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.
- 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.
Mobile remittances, referred to as the "next generation" of electronic payments via the mobile channel, have various benefits. For example, many people in rural areas do not have access to traditional financial services, but do own cell phones. Therefore, the latter part is absolutely ideal for mobile-banking outreach. So, World Council of Credit Unions "provided software and technical assistance to the Le Levier Federation of credit unions to launch 'Boom'--a mobile banking product. It is the first mobile product in Haiti to connect user transactions to credit union current accounts rather than use stored cellphone value. Offered by more than 60 credit union locations nationwide, Boom offers Haitians the ability to register, deposit and transfer funds to registered and unregistered users for free and to make low-cost cash withdrawals within seconds via their cellphones," (July 2013 news release). The following is a true story about Boom, and an invaluable example of the kind of personalization and close ties that credit unions have with their members.
One day at a Haitian credit union, a staff member named *Anne received a call that the internet was down at a neighboring credit union in Port-au-Prince-and they needed to perform a payout for a customer. Anne and *John, a World Council staff member, made a detour to resolve the problem. They arrived at the credit union, and John offered his personal laptop and satellite internet connection to perform the transaction. After a few failed attempts, they were unable to process the transaction. They then inquired with the customer and learned that he had received a text message about a company called "Boom."
Anne and John asked the customer if he had called Boom's customer service line to resolve the issue. He replied that he hadn't called because his phone had just ran out of minutes. John then happily introduced himself as a Boom representative informing the customer about the company and how mobile remittances work. The customer was pleasantly surprised, appreciative, and decided to register on the very same laptop. After the first few steps, the member's phone died before he was able to finish. Once again, John gave him his own phone to complete the registration process.
The member's withdrawal was finally completed. To finish the process, Anne and John took a screen shot of the member's receipt, saved it to a thumb drive, and transferred the data to the customer's account to print later for his own records. Before leaving, the customer turned to both of them and said, "Wait...it's as if you came just for me, right? I have been waiting here for 2 hours waiting for the internet to work to get my money, and then you show up from Boom!" Anne thanked him for his patience and made sure he felt settled with everything. He then went on to say, "I'm so excited to try this new service." The man was also happy to hear that he was now a member of the credit union. He explained that he had always thought about joining a credit union, but was hesitant and unsure. Now, he felt eager, comfortable, and excited to take advantage of the opportunity given to him through Boom. This was a genuine highlight for John to witness how the customer felt Boom made a personal visit, just for him.
So how does this short story relate to Global Women's Leadership Network? First, this is an undeniable example of a committed member-first attitude from a credit union leader. Moreover, take a look at what John wrote about how the General Manager inspired him as well as others:
"The General Manager, *Mary, of this credit union was and is an incredible natural female leader. In addition to being the General Manger, she sells Mary Kay and welcomes many of her members with a smile and a hug. It is truly ‘relationship banking' as we so often hear in the U.S. You immediately sense that certain intangible kindness and warmth in her when you meet her.
The reason all of this matters is because Mary is always the first to try new technological things and does so out of implicit trust in her credit union league because they have a long-standing relationship which has established that trust. It isn't about pricing negotiations, blaming others when things go wrong, or making sure she's in control--as some male leaders are prone to do--it's about trying new things and taking risks because she wants to improve her members' lives. There are bigger, more sophisticated credit unions in the federation--but if you want to try something new you go first to this credit union and talk with Mary."
Social Media Intern
World Council of Credit Unions
*=Names of people and institutions have been changed to maintain privacy.
"Haiti: World Council to Explore Mobile Utility Payment Solutions for Sustainable Electricity Program." World Council of Credit Unions. World Council, 11 July 2013. View for the full news release.
Wolf, Saul. Manager of Remittance Services, World Council of Credit Unions.
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!
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
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
Credit Union Times
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!
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.
By Sarah Snell Cooke
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
Today, we all know that efficient telecommunications, even more mobile phones, are an absolute must to carry out our businesses. But did you know that women throughout the world have an unequal access to mobile phones?
In a very informative article, Cammie Erickson, from the non-profit organization “Business of a Better World” (BSR), talks about a “significant gender gap”. Using data from the “GSMA mWomen Programme” (attached as a PDF document in the article), she points out four policy recommendations to address this gap. More than providing better access, what Cammie Erickson considers as crucial is improving women’s literacy in technology. A few innovations and partnerships already exist to empower women through mobile technology.
To read the article, please click on:
What about you? Do you and/or your members have good access to this kind of technology?
And if you’d like to have further details about the role and value of Mobile Technology in our Credit Union world, please read WOCCU’s President & CEO, Brian Branch’s post in CUInsight:
-Global Women’s Leadership Network
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
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