For this week’s Woman Wednesday, AY About You sits down with Laura Labay.
Labay moved to Arkansas in 2011 from Texas with a bachelor’s degree in media communication and broadcast journalism. Professionally, Labay has a 14-year career in media communication that includes working as an on-air reporter and serving the State of Arkansas as the spokesperson and public relations officer for the secretary of state. Labay is the author of a children’s book, How the Little Grey Woman Found her Rainbow, a book that she originally wrote in college. Labay enjoys spending her time traveling with family and fundraising for the Arkansas Children’s Advocacy Centers. She is currently a realtor, a career she transitioned into based on her own interests and experience as a real estate investor.
“I am a big believer in lifting your community up,” Labay says. “There are a lot of nonprofits in place that help so many people in their hour of need. I support that 100 percent. I am passionate about Woman Of Inspiration, an event that raises money for the Children’s Advocacy Centers of Arkansas. I have served as a committee member since its inception, and now as the auction chair for the event for the past 4 years. We promote, assist, and support the development, growth, and continuation of CAC’s in the state of Arkansas so that every child victim of abuse has access to advocacy services, forensic interviews, medical exams, and therapy free of charge.”
We asked Labay what it means to her to be a woman.
Labay: Nurturer, advocate and peacemaker. Answering this question is the essence of the beauty of being a woman. How do we divide our time to nurture our families, ourselves and our careers? I’ve always felt my main goal in my home is to create the most peaceful environment for my family as possible. Keeping things organized, negotiating with kids and providing healthy meals. My career requires a lot of the same skill sets. I am constantly seeking opportunities for growth, adapting to life’s journey, and a willingness to jump and say “yes” to anything that interests me.
We asked Labay what challenges she has faced as a woman in her field.
Labay: A challenge I have always faced in any field is the instant skepticism towards me that comes from being an intelligent, ambitious, blonde woman. I have a degree, graduated cum laude, and make my own investment deals. I own stocks, trade options, and buy, sell, and manage numerous investment properties. Yet, the number one assumption that I run into is that I haven’t “earned” my own successes.
Labay offers a word of advice to the young women and girls who might read this article.
Labay: You define yourself. Do not let other people’s labels define you! There are always naysayers and negative vibes that can get in your head! Learn to recognize and nurture relationships with those who create positivity, support you and lift you up. Those are your people…surround yourself with people like that! My favorite book that I read to my kids to instill that message is You Are Special by Max Lucado; I highly recommend it!