Prestigious Women Awards Honorees: Laurie Kaye Davis
Laurie Kaye Davis has over 30 years of business management experience in a broad spectrum of industries, as well as extensive leadership participation in civic and community organizations. Laurie is passionate about education and advancing women and girls in leadership. She believes that “filling the pipeline” must start early on.
Favorite quote: “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?” — Martin Luther King, Jr.
Fun fact: I once won a watermelon eating contest.
How do you unwind after a long day of work? I sit down with a good book and a glass of wine.
What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? It’s never a smooth road and life doesn’t have a straight path. I’ve struggled with health issues several different times in my life and I had to temporarily leave college when my family lost everything. I had a female boss that told me I was too devoted to my child and it wasn’t working out for me to work a four-day work week. At different times in my life, I tried to make the jump from working at for-profits to non-profits. I never let these adversities hold me back and just got up, dusted myself and persevered. I stepped out of the workforce for a short time to care for my child and it is difficult to step back in. I made it a point to keep my skills relevant and take on volunteer leadership roles. Sheryl Sandberg says it best, “careers are a jungle gym, not a ladder.”
What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? I am proudest of my work with non-profits both as staff and as a volunteer. It was my life’s desire to transition from the for profit world to the not-for-profit and while it wasn’t always an easy path, I, as the leader successfully grew one organization and am taking those lessons learned to grow another continuing my work to advance girls in underserved communities in leadership versus women.
Who are your role models? First and foremost my parents who always did the right thing and taught me to do the same no matter what. Next, I’ve surrounded myself with role models that I refer to as my personal “board of directors”. These are great women friends who help guide me in all the different areas of my life. They help me achieve success, offer perspective, advice, and are a sounding board for the business of ME.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? Always, no matter what, be true to your word and yourself. This advice is something I live by.
What advice would you give a young woman at the start of her career? There are so many things I could share with young women just starting the journey but most importantly, love what you do! It’s ok if the work that pays your bills is not necessarily it. You can identify many other volunteer opportunities or hobbies that fill you up. You can find your passion in many ways! Secondly is the advice I was given; do what you said you would do. Keep your promises.
How does being a woman has impacted your career? Without a doubt early on there were instances of being passed over for promotion by a lesser qualified man. However, for the last eight years, I’ve worked almost exclusively with like-minded women all desiring to help to advance women in business. I’ve experienced the “sisterhood” and support from these women that I just don’t feel exists in the same way as for men.