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Lean In: Controversial or Conclusive?

As female leaders in the corporate world, I'm sure Sheryl Sandberg's new book, Lean In, has caught your attention. Whether or not you agree with it, this book by the female COO of Facebook is receiving a great deal of hype and is certainly relevant to our Network's goals.

If you have not had a chance to read the book, I will start with a brief summary. Lean In is the expansion of a message Sandberg introduced during the TED talk she gave back in 2010, titled "Why We Have Too Few Women Leaders." Her presentation of data from all over the globe proves one point- women are not occupying an equal amount of top leadership positions to men in ANY field in ANY country. This extends to politics, the corporate world, nonprofits, and other fields. Although women have climbed in numbers in most sectors since the 1960's, their figures have stagnated in the last ten years and some are even decreasing. She highlights prejudices society still holds against women in the workforce and the ways in which women may also hold themselves back. To combat these problems, Sandberg proposes several ways women can change their approach, including "Sit at the table," "Make your partner a real partner," and "Don't leave before you leave." "Sit at the table" refers to women taking what is theirs and believing that they have what it takes to move up in the company, because "no one gets to the corner office by sitting on the sidelines." She points out that, according to statistics, women systematically underestimate their abilities while men tend to overestimate theirs. She thinks that if women become more confident in themselves, there will eventually be more of them at the top. Referring to "make your partner a real partner," she states that in order for it to become easier and more acceptable for women to rise to the "C level" jobs, it will have to become more acceptable for men to become "stay-at-home dads" as well. Working mothers currently spend significantly more time doing household chores and rearing their children than their male partners do, and a more 50/50 arrangement between couples would help keep women in the workforce. Finally, she talks about "not leaving before you leave," which refers to not leaving "the game" mentally before you actually need to leave for a child. This means that women who may be planning to get married or have a child at some point in the future should not pass up opportunities in anticipation of these life changes, but should "lean in" instead. By "leaning in," a woman can seize valuable career opportunities that will raise her income and make her job more challenging, which will in turn make it more likely that she will return to the workforce afterward.

After her book was released, I noticed a barrage of opinion articles by women with negative reactions to Sandberg's message, mostly on the grounds that it is "irrelevant" to the majority of women. Many decry the fact that she is a millionaire who can obviously afford to pay for childcare, unlike many women in the workforce. Others say she isn't relatable because she assumes most women have a "partner" to make into a "real partner," which many women don't. Still others have said that she is warping the feminist cause by shifting the blame for low numbers of women at top levels to women themselves instead of society. Some have compared her book to "The Feminine Mystique" in the sense that it only relates to a small, affluent part of the population.

For all the scorn she has received from opinion columns on Fox News, Forbes, and others, I believe there are certain axioms from her speech and book that transcend race, income level, and marital status. To dismiss her point of view as unique to only her life situation is truly a shame. When a male business mogul writes a book about how to become successful, it is hardly thinkable that men would discard his ideas simply because they are not relevant to every single type of man. Sheryl openly admits that her advice is not suitable for everyone and that the workforce isn't the right place for every woman, but she has many suggestions for those who choose to stay. I take issue with the fact that people say she blames women for their own misfortunes. Her aim is to empower us in our professional lives by asking us to own our strengths and successes more forcefully. She relies heavily on data in her speeches so she can highlight the fact that that gender bias still exists in our society but that there are ways women may better equip themselves to overcome it. Sandberg believes that having more women in charge would make the world a more equal place and would very much like to see this happen through a change in attitudes toward gender roles.

As I listened to the TED talk and skimmed her book, I could not help but think about the Global Women's Leadership Network's mission. Utilizing Sandberg's ideas could build women up and cause our Network could expand greatly. What are your thoughts on Lean In's message? Would you apply it in your own credit union or cooperative? If so, how?

Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, CU Boards / Volunteers, Financial/Risk Management, Impact of Women in Society, Internal Operations

Join our Linkedin group!

The Network is happy to announce that we now have a group profile on LinkedIn. You can search for us under "Global Women's Leadership Network (World Council of Credit Unions)" or click here to see our page. Please join the group and feel free to start discussions on our wall. We also invite you to share the group with other women leaders in the credit union industry. Non-members are welcome!

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Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, CU Boards / Volunteers, Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Events, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Financial/Risk Management, Growing CU Market Share, Impact of Women in Society, Internal Operations, Marketing, Member Discussions, Member Service, Networking, Program Updates, Regulatory Issues, Technology

6 Secrets of How Successful Women Lead

 

Two authors look beyond the stereotypes to examine the research-based evidence about the leadership traits women possess. (Psst: They lead straight to success.)

 

 

Matty Stern/U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv


In the era of post-post-feminism, let's just admit it: Men and women are--or at least can be--different in certain ways. And some of those ways show up at the workplace. Some even show up in the C-suite. So, let's take the time to ponder how that, well, works.

To put it simply: Do women lead differently?

According to Sharon Hadary and Laura Henderson, the answer is an uniquivocal yes. What's more interesting, though, is that they believe that leadership by a woman tends to yield very desirable results--including better odds of business profitability and creation of more businesses that are fundamentally creative and innovative.

For two decades, Hadary, the founding executive director of the Center for Women's Business Research, and Henderson, founder of Prospect Associates, a $20-million health communications and biomedical research firm, have been conducting research on women in leadership roles. What they confirmed is that the women leaders with multi-million-dollar businesses combine their unique feminine leadership with sound business acumen to achieve their highest aspirations.

In their recent book, How Women Lead: The 8 Essential Strategies Successful Women Know, the authors also cite the latest academic research affirming that women's leadership styles are condusive to success. (For instance, MIT found that the most creative and productive groups included women. Also, Pepperdine University reported that businesses with more women in leadership reported higher financial results than those with fewer women leaders.)

Hadary and Henderson offer these success strategies for leaders who wish to maximize their strengths with solid business acumen to become a high-potential leader.

1. Own Your Destiny--and Judge Yourself Only by Your Own Metrics

One fascinating fact illuminated by this recent research is that women who achieve most are also women who define success in their own terms and integrate achieving high financial goals with creating a business that reflects their passions. Their businesses provide socially responsible products and services, offer opportunities for employees to thrive, make a positive difference in the community, and simultaneously create personal wealth for the owner.

Successful entrepreneurs establish high goals and when they achieve their goals, they move the bar even higher.

"Women should think of their businesses as a $1 million business from Day One," says Henderson. "This drives how they structure the business, the decisions they make, and the way they present themselves and the business."

2. Lead Like a Woman

Highly successful women are likely to build on their leadership strengths of collaboration, inclusion, and consultation. The result within a company is a culture where everyone's ideas and insights are heard and considered in making decisions and where people feel valued and, therefore, are committed to achieving organizational goals.

There's something else that seems to be specific to women's leadership styles: Women think more holistically. That means, when women view a situation, they have a tendency go beyond the specific facts and the numbers to take into account personnel and organization considerations. As a result, they identify opportunities, risks, and gaps that others often miss, strengthening their competitive edge.

3. Numbers Tell Stories. Become a Translator of These

Never undermine your credibility as a businesswoman by opening a discussion with a statement about your lack of business acumen. Learn about finance and speak about it in its own language. The women business owners and leaders with the largest, fastest-growing organizations produce more financial reports more frequently than those with slower growing businesses. They identify the key metrics that give them the insights they need and embrace financial knowledge as a major part of their strategic decision-making.

4. Build Exceptional Teams

Hire the best from the very beginning and avoid the common mistake of hiring executives from a large company. You need leaders who can work effectively in a fast-moving, entrepreneurial organization. These are people who have the ability to commit to a bigger cause and possess values congruent with yours, curiosity and critical thinking skills, common sense, people and relationship skills, risk taking skills, and respect, admiration, and tolerance for the entrepreneur. Hiring to these characteristics will result in a team that can identify and implement solutions to the evolving challenges of the entrepreneurial business.

5. Nurture Your Greatest Asset: You

Avoid becoming so caught up in your work you cannot see the world around you. Focus on integrating all aspects of your life and treat your time and energy as scarce resources--as scarce and valuable as any item in your budget. Establish priorities based on your values and goals and use them to make decisions about accepting requests for your time.

The most successful leaders are life-long learners. Set aside time to attend conferences and seminars, read, participate in networks that provide industry knowledge, and meet with experts. Don't forget to complement your professional networks with personal networks of friends, like-minded women, and colleagues who will share experiences and knowledge, support you in the tough times, and celebrate with you over successes.

6. Celebrate the Journey

Recognize that success is not a one-time shot. It is about composing a life over time. Take the time to enjoy the journey and celebrate the successes along the way.

Stay open to serendipity--the joys and opportunities that appear unexpectedly in life--whether at work or in your personal life. Beware of missing or dismissing these opportunities because you are so focused on your day-to-day plan. Be open to saying: "Yes, let's try it and see where it leads."----Marla Tabaka

To read the original article, click here.
Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, CU Boards / Volunteers, Financial/Risk Management

Making Cracks in the Glass Ceiling

The term glass ceiling was coined in the 1980s to illustrate women’s struggle to be seen as equals in senior executive positions. While that metaphor holds true today, fissures are appearing where they hadn’t been before. I’m confident that will continue as women climb the corporate ladder and expand their numbers in the marketplace. A 2007 study in the Journal of Organizational Structure, Communications and Conflict found that it certainly exists. The survey was conducted in 2003 and found three women sitting in the corner offices at Fortune 100 companies. This was up proportionally from just two in the Fortune 500 in 1996. Women comprise more than half of the population yet we occupy a meager 3% of the top spots and the most successful companies. Similarly, non-CEO female executives at the Fortune 100 accounted for 5.8% of executives in 2003, up from 2.6% of female officers at the Fortune 500 companies in 1997.However, an area where women (and the men, generally, who hire them) have made remarkable strides is compensation. Several studies have found, particularly at the upper echelons of the pay scale, the differences are nonexistent when it comes to compensation packages. For 2001-2003, according to the Journal article, female non-CEO execs earned a bit more in the median than their male counterparts with the mean reversing slightly. With a sample size of only three female CEOs, a statistical conclusion could not be reached for that set.The study concluded that the glass ceiling is certainly not shattered but a dramatic shift will occur over the next several years as women earn college degrees at twice the rate of men, and because the economy is no longer manufacturing based, which favored men.The glass ceiling is certainly still there but the more of us who chisel away at it the more quickly it will shatter completely. Or should I use a more appropriately feminine term than shatter? No, we need to annihilate it. Obliterate it!To be fair, until recent history, women have made other choices in life that conflicted with or interrupted their careers, such as education level, stereotypical gender roles and family. Even as you look up the corporate ladder, you’ll see most women are in stereotypical female roles, such as HR or marketing. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with those jobs; they’re great! But they tend not to lead to CEO positions, and that’s fine too. Do what you love and you’ll get what you define as your top spot every time.

If a big office is what you crave, it’s nice to know that with confident negotiation your contributions could be valued every bit as much as a man’s.

Sarah Snell Cook, Editor & Chief, Credit Union Times 

By Sarah Snell Cooke

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Credit Union Times

Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, CU Boards / Volunteers, Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Events, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Financial/Risk Management, Growing CU Market Share, Impact of Women in Society, Internal Operations, Marketing, Member Discussions, Member Service, Networking, Program Updates, Regulatory Issues, Technology

Learn the ins and outs of credit union regulation!

No one has a crystal ball — but we can foresee what credit union regulations might be coming down the pipeline. To better prepare ourselves I’d like to invite you to an exclusive World Council of Credit Unions webinar designed to keep you at the forefront of global regulatory compliance issues. The Basel III Capital Accord and CU Regulation Webinar will be offered on Feb. 1, 2012, from 9 to 11 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST) in English and on Feb. 2, 2012, from 9 to 11 a.m. Central Standard Time (CST) in Spanish. The cost is • US$100 for World Council members with developed CU movements (Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Poland, USA) • US$50 for World Council members with developing CU movements • US$200 for non-members You’ll hear from regulatory expert Glenn Westley and learn about the most influential regulatory guidelines in the world — the Basel III Capital Accord. Find out what changes may be coming and how they could directly or indirectly affect your credit union. Plus, you will have the opportunity to ask your most pressing questions. To sign up visit www.woccu.org/webinars.
Tags
CU Boards / Volunteers, Events, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Financial/Risk Management, Member Discussions, Regulatory Issues

Health and wealth over time - BBC makes it interesting!

Prof Hans Rosling has a 4-minute video using 3-D graphics showing how health, the economy and poverty relate over time in different countries.  It has some lessons that may interest our network members as we all try to improve our communities through credit unions.  And I'd love to learn how to use those graphics in my presentations!  Check it out if you have a minute: www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo

 

Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Financial/Risk Management, Growing CU Market Share, Marketing, Member Service, Networking, Member Discussions, Regulatory Issues, Technology

Regulatory Scrutiny

brandi.stankovic@gmail.com posted on August 12, 2010 2:38 PM

In the midst of economic turmoil, many financial institutions in the United States are facing regulatory scrutiny from the impact of consumer behavior shifts. The recent changes to banking regulation are in direct response to the financial crisis we are facing in the United States. These regulations, however, are requiring institutions to operate on restricted income, thus limiting the funds available to cover operating expenses. Since banks and credit unions rely heavily on fee income in order to survive, reduction in fees in one area will cause institutions to seek income in another area. Check out this recent article about a lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo Bank for their fee structure for overdrawn accounts.

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Judge-orders-Wells-Fargo-to-apf-3665036279.html?x=0&.v=7&.pf=banking-budgeting&mod=pf-banking-budgeting

What can we as credit unions do to compete without instituting "bank-like" fee structures? Service and the credit union difference may not be enough to keep us going with such strict regulatory scrutiny. At VCCU there is a focus on automation and efficiency. We are looking to streamline operations without impacting member service. What are you doing at your credit union to increase the bottom line?

Tags
Financial/Risk Management, Internal Operations

Regulation E

brandi.stankovic@gmail.com posted on May 6, 2010 11:32

What do we need to do?

Generally, the new rule prohibits an institution that holds a consumer's account from assessing any fee or charge on a consumer's account for paying an ATM or a one-time debit card transaction as part of the institution's overdraft service, unless:

  1. The consumer is provided with a notice in writing, (or if the consumer agrees, electronically) segregated from all other information, explaining the institution's overdraft service;
  2. The consumer is given a reasonable opportunity to affirmatively consent (opt in);
  3. The consumer affirmatively consents (opts in) to the service; and
  4. The institution provides the consumer with confirmation of the consumer's consent in writing (or if the consumer agrees, electronically), which includes a statement informing the consumer of the right to revoke such consent.

When should we start?

As soon as possible. A financial institution may provide the notice required by §205.17(b)(1)(i) and obtain the consumer's affirmative consent to the financial institution's overdraft service for ATM and one-time debit card transactions before July 1, 2010, provided that the financial institution complies with all of the requirements of §205.17. (Comment 205.17(c)-1)

Regulation information provided was obtained from:
http://www.philadelphiafed.org/bank-resources/publications/consumer-compliance-outlook/2010/first-quarter/rules-regarding-overdraft-services.cfm

Tags
Financial/Risk Management
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