager

Problem solving – no problem too big or too small mentality. Every project and every person needs a little help and a new perspective every now and then. I love connecting with people and helping people solve problems. Empowering others to become successful brings me joy. – Vanessa Humes, Workplace Operations Manager

2. What is your favorite part of working for Checkr?

The mission- shocker. And with that, I want to give props to the principled struggle we all engage in daily between our mission and our business and the dedication of people who are passionate about bridging gaps, imagining things that we thought weren’t possible (then building them) and the space and resources we’re given to do so. – Rehana Lerandeau, Fair Chance Program Manager

Checkrs mission, core values, and people. We care about each other as well as the community at large. Being a mission driven company that empowers people to succeed in a variety of circumstances, while honoring diversity and inclusion, affecting positive change, and making a difference in the world.” – Vanessa Humes, Workplace Operations Manager  

“Checkr continues to disrupt the background check industry and knowing my teams can help solve some hard problems around quality, safety, and comprehensiveness keeps me excited about the work we’re doing. We’re surrounded by bright people and work together to tackle complicated parts of the business.” – Kim Oliveira, Sr. Manager of Operations

“We need to take meaningful and lasting action on the hard lessons we are learning today. When things are finally better, we shouldn’t forget when they weren’t.”

3. Do you have any advice for dealing with the challenges presented by COVID-19?

“Take it one day at a time, focus on the things within your control, give yourself permission to let some things slide and ask for help when you need it. I have found over the last two weeks that homeschooling a 7 year old and working full time are not compatible for me. Instead of beating myself up, I decided to pick up the phone and ask my mom, a former teacher, for help. Those who know me well, know that asking for help is not my strong suit but I am so happy I did because it reduced my stress level by tenfold. I’ve also been trying to identify one thing every day that I can do for myself even if it’s just carving out 15 minutes for a walk.” – Kristen Faris, VP of Industry Strategy

“LOTS OF LIZZO, morning yoga rituals, kitchen experiments and online dance tutorials! 

In all seriousness, the anxiety, pensiveness and tech-privilege guilt is real; connecting with family more than ever is my silver lining. I’m just so thankful to everyone who is keeping us safe, especially all the healthcare workers.”  – Katrina Lee, Software Engineer

“This is a difficult question to answer, because the challenges people are dealing with are so closely tied to very personal factors like health, financial, and home security. I have an underlying medical condition and am in the at risk population for COVID-19 – and yet, I’m not really at risk because I am privileged to have a job where I can safely isolate inside my home and still get paid to work remotely. I’m far more concerned about the people in my immediate family who don’t have health insurance, have already lost their jobs, or are exposed every day because they work in “essential services” like grocery stores. 

COVID-19 didn’t create these challenges; it just revealed them. So, if I need to give advice, it would be this: we need to take meaningful and lasting action on the hard lessons we are learning today. When things are finally better, we shouldn’t forget when they weren’t.” – Krista Moroder, Engineering Manager

“Use this time to reset. It’s not often we’re forced to contain ourselves to a single environment. Get in touch with the things that bring balance and focus to your life.” – Kim Oliveira, Sr. Manager of Operations

4. What are you passionate or super geeky about outside of work?

“I’ve always loved to cook and recently started dabbling in a plant based diet.  I’ve been doing a lot of experimenting with ways to take my family’s favorite meat based meals and converting them to plant based instead. It is amazing all the things you can do with cashews, rice and beans!” – Kristen Faris, VP of Industry Strategy

“I love doing woodworking and turning thriftstore finds into usable art. In the past year, I turned a metal phone booth into a vanity with lights, built an 11 foot live edge redwood table, and turned a bubble gum machine into a fishtank.” – Krista Moroder, Engineering Manager

“I’ve recently completed a home improvement project and have a newfound interest in architectural and interior design. I find myself consuming home improvement shows, reading architectural books, and using digital apps for design inspiration. I enjoy learning about styles, decades, and trends and how to weave a touch of the old with the new.” – Kim Oliveira, Sr. Manager of Operations

A huge thank you to all of our women and allies who continue to fight for progress within our company and in the broader community. Checkr has been working remotely since the first week of March, and will continue to do so following state and federal guidelines. Even as we no longer interact in person, we maintain our conscious and collaborative culture through initiatives that celebrate our success and protect our mental well being. We wish everyone all the best through these uncertain times and look forward to working together again. 

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“Take it one day at a time, focus on the things within your control, give yourself permission to let some things slide and ask for help when you need it.”