'I Love My Job’: I’m Building an Inclusive, Fun and Empowering Culture at My Mission-Based Company

Sponsored by Navy Federal Credit Union

Holly Kortright

Image courtesy of Navy Federal Credit Union.

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July 20, 2024 at 11:59PM UTC

Welcome to I Love My Job, hosted by Fairygodboss President and Co-founder Romy Newman. In this edition, we sat down with Holly Kortright — Chief HR Officer at Navy Federal Credit Union

As Kortright explained, Navy Federal is “focused on a really impactful mission,” which is to “help military members and their families as well as veterans and their families with financial wellness.” This strong company goal to help others was one of the main reasons that Kortright joined Navy Federal.

And, not only does Navy Federal support their members, ensuring that they’re a great place to work for their employees is a main priority, too! Navy Federal has “a culture where we know that we have to care for our employees the same way we want them to care for our members,” states Kortright. “So we try to have a very open, inclusive environment [and] great benefits.”

As the CHRO at Navy Federal, Kortright gets to help build this culture, where employees truly care and are always there to support one another. People are at the core of everything that Navy Federal does, and employees “stay in the organization because of the great colleagues they work with [and] the friendships and relationships they have across the company,” says Kortright.

To learn more about this warm culture where people are truly there for one another, watch the interview with Kortright below, in which she discusses Navy Federal Credit Union, the importance of prioritizing work-life balance as someone in the C-suite and more. You can also browse the following article for some highlights from this video.


Could you tell us about your job?

My job is the chief human resource officer. That really means I'm in charge of people at Navy Federal Credit Union, and I have the honor to represent our 20,000 employees and make sure that they have great careers, can connect with our members and work in a great culture. 

My favorite thing about being in HR is building inclusive, fun and challenging cultures that people can join and really bring their whole selves to work — bringing their innovations, their ideas and their perspectives to learn and grow and have fantastic careers. Getting to help people do that, coaching and having an empowering environment where everybody can learn and grow is pretty phenomenal at the end of the day. 

That is really what excites me and brings so much passion to me.

What’s the management like at Navy Federal Credit Union?

One of the reasons I joined… [is that] we have a female CEO and COO at the company — that is just so powerful to me.

I have never had that combination anywhere else that I have worked. It really is an environment where our leaders are trying to empower our team members every day and to make everyone part of the change. We're going through a digital transformation, and I find our leaders are very open, very humble and very authentic, [with] integrity [and] service being part of our DNA.

It's really about how do we all work well together to enable a digital transformation and how do we bring in new talent with these great new skill sets that help us deliver for our members and do that every day… all together as one team?

Tell us about a project that you’re working on.

I have a number of great projects. One of my favorites right now is designing the future of work for Navy Federal. We were an organization before the pandemic where everyone was in person at our various campuses, or, obviously, serving our members in branches. Now, we're looking to design a hybrid environment.

And, in the future, as we head into next year, [we aim to give] our employees more flexibility about where they work [and] when they work, while still bringing people together for what we're calling ‘moments that matter’ — bringing people together for social connection, for learning and growth, for training and development, for celebrations and for those one-on-one in-person conversations...

We're designing the future, and we're designing it with our teams.

How do you manage work-life balance?

I like to call it work-life harmonization… Who's ever balanced all the time? There's ups and downs over time, and so… I focus on: what are my biggest priorities at the time? How are those changing over time? What kind of boundaries do I want to set?

I always tell my team that no one is ever going to set boundaries for you. So, how do you set your own boundaries? It's really important to me that I drive my daughter to school every day, and so from eight to nine, that's what I'm doing. I can't have meetings — that's our chance to talk... 

So how do we help set those boundaries and also know that it's okay to make something a priority in your life? I have a special needs child, my son,… and there are moments when that has to be the number one thing I'm focused on, and other things might have to drop or go by the side.

I have a great partner, and he helps me out a lot, too, but I feel that, at work, I have to be vulnerable and share those moments and share those stories so people know it's okay. If a leader in the org is talking about those things, and my son jumps on a video meeting that I'm having, I share that with my team. We're all in this together [with] how we support each other and have those dialogues and conversations; I think it helps us to find out: how do we balance, how do we integrate our lives with work... how do we prioritize and share that with others so they know that they can do it, too?

What advice would you give to women who are considering working at Navy Federal Credit Union?

First of all, I would say go for it because we are hiring and we need more talent. My entire career, I've been a supporter of women in business, women in technology and female entrepreneurs. And we know that women have so many skill sets and so many experiences that they bring to the table, and we want to hire more…

Check out those opportunities, and go for a role that maybe you think you're not 100% qualified for. Because, you know what, men do that all the time! So, go for the job that’s a stretch, that’s your next step...

Tell your story in the interview, share your experiences and become confident in what you're going to contribute. There is so much of this that's about skills and experiences, but also about what motivates you and what you're passionate about...

So my advice is go for it. If you can connect with our mission, we would love to talk to you and find a role that meets your aspirations in your career!


Fairygodboss is proud to partner with Navy Federal Credit Union. Find a job there today!

Check out other posts in the ‘I Love My Job’ series:

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