Women in Business

Finding a Culture That Allows You To Thrive

While workplace culture may be a reason people choose to accept a position, it can just as easily be an impetus to leave.

Jan 01, 20214 minute read

“You have to ask yourself, ‘What do I want?’ And the things that were important to me were to love and believe in the company that I’m working for. I want to be challenged but also enjoy the work and be able to take care of my family,” - Amanda Tucker, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer.

When she first met with the team at Atlantic Bay in 2017, she was surprised that leadership actually wanted to hear about her family and what type of person she was.

“After a few months of working for Atlantic Bay, my son had to go to quarterly checkups that included intense testing and even sedation, so I sent Stan, our COO, a message saying I was going to be out of pocket and I’ll check in when I can,” Amanda explained. “He just said ’Go, we’re here for you now and we will be here when you get back.’”

Family comes first here at Atlantic Bay, which is something Amanda was not accustomed to.

Reflecting on her past…

When Amanda’s youngest son was born, he was diagnosed with craniosynostosis, a condition where the skull closes too soon. At only 6 months old, her son would need brain surgery.

"I put in all my FMLA paperwork, I was taking time off, my husband was taking time off, plus my son was hospitalized for several weeks,” she explained.

Little did Amanda realize what the implication would be with her employer.

“We had a new CEO at this company I was with, and he had sent all of our executives contracts to sign the day before my FMLA,” Amanda explained. “Mind you, my child was having surgery, so I didn’t sign it. I had sent him a note thanking him and asking to follow up upon my return.

When she returned four weeks later, she said her boss met her with some troubling remarks.

“I returned and he said to me, ‘Well you know Amanda, you really haven’t been here, everyone else signed their contracts right away and that shows me that you may not want to be a member of this team.’”

It wasn’t the first time she dealt with some barriers to her happiness. She remembered a specific meeting she was running late to because her son was sick and she needed to find someone to stay home with him. This particular meeting happened to be one with the board of directors - a meeting where she was the only female at a table full of 17 men.

“The CEO was shutting the door to the room when I darted in and he commented, “Thanks for joining us Ms. Tucker. Trouble with the little ones?"

Amanda attributes being the sole woman at the table for so long to the traditional mentality at some of the organizations where she worked.

“It was mainly men. I was the sole female sitting in those meetings and not only that, I was the only one with small children at home.”

While workplace culture may be a reason people choose to accept a position, it can just as easily be an impetus to leave.

She found that balance for her and her family of four here at Atlantic Bay. Amanda understands the importance of breaking through barriers to enable her happiness and to find fulfillment in her career.

She also understands the importance of change so that she’s in charge of her own success.

“In my whole time here at Atlantic Bay – COVID especially – I just try to be mindful in reinforcing to my employees that children are welcome. If you have to step away or your children pop in on a Zoom call, it’s going to happen and I’ve never felt that it’s an impediment. In the industry I grew up in, that wasn’t the case. I felt like it was going to be really hard to be a mom and to also be a leader. So, when you get to that culture – one that will truly let you thrive – those are the clear and distinct things that will make you happy.”

Where she started…

Her passion for regulation started early on while interning with a circuit court judge in New York as a student at Hartwick College. She explained to the judge that she was ready to get back to her hometown right outside of Boston. He then helped her land her first position post-graduation as a Bank Examiner with the Massachusetts Regulatory Division for Financial Institution.

“In my role, I oversaw financial institutions that were state chartered. I also participated on federal inter agency regulatory examinations – it was an amazing experience. I completed four years of coursework at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation University in DC which is where I met my husband,” Amanda said with a smile.

But, after years of traveling for her examiner role, she was burned out on both travel and pointing out what financial institutions were doing wrong vs. building a sustainable program. That’s when she made the change to work at a small community bank.

“While I had managed people as an examiner, it’s a totally different world managing people on the private side. I had this phenomenal CEO, though, and he had been in the industry for about 40 years. He really helped me learn how to not only navigate managing a staff but my engagement and interactions with others in the company and with the board of directors.”

Where she landed…

At Atlantic Bay, it’s truly a place for her to call home. Never once has she dealt with any barriers or inequality.

"The conversation that we’re seeing happen right now in society wasn’t even a thought before, so you didn’t really know to challenge the status quo,” she says. “Ten years ago, this was just what it was… If someone is faced with that challenge now find that resource, find that mentor – if you’re here at ABMG you have that group of amazing females.”

If anyone is considering Atlantic Bay as an employer, Amanda offers this guidance: “If you are someone considering Atlantic Bay and you want to grow, our leadership team is mindful to make sure that all women in this company feel that there is no limit to growth here and that you can step away and have a family. You don’t have to choose one or another. And not just a family, but you can step away and just be a person. I think companies say that and encourage it, but we speak it, live it and breathe it.”

These are personal anecdotes from each individuals experiences that are unique and not representative of Atlantic Bay's views or practices. Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, L.L.C. NMLS #72043 (nmlsconsumeraccess.org) is an Equal Opportunity Employer.