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Women's History Month

Profiles in Leadership

Leah Smith

Customer Service Coordinator for the Campus Financial Services Center


1. What is your name and profession?

Leah Smith
Customer Service Coordinator for the Campus Financial Services Center

2. What does Women’s History Month mean to you?

It is a month for celebrating the achievements of women past and present and allows for reflection on the things women have been able to accomplish.

3. As a woman, in what ways have you struggled to get to where you are today and how did you overcome those struggles?

I would say I'm just starting to really tap into those struggles. It has become increasingly harder to fight to balance out my drive for my career but also the drive for wanting to start a family and be present for both of those paths equally. Women must tackle it all and sometimes it's exhausting. But I try to remind myself that nothing worth having comes easy. Also, there have been so many women before me that have managed their careers while also being awesome partners and parents and if they can do it, I'm sure I can too. 

4. As a woman in your position, how have you fought for equity in the workplace and for other women?

    I've worked in the realm of finance for the last 6 years and it is still perceived as being a very male-dominant field. That couldn't be further from the truth! I've always had female managers and they've always taught me (either directly or indirectly) the ways in which I want to uplift other women. I try to do this by always being open and accessible. Sometimes all another woman needs is someone to lean on and trust. 

    5. Who was your role model and how did they change your life?

    My role model is my brother, Marlen. Growing up he always believed I could do anything I wanted to do and that nothing was a barrier for me. I was a very unique child and teenager and he encouraged me to continue seeking out the things I liked and enjoyed, even if they weren't things anyone else my age liked. That encouragement set me on a positive path for my life.

    6. If you could have dinner with any woman figure dead or alive who would you choose and why?  

      Marilyn Monroe. I feel like so much of what we know about her life was based on rumors and scandalized because of her looks. I've researched her life for years and the sad reality was that she had a traumatizing childhood and a misunderstood adulthood. Plus, I feel like she would have so many good stories to tell about being a woman in an industry that was ruled by men and what it was probably like to have to scream just to be heard.

      7. What is your hope for the next generation of women and girls?

        I hope the next generation of girls never cease to believe in the magic they possess and let no one tell them differently.