Paz Criado’s Advocacy for Women in Banking
Criado, who is originally from Argentina, heads an all-women banking office in this male-dominated field.
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Paz Criado came to the United States in 2000 along with her father, stepmother, and one of her sisters. She then moved from Miami to Orlando, she started a family and later a career.
In 2006, she began her banking career as a teller at Bank of America.
A stay-at-home mom who just wanted something to do for a couple of hours, Criado didn’t think this would turn into a career.
However, she quickly moved from assistant manager to branch manager, staying at Bank of America for a decade and becoming V.P./Business Banker by the time she left.
While working at Bank of America, Criado earned two Bachelor degrees, one in Business Administration and the other in Management, from the University of Phoenix.
From Bank of America, she was hired at Regions Bank, working for four years as the Commercial Banking Relationship Manager, tasked with helping them expand their presence in the Hispanic market in Central Florida.
Criado felt that she had an advantage in the industry because she’s bilingual.
“I think it opened doors much faster or easier. Especially here in Central Florida. We have a very large pool of Hispanics/Latinos here in Central Florida. So I attribute my success to that, to being able to communicate with our clients in their native language,” she said.
A Unique Opportunity
About 2 years ago, a former colleague from Bank of America told her about a position at Fieldpoint Private. The position was for Managing Director/Senior Commercial Banker.
Today, she leads an all-women office at the bank. It’s a dynamic in which she finds has glaring differences than what she previously had.
Criado has found that she and her colleagues work in a more collaborative style. When she worked at a co-ed office, Criado noticed that the men tended to work individually.
In her role, she advises high net worth clients across the U.S., where she is also able to tap into her passion for relationship banking.
Relationship banking is “when banks offer many different products and services to meet the needs of loyal customers.”
Having everyone in one office helps put the client in the center of what is happening.
“We like for the clients [to] think of [us] more of an advisor than a regular banker. We’re not order takers, we take an interest in planning success and we try to help them with every aspect of their financial lives,” explained Criado.
Opening Doors for Women
Criado is passionate about what she does for a living. In addition to advancing her career, Criado is also passionate about aiding others’.
She stated, “I feel like more of an advisor for my clients. That brings me joy, to see my clients growing and expanding their businesses… And I’m also very passionate about educating and being an advocate [for] females in the commercial banking industry.”
Banking has always predominantly been a white-male-dominated industry. Criado hopes to see that change.
Her commitment goes beyond banking, as she is also a devoted volunteer in her community.
She is a board member for CREW Orlando, which is part of the Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW) Network and is “dedicated to transforming the commercial real estate industry by advancing women globally.”
One thing the organization does is provide scholarships to girls who want to pursue a career in commercial real estate.
Outside of work she is able to preserve her Argentine heritage in the U.S. through family barbecues and trips back.