In standing with International Women’s Day in their mission to spread gender equality and #BreakTheBias, we are highlighting women’s achievements all month long. And what better place to start than with some of our very own women leaders right here at Longbridge?
In this latest installment of our “Ladies Who Lead” blog series, we met with Theresa Antonucci to talk about the importance of role models and finding the work-life balance.
As Vice President of Operations, Theresa oversees our team of loan processors, Underwriters, and operations professionals and guides them to continually improve processes. With over 15 years of reverse mortgage experience, Theresa first entered in the industry as a Closer at Bank of New York in 2005. After several acquisitions, promotions, and an eventual move to the West Coast, Theresa decided to return to her home state of New York in 2013 and began her career with Longbridge Financial. Hired as a Closer, Theresa quickly moved the ranks as Closing Supervisor, then Wholesale Operations Manager, followed by Director of Operations, and now – Vice President of Operations.
Q: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
A: To me, International Women’s Day is a day to acknowledge and honor women both past and present for the contributions they’ve made to society throughout the years.
Q: How do you contribute your wisdom, expertise, and ideas to help empower other women?
A: There is nothing more powerful than sharing and connecting with others in a meaningful way. We all have a story – and I try to share my personal journey of professional success whenever I can in the hopes of motivating and empowering others. I try to advice women (and men too!) to never give up hope. There will always be inevitable challenges we face in life and our careers, but beyond that, and more importantly, there is a light. Having hope is a powerful thing. At work, I always stress the importance of leading by example. Being present, punctual, and willing to take initiative goes a far way. After all, you cannot expect things to be handed to you!
Q: Who is your female role model?
A: Aside from my mother, I have always felt a connection to Oprah Winfrey’s life. She wasn’t born a billionaire or as successful as she is today, but rather struggled through most of her younger years. It wasn’t until she graduated college that she landed a job as a reporter and co-anchor, which was the first step in changing her life for the better. As her career progressed, she had a few other jobs and then eventually made the move to Chicago, where she’d spend 20 years at the Oprah Winfrey show. Her story, honesty, and engaging personality were absolutely captivating. I watched every single episode.
Once The Oprah Winfrey Show came to an end, she took the opportunity to kickstart her next chapter. From starring in and producing films, to building a school in Africa for disadvantaged children, to starting her own magazine and television network, Oprah is living proof that you can come from nothing and still have everything. Even from the humblest of beginnings, she went on to accomplish such great things and never gave up hope. I think that this is really inspirational for women across all walks of life.
One quote from Oprah that has always stuck with me is this: “I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.”
Q: What advice could you offer to women who are juggling the work/home balance?
A: As women, we live in a time where so many of us are juggling a job, motherhood, and our own personal life. The best advice I can offer is to create a schedule that works for you – and try to stick to it as best as you can. Fatigue can easily catch up with you if you’re constantly doing a dozen different things every hour of every day. Setting boundaries and carving out time for certain areas can definitely prevent this. For me, having a routine has really helped me balance it all. And it’s also okay to ask for help whenever you need. Whether it be a co-worker, your spouse, or a friend, having a support system is key.
Q: Do you have any advice for women struggling to break through in a male-dominated industry?
A: Confidence is key. And above all else, you must believe in yourself, your work ethic, and your abilities. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the questions that others may be too afraid to ask!
Thank you, Theresa, for your knowledgeable insight and leadership!
About International Women’s Day
Celebrated annually on March 8, International Women’s Day (IWD) dates back to 1911 around the mission With roots dating back to 1911, International Women’s Day is a global day of recognition for women’s achievements culturally, economically, and politically. Celebrated every year on March 8, International Women’s Day serves as a call to action for the advancement of women’s equality and success.
To learn more about International Women’s Day and ways that you can #BreakTheBias, visit internationalwomensday.com.