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Woman to Watch: Caroline Korn

Woman to watch: Caroline Korn

Arlene Hisiger November 14, 2013  Herrochester.com

The Senior Vice President at Brighton Securities has worked hard to achieve success in a financial field that is mostly male.


(Photo: Arlene Hisiger)

"When you need more, you make more," Caroline Korn, Senior Vice President of Brighton Securities, declares.

This guiding principle, inherited from her dad, is one that Korn lives by to this day. "I use that in my own life," she says, "and I'm not only referring to money, but to time for my commitments, as well."

The Los Angeles native points to her dad as the first "shaper" of her character. Described by Korn as the "king of one-liners," her dad was also careful to impart serious life lessons to his children. "He would give us our allowance and we would not get a penny more – he wanted us to get a sense of managing our money," she says.

Having been raised by six "strong" sisters, after his mom passed away, her dad knew firsthand that all things were possible for women. He believed that women could be whatever they chose to be, in or outside the business world. "He always encouraged me to be intellectual," she says. From an early age, her dad would deliberately use "10-dollar words" when speaking to her, to pique her interest.

Her mom epitomizes feminine strength. Despite not being fully conversant in English (she had emigrated from Ecuador), she became the sole breadwinner and caretaker of the family after Korn's dad passed away. Korn is grateful to have such a courageous role model.

"Give back and your day becomes more meaningful," Korn says, in advising those just starting out in their careers to stay involved in their communities. "You have to stay connected, it broadens your perspective," she adds. Korn, who serves on several boards, believes that any woman can become involved in their respective communities and that they can do it on their own terms.

Korn has used favorite activities as a vehicle for making business connections. For instance, having grown up in the "concrete jungle," she now loves to putter around her garden. "If that is something that appeals to you, why not join a gardening group and connect with people that way? It doesn't only have to be about business networking groups," she says.

Working in what has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, Korn has seen much progress since her beginning days on Wall Street. "At that time, getting respect from men was the tough part. Eventually, the walls broke down because men would start coming to me for advice when they saw that I got things right," she says. Still, she does not subscribe to the "I am woman, hear me roar" ethos. "You don't need to scream, I am a woman; I need to be heard. You can act like a lady, be modest and gracious.

"This does not mean that you do not stick up for yourself! " she quickly added.

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