In honor of National Business Women’s Day, NFM TV’s Megan Cascio sat down with NFM Lending’s General Counsel LaTasha Rowe to discuss why she became a lawyer, her career trajectory, the challenges she has faced, and what she tells young women just starting their professional life.

Full Transcript is Below:

– Welcome in to NFM TV. I’m your host, Megan Cascio. And today is National Business Women’s Day. And we thought who better to have as our special guest, than LaTasha Rowe, our Chief Compliance Officer and General Counsel. Welcome.

– Thanks for having me, Megan.

– Absolutely, we’re excited to get to know your background a little bit. So tell us about how you got into law and specifically the mortgage industry.

– Sure, it’s a little corny, but when I was in seventh grade, I was watching this musical about the Declaration of Independence, called “1776.” And after it, I asked my teacher, I was like, “What do they do? You know, these people that wrote the Declaration.” And he said, “Well, most of them were lawyers.” And I was like, “Oh my gosh, that’s what I wanna do.” And, you know, there were other life events that occurred along the way that continued to keep me interested in it. And ended up going to law school, graduated when the market wasn’t the best, I was going for employment law. Was able to convince a attorney that was doing title, and settlements, and real estate, that he needed a lawyer and not a paralegal. And the rest is really history from there.

– Wow, that’s great. Was there anything that stood out about NFM when you joined?

– Yes, I actually worked with the General Counsel at that firm that I started at, and she and I continued our conversation over the years. She brought me in when she was looking for an Associate General Counsel, I met the team, and I just fell in love with the energy of the team, with their integrity. I joined at a time where we were coming out of the financial crisis. And so lenders were getting a bad rap with regard to their involvement, but the team and the leadership here, I was enamored by it.

– Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we have so many successful business women working here. So, you know, I think that it speaks volumes about who we are as a company. But, I guess what would you say are some of your secrets to success as a successful businesswoman?

– And you know what, it’s funny because is there really a secret? Because if there is a secret, I need to know it as well. I think what I would say is it’s important to be yourself. Everyone comes from a different background, a different history. If you bring some of that to the table, when you’re shooting around ideas, it helps the group. And so, you know, for successful women, it definitely is them bringing their own uniqueness to the table that helps to propel them in their career.

– Absolutely. Now I’m sure that you faced a couple challenges along the way.

– Oh yeah.

– So what are some of the struggles that you face even today?

– Yeah, you know, what’s interesting, is that early in my career I felt, or at least I believed, that you had to be like a man to be successful. You had to play golf, you had to do some of the things, you know, that the guys do to try to relate. But it really is the opposite of that. Our femininity, as a woman, and you know, our side of being able to look at things from a very different perspective as a woman, that is the key, you know, to all of it. And it’s welcomed. And you know, most of my partners here are women. We’re 50%, over 50% women at NFM. A lot of the leadership is women. But it’s been the men, as well, that I’ve been able to partner with and think strategically and bounce ideas off of. And that’s what has made NFM go from a hundred employees or so when I was, you know, started to almost 800 now.

– Sure. Yeah, our leadership team here is outstanding. So I couldn’t agree more. Now, do you have any advice for young businesswomen who are trying to climb that corporate ladder?

– I would say that the ladder has already been climbed by many in front of you. And so, you know, create that community, create those relationships, not just with women who have been successful, but with men who have been successful, with minorities who have been successful. You know, just have a diverse platform that you can reach out to for questions and they’ll help you along the way. You know, thankfully I had women who were judges, and partners at law firms, and wonderful mothers. And so I had individuals that I could dial at any time and say, “Hey.” But then I also had men who, were supportive of my career and were able to teach me a lot of things that helped me here. And then of course, as you are lifting or you’re climbing, rather, you have to lift while you climb. And so as a woman, I think it’s important, as well, to look at younger women, like you said. And talk to them about what helped you and really help them navigate as well.

– Well, I think that you are a perfect example of that. So thank you so much for joining us today. Happy National Business Women’s Day. We’ll see you next time.

– Thank you.