Valorie LaCourlacour-valorie

Manager Strategic Initiatives
City of Baltimore Department of Transportation

How do you define mentoring and what steps do you take to ensure it is a priority and just part of your job duties?

I believe one of the most challenging hurdles for female professionals can come from other female professionals. The misperception is that there are only so many seats at the table. The future of continual advancement for women is building larger conference rooms, not fewer seats. I can choose to roll up the career ladder behind me, or I can reach back and pull another up the ladder with me. I choose to assist another woman to reach the next rung of her career ladder. Thereby, facilitating one more woman sitting at the table.

As women leaders, it is our role to help grow the next generation of leaders. What advice can you share to help affect not only the younger generation, but also the women who are trying to grow in their careers and create positive change?

My advice is to put family first. Just like the instructions from the airline flight attendant to put your oxygen mask on first before assisting others, in life you need to take care of yourself and family first. That way, when you are at work, you are there giving 100% of your focus each day. A great support system (family) allows me to do what I am passionate about every day.

This is a winner profile from The Daily Record's 2021 Top 100 Women awards. Information for this profile was sourced from the honoree's application for the award.