In honor of Women’s History Month, we’re highlighting women’s achievements throughout the month of March. The women’s history theme for 2023 is, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” With this in mind, we are taking time to celebrate and recognize the stories of some of our own women leaders at Longbridge Financial.
The next installment in our“Ladies Who Lead” series is Vanessa White, Longbridge Regional Sales Leader. We spoke with Vanessa about her role model, her advice to other women finding work-life balance, and how to succeed in a male-dominated industry.
Q: What does Women’s History Month mean to you?
A: During Women’s History Month, it’s wonderful to see women recognized for all of their accomplishments throughout time. Without their achievements, I would not be where I am today. And I believe the same can be said for our society.
Q: Which women’s stories throughout history need to be heard and supported more?
A: I think it’s important for the women who fight for equal pay and against disparate treatment to be better represented in our culture. We have a long way to go in this fight, and giving our support and encouragement to these incredible women is critical to our collective success.
Q: How could you contribute your wisdom, expertise, or ideas to empower other women?
A: I believe it is important for women to raise other women up. When we share our experiences, knowledge, and best practices, we can only make the world a better place. Supporting other women and their achievements is just one small way we can empower each other daily. Imagine the impact we could have on society, and on the future, if we all worked together and celebrated one another!
Q: How does Longbridge set a culture of equality and inclusivity?
A: Coming from a company where I was the sole female sales manager, it has been refreshing to see so many women in leadership positions at Longbridge. The empathy that my team and I are afforded is also heartwarming. I am proud to be part of such a wonderful company that truly values who we are, not just what we can do.
Q: Who is your female role model?
A: Maya Angelou is my role model. She never let the difficulties in her early life deter her from accomplishing anything she put her mind to. And she did it with such determination, kindness, and empathy for her fellow human beings. Her life and work are a great inspiration to my own.
Q: What is one piece of advice to all women who are juggling between home and work?
A: I know this challenge is a very personal one, but however you approach finding that balance, do not feel guilty about it. Whether you’re at work or at home, when you are able to be present, give it your all. I believe that it’s not the quantity but rather the quality that will have the greatest impact and be remembered.
Q: What advice would you give women struggling in a male dominated industry?
A: My biggest piece of advice is to be present and accounted for. Starting at a very young age, I was told that I entered the world with two strikes against me, my gender and the color of my skin. No matter what I do, I can’t change either of those traits, so I work hard to be the very best that I can be. There is absolutely no shame in being a strong female – I’m proud of it and I hope other women are, too!
Q: How can women find mentors?
A: In my experience, there are plenty of talented, strong women who are willing to offer you their guidance and expertise. When given the opportunity to connect with these women, my recommendation is to be engaged and ask questions. You may be surprised by how many people are willing to lend a hand and help others grow.
Q: What do you think helped you get so far in your career?
A: The drive to always to do my best has helped me get to where I am today. I realized that if I worked hard and learned from my mistakes, I would be okay no matter what. I also recognize that I have so much more to learn and that I am only as good as my team. With this in mind, I support my team in every way possible.
Q: Do you believe you have achieved everything you wanted to?
A: No, I have so much more to do. But I am getting there!
Q: What would you say to your 20-year-old self?
A: I would tell her to be patient, you can’t do everything by yourself. Allow others to help you and learn from them along the way. If you do that, you’ll find the most rewarding career path.
Thank you, Vanessa, for sharing your perspective with us and for being a wonderful leader and role model for others.
About Women’s History Month
Celebrated annually throughout the month of March, Women’s History Month dates back to 1981 when Congress authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.” It wasn’t until 1987 that, after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Alliance (NWHA), Congress and the President proclaimed March as Women’s History Month.
Since then, presidents have annually proclaimed the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” This recognition honors the contributions and achievements women have made throughout American history.
The women’s history theme for 2023 declared by NWHA is, “Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories.” To learn more about Women’s History Month and this year’s theme, visit https://nationalwomenshistoryalliance.org.