LaTasha Hortman, Compliance Officer at Baird shares her journey. She describes what the Baird Difference means to her, in her compelling story below.
Describe the Baird culture and what it means to you.
I honestly believe that Baird’s culture is why it excels in its industry. Working in an environment where everyone is genuinely helpful and encouraging to my success drives me to commit my best efforts to every task and project I undertake. There are no big ‘I’s or little ‘u’s at Baird. Since the start of my Baird career, I have been empowered to express my ideas and have been provided the resources needed to execute any projects that I felt would improve processes. Also, Baird supported my desire to pursue my CAMS designation last year, and as a result I obtained the gold standard in Anti-Money Laundering certifications.
Describe what the Baird Difference means to you.
The Baird Difference highlights honesty and integrity. Excellence flows downward from the top, and the consistently favorable Executive Committee ratings from associates speaks to the trust that exists for Baird’s leadership. I trust the Executive Committee and the direction in which they are leading me. Although Baird employs over 4,000 associates worldwide, it manages to maintain a small firm feel. On more than one occasion I have glanced up from my desk to see Steve Booth (Baird’s President, Chairman & CEO) casually strolling by (we do not work on the same floor). He has even shared a snack with me during a food day! Though he may not remember that day, it exemplifies the types of everyday interactions that take place naturally, but have a huge positive impact.
Why did you choose Baird and why do you choose to stay?
I chose Baird because I no longer wanted to work for a company so large that I felt I disappeared. I choose to stay because there are so many elements that set Baird apart. I have never witnessed a company who prides itself on togetherness as much as Baird does. There are numerous events that lead to me feeling both included and appreciated. Also, on both the firm and department levels, I am encouraged to expand my professional toolbox by growing my skills. For example, a couple of years ago I was placed in a position where I was leading a meeting that I was not prepared to lead. Afterward, I felt the flow of the meeting went horribly and strived to improve for future meetings. I searched Baird’s Talent Development offerings and found a course offering taking place that same week on meeting facilitation, which I attended. Since that time, I have led countless meetings, but always attribute my ability to the Talent Development team.
In your experience, how would you describe inclusion and diversity at Baird?
Achieving and maintaining inclusion and diversity are a struggle for many large corporations. I believe Baird has a sincere desire to achieve a balanced state of all races and cultures where associates feel empowered to come to work as their authentic selves, without fear of judgement. Through my participation in the firm’s Associate Resource Groups, I have been able to connect with people of color across the firm, who I may not have otherwise met. Also, the Advisory and Implementation Committees set up to focus on inclusion and diversity on the department level have provided me the opportunity to flex my leadership skills and organize various opportunities for Compliance to contribute to the underserved community in a meaningful way.