#LeadLikeAWoman with Rita LaMoreaux

I want to help other women learn they can do anything they want to do whether it's education, volunteering or leading. It is never to late to try something new and there are so many people that will help you.

What does leadership mean to you?

Leadership means being an example for others to follow. It means being ethical in all your decisions and being fair to everyone. It is helping others before you help yourself.

I recently started a quest to learn more about leadership from women leaders. I try to meet women of influence to hear their stories so I can learn from their journey. Since starting my business other women business owners have been my champions and have lifted me up to help make my business successful.

Who has influenced your idea of leadership?

My parents were an amazing example of leadership. They both were very educated and volunteered in the community. If they wanted to do something they learned how to do it by taking classes or reading. In order to have a house big enough for eight kids, my mom took architecture classes and designed the house I still live in.

My parents refused to have gender roles in our house. The boys had to learn cooking and laundry and the girls had to learn about cars and mechanics. They wanted to raise well-rounded human beings to be good citizens.

When I started my company I was not thinking of it being a risk because I saw my sisters start their own companies and succeed with them. It was ingrained in my family that you could do anything you want with the talents you were given.

Why do we need more women in leadership roles? What do they add to the table?

Women are at least 51% of the population in Michigan yet they have barely 15% of the leadership roles in business and politics. It means we have far to go for women to have true equality.

Women bring a level of organization and empathy that men tend not to have. Women can lead better by example, since they tend to be better at teaching and mentoring.

From growing up in a gender equal household I never thought there was a difference between male and female leadership. As I age and grow into leadership roles, I find that we do need that balance of half male and half female in those roles. Women bring to the table a greater organization and view of the bigger picture for organizations. Women tend to be better at administration so they can see all aspects of a company or policies. Women are also better at empathy. Men are better at seeing the end results and seem to be more competitive. As I observe both genders in leadership, I believe we do need the balance of both genders as leaders.

How are you leading in your career/community?

With my business I am helping nonprofit startups with administration. I am able to help those that help others. I help organizations with jobs that they need expertise in such as fundraising and grant writing. My passion is to see nonprofit startup's thrive as they help the community.

I volunteer on the boards that I have a passion for; these include Rotary, education groups and Lansing Community College. 

I recently put my name in the running for Governor of Rotary District 6360 in Southwest Michigan. One reason I applied for the position was the lack of female leadership in Rotary. In 2022/23 I will be the 5th woman Governor in that role that goes back about 100 years.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

I have been very fortunate that I have been able to pursue a great journey in life. I have had a career as a professional seamstress/tailor and historian. I have been in politics and insurance. Now I am pursuing a dream of my own business helping nonprofits thrive.

I want to help other women learn they can do anything they want to do whether it's education, volunteering or leading. It is never to late to try something new and there are so many people that will help you.

One way I want to help women is to teach them how to travel alone. I spent many years traveling alone throughout the US and Europe. I found my inner strength during my time alone fending for myself and meeting new people in new destinations.

What is the best way for someone to contact you?

My website has all my contact information on it along with everything I offer to nonprofits and small businesses, https://lacorconsultants.com/

 

Michigan ATHENA is a program dedicated to developing, supporting, and honoring women leaders throughout Michigan. This program is part of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Foundation initiatives. To find out more about this program please visit us at www.michamber.com/ATHENA

If you have any questions or would like to nominate someone to be featured in our #LeadLikeAWoman series please email me at akeimach@michamber.com