Advice on Building a Successful Career and Overcoming Adversity
By Theresa Haywood-McCarley, retired senior director, corporate social responsibility at onsemi
As the senior director for corporate social responsibility (CSR) at ON Semiconductor, I am responsible for the company’s strategy covering a variety of topics in the environmental, social and governance (ESG) space and beyond. Throughout my career I have held roles across many disciplines and of increasing responsibility, starting as a quality and reliability engineer, as the warranty administrator for Delco, as the manager for returnable packaging, coordinating new product development input to the sales and operations planning, to global quality systems. I’ve managed people for the majority of my career, at times up to 65 individuals, and believe that developing people and being a positive role model and mentor is one of the most important jobs providing benefits both personally and for the company.
I began my career in an industry and company that did not have a lot of women or women of color as individual contributors or in management. In general, it was a challenging time for both people of color and women in the workforce. Early in my career, there were concerns that ranged from traveling alone as a woman on business trips or being the only female in a group meeting while the general manager cursed and slammed his fist on the table. He later apologized.