WEST CHESTER, PA — The Chester County Fund for Women and Girls (CCFWG) will host its fourth annual Champions of Change Event on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, in a virtual format.
The event will honor Charmaine Rochester for her efforts to support and uplift women of color in the financial and healthcare fields. Charmaine is Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President at Chester County Hospital, a member hospital of Penn Medicine.
SEI will also be honored for its commitment to career development and growth for female employees, and efforts to advance gender equity in the workplace.
Charmaine Rochester will receive CCFWG’s fourth annual Gladys Black Woman of Distinction Award, named in memory of CCFWG’s late friend and committed Board member Gladys Black. As a business leader and supporter of women and girls in Chester County, Gladys left a lasting impact on our community.
This year, we honor Charmaine’s dedication to providing support, resources, and leadership opportunities to women of color in the financial and healthcare professions.
Born in Jamaica, Charmaine went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Howard University, an MBA from Florida Atlantic University, and Doctor of Health Administration degree from Central Michigan University.
Throughout her 28-year career, she has often found herself to be the only woman of color in the board room: “It’s very humbling. There are other talented African American finance professionals who have not gotten the opportunities I have. I feel a sense of responsibility to support the growth and development of others like me who are trying to find their way.”
A true champion for women, Charmaine launched the Legacy Builders Breakfast series to provide opportunities for mentoring and networking for African American women in healthcare.
She serves as a mentor for young professionals from several organizations, including the Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA) and the National Association of Health Service Executives (NAHSE).
She has been a Girl Scout troop leader and is a current board member for Community Volunteers in Medicine (CVIM).
In 2018, Charmaine was named CFO of the Year by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Her husband spent his career in the Navy, and their three children serve in the US Air Force.
As an advocate for its employees, SEI encourages female employees to pursue professional and leadership opportunities through its robust Women’s Network.
The group hosts an annual Leadership Summit that brings together industry experts from SEI and the Philadelphia area to explore topics that support women’s success and leadership.
SEI has also developed an Emerging Leaders Program to encourage college-aged women to explore various career opportunities in the financial services sector.
Finally, its “Get, Grow, Keep” initiative focuses on developing a clearer path for women to advance within the company, changing the internal recruitment process to make more positions available for current employees, and updating job descriptions to allow for more qualified applicants.
“In order to have more senior women leaders, we need a healthy pipeline of women in junior and mid-level positions,” said Colleen Stratton, Global Leader of Workforce Development at SEI.
“The goal of our programs, which include ‘Get, Grow, Keep,’ our Associate Program and return-to-work programs, is to create new avenues for women to learn our industry and advance. Having more women in senior roles is just good business.”
Globally, SEI has worked to decrease its gender pay gap; attract, promote and retain female leaders; and elevate the voices of its female employees.
SEI’s leadership has developed a benchmark by which to measure the company’s vision for an innovative culture that sets an example and redefines the standard for gender parity in the financial services industry.
“Now more than ever, we need leaders who will bear the mantle for gender and racial equity in the workforce, education, and all institutions,” said CCFWG Executive Director, Michelle Legaspi Sánchez.
“CCFWG is proud to recognize the longstanding commitment of Charmaine Rochester and as well as SEI. Because of their leadership and courage, many women in Chester County and beyond have more opportunities to move forward.”
To learn more about Champions of Change sponsorship opportunities, contact CCFWG Development Director Dana Wiley at [email protected] or 484-356-0940, or visit https://ccwomenandgirls.org/sponsorship/.
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