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Women serving on boards improve corporate success
WASHINGTON (3/7/11)--Companies with women serving on their boards of directors enjoy greater economic and business success than those without women on the boards. That revelation was made at the Global Women's Leadership Network breakfast Tuesday at the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) Governmental Affairs Conference (GAC).
Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) told participants at Tuesday's Global Women's Leadership Network breakfast that companies with women on their board enjoy a greater rate of financial success.
The network, a part of the World Council of Credit Unions (WOCCU), gathered at the National Museum for Women in the Arts. U.S. Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and Debbie Matz, National Credit Union Administration board chair, addressed 64 women credit union leaders about critical issues and the importance of women supporting one another's professional development. Boards of directors of companies that have women on them have a 65% higher return on investment capital, while 53% have a higher return on equity, and 42% have higher sales than those with fewer women in charge," said Speier. "Women's leadership skills are truly different, and women lead differently. It's a more consensus-driven form of leadership, which often produces better results, yet women represent only 15% of Fortune 500 executives." Speier discussed the importance of women leaders recognizing and supporting the strength of their female staffers and encouraged leaders to "femtor" them, rather than mentor them. With men and women supporting each other in the workplace, enterprises and economies will flourish because they will gain access to the full slate of human resources available, she added.
Click to view larger image World Council of Credit Unions Chair Barry Jolette makes a point with National Credit Union Administration Chair Debbie Matz at the Global Women's Leadership Network breakfast. (Photos provided by the World Council of Credit Unions)
In addition to network members, breakfast attendees included Barry Jolette, WOCCU board chair and president/CEO of San Mateo CU, Redwood City, Calif., and Manuel Rabines, WOCCU first vice chair and CEO of Federación Nacional de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito del Perú (FENACREP), WOCCU's member organization in Peru. Brian Branch, WOCCU executive vice president and chief operating officer, cited a recent example of how network members have capitalized on advantages offered by the group. At a previous network event, member Dolores Rivera Ramirez of Mexico's Caja Zongolica shared how the credit union used PDA (personal digital assistant) technology to bring credit union services to its rural members. The idea resonated with Roxy Ostrem from Ventura County CU, Ventura, Calif., who initiated a similar program to reach out to local agricultural workers who lacked access to financial services. "Dolores set out to improve people's lives by bringing the credit union to where they lived and worked, and the idea resonated with Roxy," Branch said. "The Global Women's Leadership Network is about providing women with resources and opportunities that make similar differences in the lives of each other, their credit union members and their communities." The GAC breakfast was the network's first event of the year. This year's Global Women's Leadership Forum will be held with WOCCU's World Credit Union Conference, July 24-27 in Glasgow, Scotland. For more information use the link. The second annual Worldwide Foundation for Credit Unions Golf Tournament benefitting the network will take place on July 28 at the Carrick Course on Loch Lomond, Scotland. The tournament is presented by CO-OP Financial Services and will raise funds to help alleviate poverty through the empowerment of women worldwide. Last year's tournament raised US$60,000 to support WOCCU's global development programs. For more information, visit the link. "In the fight against poverty, both here and abroad, women in credit unions are often on the front lines, driving innovation to help millions of people who would otherwise be left behind by the financial system," said Sue Mitchell, network chair and president/CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates, a credit union consulting firm. "Access to affordable financial services can be life-changing, providing the building blocks for all of us to raise healthier families and stronger communities, and forge a more stable nation."
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