Most Powerful Women in Banking: Rosilyn Houston, BBVA

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Chief Talent and Culture Executive

Rosilyn Houston is on a mission to help her colleagues save their lives — and maybe other peoples’ lives too.

Last year she spearheaded an initiative in BBVA’s Birmingham, Ala., and Houston markets: For every employee mammogram screening during October, which is Breast Cancer Awareness month, the bank sponsored another screening for an uninsured woman in a low-income community.

Houston, who is in charge of culture and talent at BBVA USA, is a cancer survivor herself. She was inspired to push for more mammograms after learning how many other BBVA employees have been affected by cancer. Research strongly suggests that early detection is key to survival.

More than 240 employees participated in last year’s initiative, and 22 of them discovered potential signs of breast cancer. The company plans to extend the initiative to additional communities this year.

Houston calls herself a women’s health and self-care advocate, and is an active board member with the Birmingham chapter of the American Cancer Society.

Her own battle with cancer has given her a hard-won perspective on turning despair into hope. She sees a parallel between that experience and the current pandemic.

“COVID-19 feels like an enemy I’ve faced, having battled a similar dark disease that also attacks its victims at random,” she said.

Houston helped form the Pandemic Response Team at BBVA and serves as its chair.

That work represents an extension of her day-to-day responsibilities for the welfare of the workforce. She has outlined four main priorities for getting BBVA through the coronavirus crisis: making team members feel safe, keeping them working and engaged, making them feel financially secure and keeping the company productive and sustainable.

For the first time, American Banker's Most Powerful Women in Banking celebration is open to the whole financial community. Join us virtually October 6-8 to hear our 2020 honorees' stories and experiences. Register here.

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Workplace culture BBVA Rosilyn Houston Women in Banking