Core Bank is proud to celebrate Women’s History Month and feature Women in Leadership at Core Bank throughout the month. We are grateful to have Kristin Ward, AAP, Director of Banking Operations & Continuous Improvement in Core Bank Leadership.
Kristin has been in the banking and financial industry for over 15 years. The majority of her career was spent in Treasury Services supporting large commercial customers with all of their banking needs. She realized early on she had a passion for project and product management. Eventually she made the switch to Operations and business analysis, also spending some time in IT. The mix of experience in customer facing roles and behind the scenes supportive roles, gave her a unique and holistic view of the end-to-end customer experience.
Kristin has been at Core Bank since October 2020 and leads the Banking Operations and Continuous Improvement teams. She is active in many areas around the bank such as the Advisory Committee for BankFORWARD (initiatives to create guidelines that foster communication and cohesion for each team across the bank while outlining service delivery expectations) and is on the Core Bank Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility Council.
Kristin shared her input highlighting women in leadership:
What made you decide to pursue a career in leadership?
Looking back several years, I never thought my career path would take me into a leadership role. But then I started to get opportunities that presented themselves to me and I realized I could really make an impact on people’s lives through leadership.
Helping people grow and develop, I realized I had a passion for that. I wanted to see others succeed. And bring my version of servant leadership with empathy, leading by influence instead of authority. That’s what I like to see and that is what I like to bring to the leadership role.
What do you think are the most important qualities of a successful leader?
Include communication – openness and transparency are so important when leading a team and having other people follow your lead. As well as integrity and being authentic and genuine. I know it’s something here that the leaders at Core Bank pride themselves on. And that’s how I fit in as well. Focus on being genuine, authentic, and transparent really helps in this role.
What are the biggest challenges facing female leaders today?
The biggest challenges facing women leaders today is work-life balance. The stigma of women needing to feel guilty for not being with their families consistently when that isn’t true. We can do it all, have it all. Just doubting ourselves is the biggest challenge too. We belong in every room and we need to have that confidence and bring it with us to work every day and make sure our voices are heard.
What advice would you give to the next generation of female leaders?
Be unapologetically you. Be your authentic self and make sure as you go through and emulate what you think a leader would look like, still hold true to yourself and your values and bring your own brand to that role. People will appreciate that so much more. And if you are able to share and consider being a mentor to someone. There are many women who would benefit from having female mentors to help them come up through the ranks.
What do you think organizations can do to support and encourage more women to take on leadership roles?
They can help women take on leadership roles or women currently in leadership roles by really investing in them, investing in their education, investing in opportunities, and inviting them into that room where they may not otherwise have that opportunity.
Born in Omaha, and grew up in Millard, Kristin currently lives in La Vista with her husband and children. Bonus mom to Parker (16) biological mom to Mila and Charlie (11,10), and doggie mom to a rowdy Boston Terrier, Ozzy Pawsbourne.