A global day of celebrating women’s achievement, we at Longbridge Financial are celebrating International Women’s Day (March 8) all month long. As we stand with International Women’s Day in their mission to take action for equality and #BreakTheBias, we’re proud to highlight some of our own women leaders here at Longbridge.
In this installment of our “Ladies Who Lead” blog series, we chat with Rose Laprus to talk about women’s empowerment in the workplace – and balancing motherhood with a heavy workload.
A licensed CPA, Rose is Controller for Longbridge Financial and a member of our Senior Management Team. In overseeing the Accounting Department, Rose has extensive knowledge in the field and is a true resource for her team. With over a decade in the financial industry, Rose has held roles as a Senior Accountant, Vice President of Finance, and Vice President of Accounting. Her latest title? Working mother to two young daughters!
Q: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
A: International Women’s Day is a day of not only recognizing the breakthroughs of female leaders, but also celebrating them. Truth be told, it’s a nice reminder for myself to really take a minute and acknowledge everything that I’ve accomplished, both professionally and personally. With day-to-day life being so busy, it’s easy for us to lose sight of this.
Q: How do you share your wisdom, expertise, or ideas to empower other women as a leader?
A: I am genuine, sincere, and transparent with all my team members. For the younger ladies on my team, I try to be a good mentor to them. It’s all about helping them to be the best versions of themselves and setting them on the right path for a successful career long-term.
Q: How do you feel that Longbridge sets a culture of equality and inclusivity?
A: Longbridge has cultivated an equal and inclusive environment that was apparent and attracted me immediately from the day I first interviewed for my role. It’s so ingrained in the core values of the company that it comes across as effortless. With the financial industry being largely male dominated, especially in my field, coming to Longbridge and seeing how many women are in leadership roles has been a breath of fresh air.
Having two young daughters, adjusting to a work-life balance at the start of the COVID pandemic was really a tough time for me. Transitioning to working from home and having two girls that relied on me for everything – I’m talking food, bathroom, and everything in between – was a big challenge, especially without having access to childcare at the time. I was beginning to doubt my future as a professional because balancing everything to the standard I wanted was just becoming impossible. One day, in talking to management, I mentioned this struggle and the toll it had been taking on me. I felt like it was my breaking point, but I was met with such support and compassion, to the extent that one of our senior leaders was literally coaching me to take time with my kids throughout the day. Just a few simple suggestions were so logical and made a complete 180-degree impact on how I was feeling. I never felt that I needed to hide my challenges or struggles here – Longbridge is just that type of environment where it is a safe space to express our challenges so freely, and in turn, feel so supported by the whole team.
Q: Who is your female role model?
A: My mom. She has worn every hat I’ve ever needed her to throughout every stage of my life, including this stage, where she puts on her best hat of all – her role as Grandma! She supports my family in so many ways. Just recently, on Presidents’ Day my husband and I were both working but the girls were off of school. Knowing this, my mom was quick to come over, pick up my kids, and take them out for a fun day instead of them sitting watching movie after movie while we were working. She always brings them home fed and exhausted! It’s the best, especially after a long work day.
Q: What advice could you offer women who are juggling between work and home?
A: The biggest piece of advice I could offer is to find an environment that supports the work-life balance, and then change your behavior to support that work-life balance. I can honestly say that being an employee has made me a better mom and being a mom has made me a better employee.
Q: What are some ways women can find mentors?
A: Start by looking around you – there are mentors among us everywhere, we just have to be open to what they have to teach us. Personally, I’ve found some of the best mentors and leaders at work – both male and female. The best piece of advice I can give is to be ready, willing, and able to accept mentorship from those around you.
Q: What do you feel has helped you get so far in your career?
A: I think much of my progress was attainable because of the support of others. My husband has been a huge supporter and proponent of my career and has helped me in managing the work-life balance tremendously. We often place a big focus on us rockstar working moms, but so many of us have rockstar working dads at home with us too. The teamwork factor is important.
Q: Do you feel that you’ve achieved everything you wanted to?
A: Not even close. The best is yet to come!
Thank you, Rose, for taking the time to share your insights!
About International Women’s Day
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day of global celebration recognizing the economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. Celebrated annually, the day also serves as a call to action for the advancement of women’s equality.
First observed in 1911, International Women’s Day has grown to encompass all groups collectively in the mission to forge women’s equality.
For more information and ways that you can #BreakTheBias, visit internationalwomensday.com.