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.
This installment in our Women in Banking series is focused on Triad Business Bank Director of Human Resources Jennifer Bates. As the leader of our HR department, Jennifer has the unique opportunity to work closely with people in every department of the bank, and her outstanding interpersonal skills and industry expertise make her perfect for this role. Continue reading to learn more about Jennifer both professionally & personally.
Q: Did you grow up in the Triad? If not, how did you end up in the Triad?
Jennifer: I lived in Reidsville, NC, most of my life but worked in the Triad most of my career. I currently live in Wallburg, NC.
Q: What are your main hobbies & interests outside of work?
Jennifer: Boating, crocheting, crafts, and watching my new grandson.
Q: What causes are you passionate about?
Jennifer: I am very passionate about animal rescue. We have fostered and adopted several dogs from the NC Yorkie Rescue in Greensboro NC. I believe there are way too many animals to be rescued instead of purchasing them.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
Jennifer: I listen to most kinds of music but my favorite are the 80’s!
Q: When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?
Jennifer: A hairstylist.
Q: Tell us about how you got into banking.
Jennifer: I was working in the textile industry, and everything was moving to Mexico. I ran into a person who working in Human Resources who asked me if I’d like to get into Banking. There was an opening and I applied and received the job in 2003. Banking was the best move I made in my career.
Q: What led you to your current position in banking?
Jennifer: I began my career in banking as an HR Assistant. Eventually, I was promoted to Director of Human Resources. I obtained my PHR and SHRM-CP and have continued in HR roles.
Q: What is your ultimate career goal in banking?
Jennifer: To be a strong HR leader for the Bank and a person that all employees feel comfortable coming to for advice and direction for their career and benefits.
Q: What are some aspects of the career that you enjoy?
Jennifer: Working with a team of experts in every field of banking. The ability to meet all kinds of people with diverse backgrounds. The flexibility to work remotely.
Q: What are some challenges or obstacles you feel you have faced as a woman in banking, and how did you overcome those?
Jennifer: I was married shortly after high school and did not attend college. I had to work really hard to prove I was capable of doing the job. Being in banking and working for a woman allowed me that ability. I had the BEST mentor.
Q: What woman/women impacted you most in your career?
Jennifer: My boss and friend, Robin Hager. Robin’s goal in life is to help women be successful. She not only gave me opportunities to grow, but so many other women in banking and other professions.
Q: Where do you see the banking industry headed in the future?
Jennifer: I believe there will be less branches due to automation and technology. Most people today do not need to step into a branch to perform a transaction because they do it all from their phone or computer.
Q: What are some trends you’ve noticed?
Jennifer: Everyone moving to mobile/online banking and not receiving paper statements for anything.
Q: How can the industry be more welcoming or inclusive of women?
Jennifer: Ensure there are mentoring programs for women and make sure there is diversity in leadership roles.
Q: What words of wisdom do you have to encourage younger generations to pursue careers in banking?
Jennifer: Always keep an open mind to learning new things. You never know where that may lead you. NEVER think you can’t do something without at least trying.
Q: What life lesson have you learned that you think will be beneficial to others?
Jennifer: “Every second you spend comparing your life to someone else’s is a second spent wasting yours; so stop comparing and create your own definition of success instead.”
Q: Anything you would like to add?
Jennifer: I am so thankful for the opportunity to work for a wonderful Community Bank that always puts the client’s needs first.