Happy International Women's Day!
By: Jim Struble
Happy International Women’s Day to you all! I’ve had some amazing women whose presence have graced my life; mothers, sisters, my spouse, coworkers, daughters and everything in between. My mentor is a female credit union CEO in Minnesota, my mentee is a woman at Electro, my heroes are my sisters, the most influential people in my life are the women I’ve called mom, my heart belongs to my wife, and my future belongs to my three daughters. I look up to each and every one of them and so many more not listed.
There exists a long history of discrimination towards women within the world in which we live, with access to credit and banking services being part of that history. In my first letter to the membership in July, I noted my deep belief that everyone should have access to financial services and education. Credit unions are historically leaders when it comes to gender inclusion within our communities. The first financial institution to provide women credit in their own name was a credit union. Over half of the credit unions out there have female CEOs, with nearly 70% of credit union employees in the US being women too. And by the way, the largest credit union in the country (Navy Federal Credit Union) is run by a female CEO!
This is not the case for so many industries and professions, but it should be. Starting in 1995, women 25-29 began earning college degrees at a higher rate than their male counterparts, and that trend has stayed steady every year since. Not that having a college degree reflects worth, but it certainly takes dedication to graduate. That dedication to something you start is an intangible I personally love to hire onto the Electro family. Another intangible that can be tough to coach is Emotional Intelligence. According to Forbes in 2016, “women outperform men on nearly all emotional intelligence measures.” Leaders need a high Emotional IQ to be successful in the Electro culture (not to mention most modern workplace cultures), as coaching others and adaptability to change are two traits that are highly sought after and celebrated in our workplace.
On my commute last week, I was listening to a TED talk given to a TEDWomen conference in 2018 by Dolores Huerta. She quoted Coretta Scott King (the wife of Martin Luther King Jr.) who said, “We will never have peace in the world until women take power.” A powerful statement and one perhaps other industries should take note of when they look at their lack of gender diversity in their leadership ranks. Credit unions are where people come together with a shared purpose buoyed by a sense of safety and trust. It is an industry where women have a strong position in, and one I am proud to be part of.
If you’re looking for a new industry to work in, here are pages I’ve looked up around the St. Louis area for employment opportunities in the Credit Union industry:
(my personal favorite) https://www.electrosavings.com/careers.html