Women in Banking Q&A Series: Amanda Warren
Triad Business Bank has a robust team of talented female professionals, all of which have unique and compelling stories worth telling. This Q&A series will shine a spotlight on the amazing women at Triad Business Bank as they share their industry experiences, professional advice, and personal interests.
While she is frequently behind the scenes, we are excited to feature Marketing and Training Coordinator Amanda Warren in our sixth installment of our Women in Banking series. As a self-proclaimed open book with a big personality, it was no surprise when she shared how some critical advice led her to Triad Business Bank, a brief glimpse of why her mom made the most significant impact on her career, and her thoughts on maternity leave as a first-time mom at 37!
Q: Did you grow up in the Triad?
Amanda: For the most part. I have been in the area since 6th grade, stayed through college, and now settled down in the same town I came to in 6th grade.
Q: What are your main hobbies & interests outside of work?
Amanda: Does playing with my 11-month-old daughter, Addilyn, count? When I can find time, I like to craft, knit, binge-watch cooking shows and reality tv, baking, go to craft breweries, huge foodie so, finding local gems is fun, golfing, spin class, playing chess, playing trivia, thrift store shopping, singing (not solo!), and VOLUNTEERING!
Q: What causes are you passionate about?
Amanda: Mental health care, domestic abuse, human rights, DEI, to name a few.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
Amanda: I used to say anything but hard-core rap and heavy death metal, but due to a wonderful co-worker of many years, I will now even tolerate death metal. My favorites are Christian pop, musicals, Elton John, and Journey!
Q: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Amanda: A pediatric trauma surgeon.
Q: Tell us how you got into banking.
Amanda: I was in my lower 20s working as a restaurant manager when life had another path for me; I debated going back to school to be a teacher or applying for a teller position I saw. I figured banking had to be about customer service but replace food with money. I was right!
Q: What led you to your current position in banking?
Amanda: A wise person once told me, “If someone whose opinion you care about and trust offers you an opportunity, don’t say no.” Leah Price was that person for me. After being with a regional bank a few months shy of 10 years, I decided to take a chance on a journey to start a bank by offering my skills in customer service, commercial lending knowledge, training, event planning, and marketing.
Q: What is your ultimate career goal in banking?
Amanda: During my time at my prior financial institution, I often was challenged with what was my purpose or otherwise known as, “my why.” I realized about five years ago giving back and making a change in my community was what filled my heart and soul with joy. Originally, I thought I would end up at a nonprofit, but a lightbulb clicked while working on a volunteer campaign at my former institution. I can find a way to combine banking and “my why” through event planning of sponsorships, and eventually creating a charitable contributions sector at Triad Business Bank. That attracted me to Triad Business Bank; the message to be a catalyst for our community means more than just products and services but what we can do in and for the community.
Q: What are some aspects of the career that you enjoy?
Amanda: Working with nonprofits to see ways we can support them not just financially but also by supporting their mission, planning events, producing & designing marketing and promotional materials, and developing social media content.
Q: What are some challenges or obstacles you feel you have faced as a woman in banking, and how did you overcome those?
Amanda: Banking can often be a “good ole boys” network. I had to be confident, direct, and assertive in my decisions and communication to overcome this challenge. While having this mentality helped me drive success, it came with the cost of appearing uncaring, abrasive, and intimidating to many. It is something I still work on this every day but stopping to assess my tone and my words and spending time outside an email or meeting to build connections with people is the 1st step.
Q: What woman/women impacted you most in your career?
Amanda: As the creator of this series and questionnaire, I have had five months to think about this question. I knew it was not going to be one that was simple to answer, and I was so afraid I would miss someone because I have had SO MANY strong women come in and out of my life during my career, but please forgive me if I do not mention you. The woman who has made the most impact on me in my career and life is my mother, LuAnn Foster. She has been resilient most of my life as my father was exposed to chemicals that caused cirrhosis of the liver a few months after I was born. This led to a 16-year-long health, financial, and emotional battle before God called my father home. She faced challenges no one should have to face, from writing bad checks to feed her family to pawning all her jewelry, including her wedding ring, to make ends meet. Through all of this, she was kind, generous, gracious, humble, giving, and she remained positive. My mom encouraged me to never quit and always to help those in need, and I want to make a difference for her. Other strong women who have made permanent impacts on me are, Melanie Lambeth, Terry Frye, Ebonet Jeffcoat, Leah Price, and Robin Hager.
Q: Where do you see the banking industry headed in the future? What are some trends you’ve noticed?
Amanda: Digital, Digital, Digital. While people do still want one-on-one relationships, they want to have things easily accessible, secure, and timely.
Q: How can the industry be more welcoming or inclusive of women?
Amanda: All companies across all industries should create mentorship programs to partner entry-level women with leaders in the company. This could be a monthly group meeting, a one-on-one, or both. Many women like me never had a mentor because it is hard to know when you are young that you need one or even where to start.
Support women in their work/life balance, especially when it comes to paid maternity leave. 6 weeks or 12 weeks is not enough time in the important first year of a little one’s life. Not to mention the incredible burden the cost of broken daycare systems has on families. Studies have proven that women take at least two weeks of sick time in that first year for child-related illness from daycare. Six months is a blip on the radar in the grand scheme of a woman’s career. If you award her this precious time, she can be more engaged, loyal, and productive to your company in the long run.
Q: What words of wisdom do you have to encourage younger generations to pursue careers in banking?
Amanda: In banking, the only constant is change which is scary but also is never boring.
Thinking outside the box can be very rewarding when you can help a person no one else can.
Be open to all career paths in banking, there are roles you probably never heard of that are vital to the institution’s success, such as financial crimes, or as a Business Deposit Specialist.
Q: What life lesson have you learned that you think will be beneficial to others?
Do not let your past define your future.
Own your mistakes, fix them if you can, and move forward.