[Sponsored] Evolving industries—3 ways women improve business

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Member FDIC

Banking has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, especially at the executive level. In fact, women occupy only 30.8% of managerial positions in commercial banking organizations in the US, and constitute approximately half of all employees. Fortunately, there are banks leading the way—driving change in the industry.

3 ways women make business better:

1. Their brains work differently—and that’s a good thing
Imaging of men and women’s brains shows striking yet complimentary differences. Women tend to have more connections between the left and right hemispheres, suggesting that they facilitate communication between the analytical and intuition. While men tend to be better at learning and performing a single task at a time, women tend to have better memory and social cognition skills. Thus, women are likely to be better at multitasking and creating solutions that work for a group.

2. Greater emotional expressiveness serves a team well
Studies have shown that women tend to be more emotionally expressive. That doesn’t mean that women are more emotional than men, rather that they tend to show positive and negative emotions more openly, through smiling or other facial expressions. Good and active communication can improve culture, strengthen team spirit, highlight problems earlier, and ensure alignment.

3. Less risky, more fruitful strategies
On average, men tend to take more risks than women. This difference can be exaggerated in stressful situations, so in tense situations, it is beneficial to have women involved in the discussions and decision-making. Women aren’t nearly as risk-averse—particularly in a business environment—as people think. Women and men both do take calculated, considered risks, and this is a shared advantage.


Business First Bank is an exception in the banking industry. With women occupying several high-ranking leadership positions, they serve Baton Rouge clients in a more holistic way. Proving the bank doesn’t fill certain roles based on gender, Business First bases its hiring decisions on proven abilities and competency. It provides employees opportunities for growth and development like continuing education, special assignments, projects, committee work and more. It also values, encourages and supports employees stretching beyond their comfort zones to take advantage of these opportunities. Business First Bank is known for recognizing talent and promoting within whenever possible—providing an environment for everyone to feel opinions and ideas are respected equally. We checked in with a couple of these successful women to find out how they are leading the charge in their evolving industry.

“This bank champions collaboration and input from different perspectives and backgrounds. As a member of the inaugural Leadership Development Team—comprised of men and women from different areas of the institution—I saw, firsthand, how the bank’s executive leaders focus on building a unified team of women and men that drive the success of our company.”

Kathryn Manning
Senior Vice President, Risk Officer

“Business First Bank has devoted special attention to developing young professional women, myself included. I am fortunate to have benefited from mentorship within the bank. I believe we do a great job of working together as a team with the common goal of achieving our mission: to be the financial institution of choice for enterprises, their owners and employees.”

Olivia Olinde
Private Banker

“We understand that the percentage of women starting and owning businesses is steadily increasing. We also understand that women may think differently about how they run their business. They require a fresh different approach from their bank—we need to meet them where they are versus using the old-fashioned banker methods.”

Alicia Robertson
Executive Vice President/Chief Treasury Management,
Private Banking and Wealth Solutions Officer

Besides providing a safe and rewarding workplace for its highly skilled team, Business First Bank offers its clients a superior level of customer service—it banks for the individual, the small business, the doers, the go-getters and the ones who just get it done. Click here to learn more.