2014 World Council Survey on Women's Participation in Credit Unions

| 3 Comments |

World Council of Credit Unions conducted a survey on Women's Participation in Credit Unions in 2014.  The data was provided by 36 out of 46 respondents (78%) who were women from national CU associations.

Survey summary:  

  • Average percent of women members of credit unions: 43.8% (34 countries)
  • Average percent of women board members in credit unions: 27.5% (29 countries)
  • Percent of women CEOs of credit unions: 15% (30 countries)

Further details can be found in the Member Services folder of the Resource Library.

2014 WOCCU Survey: Women in CUs

Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, CU Boards/Volunteers, Impact of Women in Society, Member Service, Program Updates

WOMEN IN LEADERSHIP

| 8 Comments |
At Mudi SACCO we have just had our Annual General Meeting for 2013 on 26th April, 2014. Being a female General Manager for this SACCO, I am very happy to see, my fellow two women scooping two seats in the Executive BOD of four, making it 50-50. All the past years it has been men only or just one lady in the executive. Indeed, its time women we need to break the ceiling. "WE CAN". Sisters, share your experience at your Organizations/C.U/ SACCOs.
Tags
CU Boards/Volunteers, Impact of Women in Society, Program Updates

Women on Board: Credit Unions Seek Volunteer Diversity

| 0 Comments |

Great article in the CU Times today.  Some of our sisters are featured in this article that focuses on  the benefits of having women on boards, some of the barriers women are facing and ways to remove those barriers. 

http://www.cutimes.com/2014/02/12/women-on-board-credit-unions-seek-volunteer-divers?eNL=51520a1b140ba0ed7800006c&utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=CUT_eNLs&_LID=161803213

Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, CU Boards/Volunteers, Impact of Women in Society

Don’t Be Afraid to Be Assertive

| 3 Comments |

The cover letter on a Government Accountability Office report to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee states that women comprise nearly half of the workforce at 47% as of July 2010. While the number of women earning college degrees has tripled between 1970 and 2008, the letter read, they are less well represented among management. The GAO cited the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission data, which found that female officials and managers in the private sector increased from just over 29% in 1990 to 36.4% in 2002. Women must do their own legwork to raise our collective stature beyond the height of our pumps in 2013.

Between 2000 and 2007, male to female ratios in management was flat across 13 sectors, the GAO found. In 2007 women accounted for 40% of managers and 49% of nonmanagers, while figures from 2000 indicate women represented 39% of managers and 49% of nonmanagers.

The GAO also found that female managers in 2007 had less education, were younger on average, were more likely to work part-time, and were less likely to be married or have children, than male managers. A lot of these factors are very personal choices and they all can be for very noble reasons. It’s nothing anyone else can decide for you. You’re welcome to the sisterhood if and when you’re ready.

But when your personal journey leads you toward career aspirations, do it right. When a job a level up becomes available, go for it. No one else is going to do it for you. Don’t just hope to get recognized. Management wants someone who can demonstrate they’re a leader and can assert themselves. Gather advice from mentors and colleagues, pull up your big-girl pants and go for it.

Not only are women underrepresented in management, but pay differences also continue to tug at our skirt hemlines. On average, married female managers earned the majority of household wages, but her share was smaller than the average male married manager; this statistic held steady between 2000 and 2007, according to the GAO. The pay gap did narrowed slightly between 2000 and 2007. After taking into account factors such as education level, the GAO estimated that female managers earn 81 cents to men’s dollar in 2007. This was up from 79 cents in 2000, and varied depending upon the sector.

The authors of A Woman’s Guide to Successful Negotiating recommend asserting yourself in salary negotiations from the start. A study of Carnegie Mellon University graduates discovered that male students were eight times more likely to negotiate for a larger starting salary than female students. The authors stated that was, in part, due to women’s poor negotiation skills or foregoing it entirely. They cite the experience of Maria Dorner, CEO of NewsMD Communications when early in her career, she took her mother’s advice: “You need them more than they need you.” She quickly learned this was the wrong strategy for valuing her work. She asked for double and got it only to learn that a male counterpart had just asked for and received triple. That might be a bit of an extreme example, but the idea is 1) know what you’re worth in the market that you’re in; and 2) be sure to assert yourself to achieve a fair goal. You are worth it—to yourself and your employer.

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, Impact of Women in Society, Member Discussions, Networking

Lean In: Controversial or Conclusive?

| 2 Comments |

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!

| 0 Comments |

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!

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 Service, Networking, Member Discussions, Program Updates, Regulatory Issues, Technology

Cast a Wider Net in Networking

| 1 Comments |

Women are good at networking with other women. Perhaps it's because they're more comfortable. The problem is that women are limiting their professional growth opportunities because, as we all know, women do not comprise the majority of top-level executives. That's not to say that women's groups don't have their place, but networking must necessarily extend beyond them.


Career Development International published a case study in 2011 that studied the impact of women's networks on participants' careers and the executives at the organization. They preface that report, stating that very little research has been done regarding the actual impact of women's networks on organizations. However, it did cite previous research stating, "The success or failure of these efforts is dependent on how they are perceived by organizational members-both men and women."


When studying organized networks intended to help promote diversity, the CDI article found very different viewpoints between what the members expected from the group and how executive management viewed it. Both sides saw it as a way to increase women in leadership in the case study. However, the executives, only one of whom was a woman, viewed it primarily as a mentoring vehicle and promoting diversity; the female group members looked at the women's network as strategic opportunity for the company that would benefit the bottom line, in addition to networking.


Women network differently than men, which impacts their careers. According to the article, women's networks tend to be smaller groups with stronger bonds and more homogenous than men's networks. Men's networking is a mile wide and an inch deep, but it serves the purpose of helping them advance professionally because they hear about opportunities and come into contact with a lot of people. Women also have more women in their networks, and because women are less visible at the upper levels of management, they have fewer opportunities to meet informally with top executives. The proverbial good old boys' club comes into play when they talk business on hunting trips or over cigars.


Women and Leadership: Closing the Gender Gap, published in the International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching & Mentoring, cited a presentation during an Oxford Brookes University conference which suggested that informal influencing networks might be more useful that straight networking. The idea is to align with like-minded colleagues who will help push your goal forward, creating an "influencing path" based on who's trusted by key players.


Female executives must recognize the importance of possessing the right kind of connections, as well as broader networks. At the same time, male executives should think to expand their horizons beyond the hunting lodge or golf course. As women will naturally become a larger part of senior management, it's crucial to everyone to ensure well-rounded networking for all.

 

 Sarah Snell Cooke

By Sarah Snell Cooke
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Credit Union Times

 

Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, CU Boards/Volunteers, Networking

6 Secrets of How Successful Women Lead

| 0 Comments |

 

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

Ladies, Get Ahold of Yourself

| 0 Comments |

When you hear the phrase ‘emotional intelligence,' my biased, knee-jerk reaction is that women are superior. However, when you dig down into what comprises emotional intelligence, they aren't necessarily.

In the article, "The Emotional Intelligence of Leaders" that appeared in the publication Leader to Leader, Daniel Goleman outlines five dimensions (cue Aquarius) of leaders: Self-awareness, manage emotions, exhibit optimism, show empathy, and stay connected.

Somehow when society shifted from hunting and gathering to a formal work place, the philosophy followed that personal stuff stays at home. No emotions at work. The truth is that's impossible. Whether you've got a big report due for the board or you're having difficulty finding the right person to fill a position, it causes stress, and humans respond-well or poorly-to stress. And these feelings trickle out to your team.

Men tend to get angry about their anxieties because they see it as a weakness, and men hate that. Their anger is conveyed overtly or in subtle ways. Women tend to become unsure of themselves and, thus the goal or the means to it. When a leader is unsure, that uncertainty affects her ability to lead people anywhere. And then there are the women who try to play 'like the men.'

Being tuned in and accepting what your feeling allows you to slow down, consider what's going on, the environment and the ramifications. You feel in control, and so you're optimistic that even if something isn't going as planned, you can adapt to change the outcome. You don't berate or blame others; you just find a solution or scrap the project as necessary.
I participated in a very intriguing LinkedIn discussion in a professional women's group asking whether participants preferred male or female bosses. The comments I read were heavily weighted toward preferring male bosses. Huh?

Maybe women aren't as emotionally evolved as they think. Many of the commenters described the cattiness of their female bosses. Perhaps the female bosses were feeling threatened by the up-and-coming talent, and after all they'd worked for, they weren't going to be shown up by the young blond in the slightly short skirt.

This is not a game we should be playing because no one's going to win. Your people make you look good, so let them shine, male or female. Keep them engaged and be engaged in what you're doing. If you're doing that, 1) you're not going to be threatened, and 2) hope that you've cultivated a loyalty there that can serve your business, and even you personally.

Sarah Snell Cooke 

By Sarah Snell Cooke
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Credit Union Times 

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

Adhere to Your Femininity

| 0 Comments |

Mais oui, ze French-or more precisely Societe Generale, a French bank-began offering a pink and gold credit card called "Pour Elle," complete with handbag insurance and handyman assistance. It vows to "simplify" women's lives and an article written about it quotes a bank spokesperson saying it targets "those who wish to adhere to their femininity."

Their clientele seems very hi-end so it might work for them but the very idea among commoners like me portrays women as helpless-one might even say hopeless. Women are influential cogs in the economy and marketing to a target audience can be good, but personally I am now finding it tough to keep lunch down. (I'm sorry, was that not ladylike?)

Women can be a powerful force in the workplace, too, and remain feminine. I'm not talking about the old days of low-cut blouses and tight skirts, but truth be told women can get away with a lot more than men in the wardrobe department. Look at attention-grabbing garb of someone like CO-OP's Sarah Canepa Bang. Not everyone can pull her style off but you know when she enters a room.

I couldn't get away with it but there are subtler ways of parting the pinstriped seas while adhering to your femininity. The thing about your professional femininity is it's how you define it and want to project it. Many times we do feel the pressure to conform in this man's world, whether to what the way they behave or the way they think (or we think they think) women should behave.

Women can and should assert themselves more. Women are less likely to negotiate for compensation and benefits, which can do great damage to your personal and financial well being over time. Know your priorities, whether they're financial or extra time off or other benefits, before entering the room, and don't leave until you're satisfied that they've all been addressed if not necessarily adopted.

Women are less apt to continue pushing an idea for a product or service or process after hearing ‘no' from on high. Pick your battles, but if you've done your research and know this will be beneficial to your business then wait a while and bring it up again. The worst that will likely happen is you'll be told no again. If you're idea is accepted and successful refer back to the last paragraph, but if you don't support a project you believe in, you won't have the opportunity at review time to say look what revenue or savings I've brought to this organization.

I've also heard the statistic from executive consultant Holly Herman (I don't recall the original source) that women won't apply for a job to move up a level unless they know they can already do 80% of it while men will apply for jobs they think they can handle 40% of. That's the kind of confidence women need to succeed and succeed even faster. Know the basics and quickly muddle your way through the rest until you know that, too.

Even something as simple as offering a firm handshake can go a long way (but do it femininely so you don't chip your nails). These behaviors aren't unfeminine. Make them your feminine, because we don't need our lives simplified with purse insurance. And, if you own a purse that needs insuring, 1) your life's already too complicated and 2) you can afford to hire your own handyman.

By Sarah Snell Cooke
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Credit Union Times
Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, CU Boards/Volunteers, Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Impact of Women in Society, Member Service, Networking

Men Are the Problem, er, I Mean Solution

| 0 Comments |

Sarah Snell Cooke

Men—you know I love ‘em. Even married one once. They can be tyrannical and territorial or they can be fatherly and supportive.My headline was satirical. Men are absolutely part of the solution to gender diversity in the work place. They have to be because they rule a lot of this roost. Historically it was by design but I like to think that’s not the case with most male executives any more.Just like my headline though you’ll see a lot of books regarding advancement of female executives with titles like, The Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys and The End of Men. It’s entirely the wrong attitude to present to truly accomplish diversity, and if you look beyond the titles you’ll see they’re sensationalized for marketing rather than actually representing feminazi dogma.Even if some men aren’t on board they need to be brought on board. We’re in this lopsided situation because a subset of people was excluded. What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. We need men (see first line).Dragging over the fence sitters and opponents take business sense, so here are millions of reasons for equity among the executive ranks. According to a 2011 McKinsey study, women represented 37% of all jobs in 1970 and that figure climbed to nearly 48% by 2009, adding nearly 37 million women. McKinsey contends that without them, our economy would be 25% smaller. Additionally, the U.S. has about 76% of all women working versus 87% in Sweden. Even the outlying states only reach 84%, which suggests there’s room for growth, McKinsey contends, and adding 3-4% to the U.S. economy. Pull that down from the clouds and apply it to the credit union industry, and it’s still a substantial number.A greater portion of middle management women (31%) than entry-level (16%) aspires to the upper ranks so focus on these professionals first, McKinsey found. Mentor them or if you are one of them, find a mentor, male or female. Also, increasing that layer of women in middle management helps grow the upwardly mobile pool even further.An Oct. 31 column by American Banker Editor-at-Large Barbara A. Rehm followed the remarks of Irene Dorner, CEO of HSBC USA. Rehm quoted her as saying in her acceptance speech as the most powerful woman in banking, “Do more to create a level playing field for women…Do it because meritocracy is a step towards renewing our industry. Do it because there are a lot of women out there who can get us where we want to be. And do it because it’s right.”

Her words are great and her speech reportedly very inspiring, but think about how much more powerful it would be if a male executive had made that speech. Men must be part of the solution to gender equality.

Sarah Snell CookeSarah Snell Cooke

By Sarah Snell Cooke
Publisher/Editor-in-Chief
Credit Union Times
Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, CU Boards/Volunteers, Impact of Women in Society, Internal Operations, Networking

Teach Your Colleagues Well

| 1 Comments |

As demographics and history progress, more female executives are growing into leadership roles Credit Union Times wanted to highlight them in various states of their career paths. In 2011, we launched our Women to Watch program to shine a spotlight on women who are making a difference in the credit union community and serve as role models for others. With that rise comes great responsibility. Up and coming female professionals need mentors and let’s face it: sometimes it’s easier for us (and often men, too) to ask questions and seek guidance from women. Women tend to be more attentive to others’ needs and better listeners. (My husband refuses to toss his cruddy old t-shirt that reads: She says I don’t listen, or something like that.) Whether it’s instinctual or a simply upbringing, it’s true. With 66% of women 18-34 rating career high on their list of priorities compared to men of the same age group at 59%, female mentors are becoming a hot commodity.Credit Union Times recently featured women professionals of the credit union support system at CUTimes.com/W2W and in our Oct. 3 issue. These women, including the Global Women’s Leadership Network’s Sue Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic & Associates, are professionals to be admired and respected for a whole slew of reasons. When you read their personal philosophies, you see things like:

  • Be honest.
  • Be flexible.
  • Be the person you look up to.
  • Seek opportunities.
  • Be curious and creative.
  • Make a difference.
  • Do what’s right.

Demonstrating leadership isn’t rocket science and it’s not a women or men’s issue. These are human issues. But mentors can serve the important role of keeping others on track, steering them from burning a bridge in a temporary fit of anger, and guiding them through the gray areas.Not all women or men want to be in the corner office. Some prefer to be the best they can be at whatever their area of interest is. That’s great! It takes everyone working together—men and women, CFOs, IT and marketing directors, volunteers and professionals—and respecting and using everyone to their strengths while acknowledging our own weaknesses to operate a successful organization. Mentors can help bring that out in you execs.

Willingness to cooperate and collaborate and getting others to work together harmoniously is a great strength of women in general and perhaps why they’ve been more successful in the credit union community than other industries.

 

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, Impact of Women in Society, Internal Operations, Networking, Member Discussions

Thoughts on the Mobile Revolution

| 0 Comments |

In the article, Designing for Women: The Mobile Challenge (http://blog.usaid.gov/2012/09/building-a-better-user-experience-the-mobile-chapter/#.UGYAg65SAvg.email), Christopher Burns, economic growth and agricultural development advisor of USAID, said  “Mobile phones are a real game changer when it comes to tackling global challenges around the world but if the design does not change, hundreds of millions of women risk being left out in this next mobile revolution. That is a risk we cannot afford to take.”

Burns conducted research in Egypt, India, Papua New Guinea and Uganda, that shows on average resource-poor women are 22% less likely to want a mobile phone because they don’t know how to use it.

Do your credit union members know how to access their financial information through their mobile phones? How can we, as credit unions, make sure no one is left behind in the mobile revolution?

Maybe we can use this research and work with members and offer a basic tutorial on how to access their accounts and other key phone functions. Perhaps tellers could help members on a case-by-case basis or classes could be offered on occasion?

As financial cooperatives we have the ability to shine while helping our members understand new technologies. Has anyone done outreach on how to make members more comfortable with technology? We’d love to hear your ideas!
Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, CU Boards/Volunteers, Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Impact of Women in Society, Marketing, Member Service, Networking, Member Discussions, Technology

Making Cracks in the Glass Ceiling

| 0 Comments |
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 Service, Networking, Member Discussions, Program Updates, Regulatory Issues, Technology

Upcoming Engagement Program in Querétaro, Mexico

| 0 Comments |

Ladies,

thanks to Network Members Catherine Ford and Sue Mitchell's blog posts you had the chance to have some feedback about our engagement program in Ventura, CA.

If you'd like to participate in the next one in Querétaro, Mexico please note that it will now take place on October 7-13, 2012. For further details, visit the "Upcoming Events" section of the website.

We hope to see many of you there!

PS: Don't forget that we're still accepting registrations for this year Global Women's Leadership Forum in Gdańsk!

Tags
CU Boards/Volunteers, Events, Growing CU Market Share, Technology

Global Women's Leadership Network, Ventura Project Engagement

| 0 Comments |

We are making a difference!  Global Women's Leadership Network had its first U.S. project engagement in Ventura, Calif. (USA).  The five-day session gave participants an opportunity to see World Council's outreach iPhone program in action.  This progressive mobile application allows the credit union to reach out to current and potential members at remote access points.  The participants visited farms, volunteered at community organizations, toured credit union facilities, had bike rides on the beach with the CEO to engage in discussions and formed lifelong friendships that reinforce that doing the right thing is also good business.  Here are just a few comments:

You can appreciate why I feel “I left my heart in Ventura,” although  I brought all of these shining  stars in my heart – as well as brought back with me some ideas on how to perhaps contribute to the success of SMCU serving the underserved, Barry’s culture, vision, passion and commitment.  I can’t wait to see the pictures and share the experience with our San Francisco “Sisterhood“ at our meeting in August.
- Connie Paniagua, San Mateo Credit Union, San Mateo, Calif. (USA)

We had a wonderful time on our trip.  I met Joe Schroeder, CEO, from VCCU, Brandi  Stankovic of Mitchell, Stankovic, and Associates, and Nicole Bice from World Council. All nice people.  Joe's credit union is really neat.  They know their membership and are working to make sure that they service them in every way possible.  WOCCU put on a very informative and well organized conference.  During our trip to the fields, we observed workers picking celery, which reminded me of going out on my grandfather's farm back home.  Edith from the credit union sets up for business in their break room.  She has programming on an iPhone so she can sign members up and make transactions. This was my first experience with a bilingual group, so it was very interesting to me to observe the interaction. Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to go!
- Donita Wendt, Ser Technology, Dallas, Texas (USA).

It was a great time, and I really enjoyed spending time with all these ladies.  It was good and made me feel more connected with GWLN and WOCCU.   I still have a heart for reaching the people in the fields, and I think we can find a way to do that, especially here in Santa Cruz. 
- Beth Carr, Santa Cruz Community Credit Union, Santa Cruz, Calif. (USA)

Tags
CU Boards/Volunteers, Events, Growing CU Market Share, Program Updates, Technology

Engaging in Ventura County - Day 1

| 0 Comments |
I am looking forward to day 2 of our engagement program, where we will go to the field (literally) and get a first hand look at how Ventura County Credit Union (VCCU) is using the mobile member outreach technology from Mexico to provide financial services to farm workers in the field. Inspired by the Semilla Cooperativa model in Mexico, and presented by Caja Zongolica CEO Dolores Rivera at the 2010 Global Women's Leadership Forum in Las Vegas, VCCU in partnership with WOCCU and local partners, has adapted the methodology, developed an iphone app and is seeing a difference in business. Doing good deeds is making good business sense for VCCU. And changing their business model is tied into that, for example VCCU recently added Saturday business hours in one of their branches and thanks to the new member business, loans are nearly double what they had been previously. We learned today how the credit union sees reaching out to farm workers with mobile devices (smartphone) as a gateway / entry point to providing the financial literacy and services to potential members who are eager to find safe and secure means to manage their finances. Look for more inspiration as the trip continues.
Tags
CU Boards/Volunteers, Growing CU Market Share, Program Updates, Technology

Learn the ins and outs of credit union regulation!

| 0 Comments |
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

Working with Social Service Providers?

| 0 Comments |
Have any of you worked in collaboration (or in partnership) with government-funded Social Service Providers? Our credit union colleagues from Aotearoa Credit Union in New Zealand would like to hear about your experiences. They have strategic goals to create partnerships in communities and with various Maori tribal groups, but these relationships take time to develop and they are wary of how to be involved while at the same time maintaining the independence of our organisation. Please comment on this blog and share you experiences with us!
Tags
Community Outreach, CU Boards/Volunteers, Engaging the Next Generation of CU Members, Facilitating Greater Access to CUs Worldwide, Member Service, Networking, Member Discussions

Congresswoman Jackie Speier to join us at the upcoming GAC breakfast

| 0 Comments |

We are excited that Congresswoman Jackie Speier (representing California’s 12th congressional district) has agreed to speak at the Global Women’s Leadership Network breakfast at the GAC on March 1st. She has a strong record on consumer finance issues; she was an early supporter of the independent Consumer Financial Protection Bureau; and she is an advocate for credit unions. We look forward to seeing you there!

Tags
Challenges Facing Women in Leadership Positions, Community Outreach, CU Boards/Volunteers, Internal Operations

Pacific Congress - Our GWLN vision lives!

| 0 Comments |

msasmitchell@aol.com
Our GWLN vision lives! Each time we take a next step in our journey towards uniting CU women worldwide, I am in awe of my new sisters. In Papua New Guinea at the Pacific Congress, WOCCU held an impromptu GWLN development session. There were women from all the islands attending and their stories were inspiring. Leaders in their communities, leaders in their homes and leaders at their credit unions. Yet, their greatest pride were their children and their greatest commitment was to a better future for their members! Women globally share our vision!

Tags
CU Boards/Volunteers

GWLN Professional Development session at the Pacific Congress

| 0 Comments |

msasmitchell@aol.com
I had a blast teaching a Professional Development session on Presentation Skills for Women at the GWLN Session in PNG. We discussed self confidence, importance of perceptions, strong posture, researching custom content, using relevant media, knowing your style, and engaging the audience with interaction. We challenged each other to construct a personal brand elevator speech that we can stand, deliver and build upon our networks by making an excellent first impression. Go ladies, I believe in you...

Tags
CU Boards/Volunteers

Member Login

Forgot Password?

Donate to GWLN
A Program of:
World Council of Credit Unions