Breaking Down Barriers: Celebrating Women’s History Month with Sherry Rowley
Today, in our third Breaking Barriers blog, we’re speaking with our Founder and CEO of Off Duty Management, Sherry Rowley. Sherry is an entrepreneur and an experienced professional with over 20 years of expertise in financial and operational systems. Her experience is primarily in the off-duty law enforcement industry. In addition, she has more than 10 years of experience in law enforcement services, legal administration, and risk management.
What We Love About Sherry Rowley!
Sherry is an inspiration to women who are carving their own paths through traditionally male-dominated industries. Her commitment to diversity and empowering women, coupled with her vision, leadership, and innovative thinking, has been instrumental in the growth and success of Off Duty Management.
How did Off Duty Management get started?
“Like many new company concepts, I recognized a need in the market that was not being addressed and created Off Duty Management around that idea. While leading another company, I noticed that the process by which law enforcement agencies administer their off-duty programs was generally cumbersome. Moreover, it was time-consuming and lacked consistency throughout the industry. Many officers were working off-duty jobs without the protection of proper insurance coverage.”
“My vision was to create a company that would bring efficiency, cost-savings, standardization, and proper insurance protection to law enforcement agency’s off-duty programs at no cost to the officers or agencies. My personal and professional life has always revolved around the law enforcement community. As such, I have been able to spot industry needs within that community, resulting in several successful companies including third-party administration, physical security, and technology (OfficerTRAK®).”
What do you believe are the benefits of having women in leadership positions?
“Having diversity in leadership within a company is essential to success. It brings different perspectives to the organization. Women have demonstrated their ability to contribute mightily to all aspects of business with intuitiveness and skill.”
How did you handle a growing family and business? Many women put their careers on hold to raise a family – how did you handle that?
“We had three small children, whom I home-schooled when we began to grow our first business. I found ways to incorporate work and life lessons into their daily education as they watched us grow the company. I believe they learned the importance of a strong work ethic. Hopefully, one or more of my children will inherit the entrepreneurial spirit.”
“The idea of career versus family is something that many women struggle to balance. Surprisingly, I found that other women tended to be my harshest critics. Women are often made to feel inadequate or guilty if they choose to pursue a career instead of staying home with their children. However, they are also made to feel guilty if they choose not to have children at all. On the other hand, stay-at-home mothers have been marginalized for not working or establishing a career. We, as women, need to stop judging each other and instead support and respect one another even if we’ve chosen a different path.”
“When building my family and company, I didn’t have the time or inclination to worry about what others thought. Surround yourself with people who support you. Furthermore, choose what is best for you, and don’t give any credence to what others say or think. It’s what you believe that matters.”
What advice do you have for women looking to grow their own businesses or career?
“My advice to women who want to build their business or advance their career is to understand that anything worth having takes time, hard work, and perseverance. I practice short-term sacrifice for long-term gain, and that was absolutely critical to my success. Something that I told my children and still tell my employees is, ‘Don’t look up next year and find yourself sitting in the same place, still thinking about or fixing to get ready to do something. Get to it now!’”
Thank You, Sherry Rowley!
Thanks to our CEO, Sherry Rowley, whose outstanding achievements in business serve as a testament to the value of hard work. Her unwavering commitment to diversity and empowerment represents the importance of perseverance and calculated risk-taking for women everywhere.