Celebrating Women's History Month with Laura Azzalina

By Laura Azzalina

Personal

Mar. 28, 2022   |   Updated 9:00 AM ET

As we come to the end of celebrating Women’s History Month, we had the opportunity to connect with a powerhouse female, Laura Azzalina, who leads each day determined to inspire and empower other aspiring female leaders with the confidence they need to achieve success.
 
Laura is the Senior Vice President of Community Banking here at Firstrust. Her 44 years in the banking industry provides her with the wisdom she leads herself with in her everyday life.
 
Laura is someone who leads with passion. Her advice for aspiring females? Play to your strengths, be authentic, stop comparing yourself to others and, above all, seize every opportunity with confidence.
 
“Be your authentic self and be genuine. Don’t compromise who you are. As women, we often try to compare ourselves to others. Sometimes we think we should look, feel, and act a certain way but when you are your authentic self, you want to be comfortable in your own skin and radiate enough confidence to be who you are.”
 
For Laura, great leadership – and the learning that comes with it – is influenced by many different people. It is important to surround yourself with individuals from diverse backgrounds, both male and female, who share your values and inform your decision-making. Personal involvement with your business, and the team that drives it, is key.
 
“By having strong mentors, inside and outside of your organization, you can have good people to rely on, to help keep you grounded, to be honest, and give constructive/ positive feedback to improve upon yourself. Know your strengths and surround yourself with people that compliment them.”
 
On the topic of personal growth and development, Laura says, “I’m definitely a strong relationship builder and I made sure that I was building strong relationships, working hard, and taking advantage of all the opportunities that were presented to me, even if it meant taking on a stretch assignment or added responsibility without necessarily being compensated for it. I made sure to take advantage of opportunities to continue my education, whether it was attending a class or taking a workshop. Those steps ensured the foundation of my present-day skills at the beginning of my career.”
 
Laura, herself comes from humble beginnings but she never used that as an excuse to not progress in her career. One of Laura’s favorite quotes is “Growth and comfort do not coexist,” which helped propel her to progress in her career after starting out as a mailroom teller in the basement of a community bank in the late 70s. 
 
“Now, I continue to learn from the people around me. Being a lifelong learner is important no matter where you are in your career, particularly in the ever-changing banking industry. Continuing to improve and evolve with your changing environment is vital for self-growth,” Laura says.
 

 
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