How the Busiest Exec in Aesthetics Gives Back

Carrie Strom headshot

No matter how much you want to give back to your community, you only have so many hours to commit to volunteering. So how do you figure out which organizations will be the best match for your time and talent? We asked Carrie Strom—President of Global Allergan Aesthetics and SVP at AbbVie, and longtime volunteer—how she picks her causes and balances her charitable commitments with her incredibly demanding job.

The busy exec says to start with a gut check: “Do I feel like this is the best use of my time? And if not, make sure you’re allocating your time where you should.”

Finding Your Fit

Carrie sits on the board of Girls Inc. of Orange County, but her involvement with the organization has evolved over a number of years. She first learned about the organization’s work when a friend invited her to a Girls Inc. fundraiser. Carrie realized there was an opportunity to get Allergan Aesthetics involved with the organization, which led to efforts to establish mentorship programs and internships for Girls Inc. members.

3 girls a part of girls inc smiling

Image courtesy of Girls Inc.

As she became more involved, her passion for the organization grew.

Supporting Girls Inc. of OC helps Carrie achieve both her personal and professional goals. “I’m a mother; I have a 13-year-old daughter and a 10-year old boy, and I think it’s important for both of them to see how strong, smart, and bold girls can be,” she explained. “Also, I’m running a business of thousands of employees around the world, and I need to develop and attract the absolute best talent to come work at Allergan Aesthetics. I can do that by helping the girls in our community to graduate, go to college, and pursue STEM careers.”

Keep in mind that time is our most precious resource. Based on what is going on in your life at any given point in time, some organizations–even those doing amazing work–may not be the right fit. Carrie noted that you don’t have to commit to an organization for life, and it’s okay if you need to transition your responsibility as you pursue new passion projects.  But, when you are involved, the organization is counting on you to be firing on all cylinders.

Maximize Your Impact

3 women holding a check to support girls inc

You don’t have to sit on a non-profit board to become an advocate for giving in your organization. Carrie explained that many companies, like Allergan Aesthetics, encourage their teams to get involved in the community through donation matching and designated volunteer days.

“Check and see if the company you work at has a corporate giving policy or matching donations,” Carrie suggested. “If you don’t have one, I would say talk to your management team if that’s something that people would be interested in.”

Another way to give back as a company? Volunteer together!

“Another great thing we do at our company is we have a day of giving where every employee is able to just spend that day giving back. That’s great because you’re physically doing something where you can see an impact. You’re also bonding with your team, and then that creates a positive flywheel of philanthropy.”

The Win-Win

Making room in your life for giving is a beautiful way to express gratitude for the opportunities you’ve enjoyed, but it can also benefit you in the form of stronger, more vibrant communities.

“The long-term mission is gender parity in the workplace. I hope my work with Girls Inc. inspires girls to believe it can happen, because ‘if you see it, you can be it,’” she said. “And as these talented young women graduate with their STEM degrees, I look forward to hiring them into my workforce to drive us into the future!”

Ready to start volunteering? Check out Volunteer Match’s City Hubs to find organizations near you.

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