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Honoring the Women in Wealth Management

Women’s History Month is a special time of year where we celebrate the incredible contributions of women in our society while honoring the pioneers who helped them get there. Names like Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth and Rosa Parks are some of the first that come to mind; women who wanted to change the status quo of society to ensure that no one is ever again denied an opportunity based on their age, race, religion or sex.

And while those trailblazers should always be revered for what they did, we must recognize those among us today who are acting as shining examples for the next generation of women. Here at Park National Bank, we’re fortunate to have exceptional female associates leading the way, and we’d like to introduce you to a few of them.

Women in Financial Services

According to the University of Denver Daniels College of Business, 46 percent of employees in financial services are women.1 But at the same time:

  • Only 15 percent of executive positions are held by women
  • 15 percent of financial advisor positions are held by women2
  • Eight percent of CFOs from 1,000 of the largest U.S. corporations across eight industries are women
  • 23 percent of board directors at major financial services firms globally are female

However, the Trust and Investments advising team at Park National Bank has made their mark within the historically male dominated industry.

The Women of Wealth Management at PNB

Our Trust and Investments team has a strong female presence as 50% of our Wealth Advisors are women contributing to an overall team composition of 63% women. While that’s reassuring, each of them will tell you that they encountered their own hurdles in getting to where they are.

“In many industries, including financial services, the mere fact that you’re a woman means somebody likely has a preconceived notion of you and your abilities,” says Luann Snyder, an 11-year veteran of the bank and Regional Leader for the Central and Southeast Ohio Divisions who also serves as an attorney by trade.

“So, one of the best things we can do is keep consistent, because when you overcome that initial hurdle, those people become some of your most loyal clients.”

For Wendi Fowler, a Trust Officer in Mount Vernon, Ohio, she has also seen how despite the obstacles that you might encounter, the best thing to do is not get discouraged and keep working.

“I have never allowed those things to stand in my way,” says Wendi. “Don’t see things as obstacles, see them as opportunities. It all boils down to building relationships and not allowing yourself to go down negative trails.”

Melissa Leingang, a Trust Officer in our Miami, Ohio division agrees.

“I think as a woman, sometimes you feel like you have to prove that you know it all,” says Melissa. “Especially when you’re going into old school or male dominated business, and we almost shoot ourselves in the foot by doing things that aren’t as natural.

“We can prove our knowledge to them and don’t have to go overboard in a way that isn’t genuine to how we are normally.”

But despite those negative encounters, these professionals (and the ones before them) have paved a trail that others can follow. Trust Officer Brittany Fairburn started as an intern and climbed up the ladder in five years at Park National Bank. At first, she knew she wanted to somehow blend her love of banking and helping communities but wasn’t sure of how to execute that vision. Luckily, she found a mentor who helped her.

“I had a mentor in a different part of the bank, and she was wonderful,” says Brittany. “She always talked to me about my passions.”

“She would ask me, ‘What’s your passion in banking? What’s your passion in community service?’ And she helped me find organizations and get involved with them.”

Still, she encountered her share of obstacles, especially when she first started and had to take over the accounts of an associate who had been with the bank for almost 30 years.

“I was a 24-year-old woman coming in and taking over a lot of his accounts straight out of college,” she says. “The main challenge I had was confidence, not feeling like I was able to measure up.

“However, I found that 99% of the time that wasn’t the case. It was just that internal confidence that was a struggle for me at the beginning.”

 A culture of support

Climbing the corporate ladder isn’t easy, but these female leaders have always felt that Park National Bank supported them not only professionally in their careers, but also personally by honoring their passions.

“The bank supports us going out into the community,” says Luann. “This includes serving on boards, volunteering at the local food pantry or providing some type of educational seminar. They want us to make ourselves known.

“Not only is that helpful for you and your career, and raising your personal profile, but it illustrates the bank’s culture.”

Wendi echoes that sentiment. “The culture definitely benefits us personally as associates and it helps with opportunities for growth,” she says.

The future of women in banking

An S&P Global survey3 said that 85 percent of companies are taking some form of initiative to address diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in the workplace. This includes creating workspaces where women can thrive.

For these ladies at Park National Bank, they hope that future generations of women in finance (at all organizations) will recognize this and not hesitate to take the steps needed to move up in their workplaces.

“Don’t be afraid to reach out and get to know others that are doing things similar to you,” says Melissa. “Make those relationships with your coworkers.”

And of course, don’t forget to also help those who are coming after you.

“If you do reach a certain level of success when you are climbing that corporate ladder as a female, always reach back and pull up the next woman,” Luann says.

“Always make sure that you are giving back to other females in the industry because that’s how we all continue to grow.”


1 University of Denver, Daniels College of Business; Women in Finance Soar at Daniels; Mar. 8, 2021;

2 Investopedia; Women and the Great Wealth Transfer, Dec. 11, 2023,

3 S&P Global; Pathways to Leadership: Empowering the Next Generation of Powerful Women in Banking; Oct. 24, 2022;


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