Credit unions need to address the gender gap when it comes to leadership positions, according to Jim Nussle, president and chief executive of the Credit Union National Association (CUNA).
Speaking at the Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) breakfast meeting in Madison on 1 March, Mr Nussle called on credit unions to intensify their efforts in the advancement of women leaders. “The statistics must change. CUNA and World Council are committed to making a measurable difference,” he said.
The network forms part of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU) and was set up in 2009 as special programme aiming to facilitate greater gender balance among leadership roles.
“Without more women in executive leadership positions, financial institutions cannot maintain their competitive advantage,” he said.
Mr Nussle highlighted that women made up 70% of the credit union workforce in the USA but only 15% of credit unions with USD $1bn in assets were led by women.
“Globally, women control $12 trillion of consumer discretionary spending, yet women’s complaints about financial services range from a lack of respect to blanket solutions that leave them behind. Without more women in leadership positions, credit unions could struggle to understand and win over this crucial customer demographic,” he added.
Mr Nussle provided six tips to credit unions looking to address the gender gap in leadership positions:
- Sponsor women you know
- Serve as mentors
- Encourage women take on visible and complex projects in their organisation
- Have succession and development planning for boards and leadership
- When recruiting for an open position, make sure your candidate pool is diverse
- Join GWLN and participate in an upcoming opportunity such the new “Executive Readiness Summit” that will increase the readiness of mid-tiered female staff or participate in a local Network chapter meeting