When she got her start in banking, Dana Abraham worked with a tight-knit group of four women. They would role-play for interviews, coach one another and even share professional wardrobes.
“That was an influential time in my early career, and I still pass along the lessons I learned there to female colleagues today,” Abraham said.
That start in the banking world came early, too: Her first banking job helped cover education expenses. Now she has come all the way to the top of her division, heading up the wealth-management operations for the region’s second-largest locally owned bank. As president of the Investment and Wealth Management division, Abraham is responsible for delivery of comprehensive financial services to high net-worth clients.
Her parents, who influenced her to carve her own career path, infused her with a strong work ethic. She earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in both accounting and economics from the University of Louisiana-Monroe. Before joining UMB, Abraham worked for Bank of America for 18 years, rising to senior vice president within the Premier Banking and Investment division. For Abraham, the banking world is more than transactional, it’s personal: “The ability to do business with a client through the many different stages of their life, getting to know their individual story and helping them manage through major financial decisions is something I’m passionate about,” she says.
She believes the glass ceiling exists not only in her industry but also in every industry. And although women continue to advance faster in some sectors—and 8.6 million women own businesses in the U.S—fewer than 5 percent of Fortune 500 companies are led by women. That’s reflected in the public sector, as well, with fewer than 20 percent of the seats in Congress held by women.
“I think it’s more than just a gender issue, I believe it’s a diversity issue,” Abraham said. “We need more diversity to make the best decisions possible for our employees and for the customers all companies serve,” she said.
We say AMEN Buffalo Gal!
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