In August 2015, we had the honor of interviewing one of our guest panelists, Laurie Brlas, Executive Vice President and CFO of Newmont for the upcoming Women in Leadership event on September 17th. Headquartered in Colorado, Newmont is one of the world’s leading gold producers with over 28,000 employees and contractors globally.
The following blog interview is summarizes our conversation and specifically highlights Laurie Brlas’ remarkable career and accomplishments as a leading woman executive in Colorado. We hope you enjoy this interview and great perspective from an accomplished executive as much as we did.
What was your dream job as a child and why?
Becoming an accountant because I loved the order and logic in accounting.
Where did you go to college and what was your first job out of school?
You can say that I was a non-traditional student; I had kids at the ages of 19 and 21. I went back to school in my early 30’s and eventually received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Youngstown State University. Soon after passing my CPA and CMA exams, I joined Deloitte as an auditor.
Tell me about your professional career track?
Prior to joining Newmont, I was Executive Vice President and President of Global Operations at Cliffs Natural Resources and previously served in several other executive roles, including CFO and Treasurer. My primary oversight at Cliff’s was global finance, information technology, business development and corporate strategy. Before joining Cliff’s, I was Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at STERIS Corporation. As you can tell, most of my professional experience has been in financial management and leadership.
What has been your biggest professional challenge as a female leader?
My biggest challenge and favorite achievement was running global operations for a mining company. The men who reported to me were engineers who had never worked for a woman or someone who came from a support function. I thought gaining their trust and respect would be a difficult challenge but it proved to be easier than I thought.
What advice do you have for young female professionals?
Be yourself and believe in yourself. Also, I suggest seeking a trusted professional female mentor to soak up their advice.
Any advice on how to achieve a happy work-life balance?
Realize and accept that you can’t do it all.
And That Is A Wrap!
Even though our Women In Leadership event for September 17th is currently SOLD OUT, we encourage you to sign up for our wait list in case a spot opens up.
And a special thank you to Laurie Brlas for spending your time with us and discussing your insights and advice for women in leadership!