Yajaira Aich West, is is Vice President, Client & Community Relations Director at PNC, and was selected as a "Top Woman in Business" by The Lane Report.

Tell us about your current role. 
My current role is Vice President, client and community relations director for PNC Bank. I’ve been with PNC for 15 years, 12 of those in my current role. I lead PNC’s involvement in the community by understanding the market’s growth strategy and bringing it to life by developing, facilitating and implementing key initiatives, events, and projects. Primarily, I oversee charitable sponsorships and PNC Foundation investments. I build relationships with various communities, nonprofit organizations, and diverse populations to advance PNC’s position in the market.

What is your educational background? 

Bachelor of Arts, Transylvania University, 2004; Master of Business Administration, University of Kentucky, 2011.

What is your proudest accomplishment?

 In 2004, PNC made the decision to focus on early childhood education through our signature initiative Grow Up Great. It is a $500 million, multiyear, bilingual initiative designed to help prepare children—particularly underserved children—for success in school and life. An investment in pre-K students makes good economic sense and plants the seeds for the dynamic workforce of tomorrow.

Do you have any advice for younger women with similar aspirations?  

Make diversity and inclusion a top priority. Whether working with individuals from various backgrounds or learning new diverse skills, it is important to surround yourself with people and experiences that make you grow as a person daily.

Where do you get your inspiration?

My inspiration comes from the powerful women I surround myself with and read about, and the women I want my young daughters to become. My mother, cousins, sisters, and many girlfriends I’ve had for over 20 years inspire me to be the best version of myself. These women make me want to learn, grow and spread wholesomeness to my community.

What is one important skill everyone should have? 
Empathy. Without empathy, it is very difficult to work on a team, learn from one another and be successful. I strive every day to understand other people’s feelings, their preferred communication style, and methods of recognition. Empathy takes hard work and extra time, but it is the right thing to do.