Jun 19 2014
/ Thursday, June 19, 2014

Women in Leadership Colloquium

Women and Credit Unions: A Leadership Colloquium at the University of Southern California

Women are an essential part of credit unions around the world, and they are taking on more and more leadership roles every year. But they still face systemic challenges: About half of US credit union CEOs are women, but many more men than women are CEOs of large US credit unions.

Beyond credit unions, the numbers are even more stark. Globally in financial services, women comprise 25% of middle managers, 19% of senior leaders, 14% of board members, and 2% of CEOs. Do men and women enter credit unions with different levels of leadership potential? Within credit unions, do male and female employees get different exposure to experiences necessary for promotion?

We invite leaders, men and women alike, to join Filene and the World Council of Credit Unions at the University of Southern California on June 19, 2014 for the unveiling of a year-long study delving into the challenges and opportunities faced by women at every level in credit unions, both in the United States and around the world.

Sessions include:

  • Women in Credit Union Leadership: Melissa Thomas-Hunt, associate professor at the University of Virginia Darden School of Business, reveals the results of a first-of-its-kind year-long effort to discover the hurdles that slow credit union women leaders down. 
  • Pathways to Power: Understanding the challenges women face is not the same as solving them. Kathleen O'Connor, associate professor at the Johnson Graduate School of Management at Cornell University, describes and then prescribes how women and men alike can find and benefit from sponsors, build the right kinds of networks, and negotiate effectively. 
  • Crossing Borders: Ursula Heimann and Dr. Gabriela Zapata draw on years working with credit unions in Mexico and Latin America to reveal the challenges that female leaders face. They also use real-world case studies to show how credit unions anywhere can build bridges for the next generation of women.

Download the final agenda here.

Download the need-to-knows, agenda and attendee list here.

The causes of income disparity and professional advancement are complex, and compensation for women in the United States is catching up to that of men, especially among the most educated. But systematic challenges – personal, professional, and cultural – remain for women who want to earn more, do more, and lead credit unions in the 21st century.


The event is free for Filene members.

Non-members are encouraged to make a voluntary contribution of $250 to help cover the costs of the event. All participants are responsible for paying their own travel and lodging costs.

If you are a member and would like to support the administrative and logistical costs of this colloquium and further the work of Filene, we would welcome a donation of any size.


University of Southern California

823-29 Exposition Boulevard

GIN D Wong FAIA Conference Center

Slide Decks

Houston, We Have a Problem (ppt)

Leadership Barriers in Credit Unions (ppt)

Women in Leadership - Issues in Mexico (ppt)

Pathways to Power: What Men, Women, and Comanpies Need to Do Together (ppt)

What's Next, and Who's Responsible? (ppt)

Download the final agenda here.

Dine Arounds

Filene invites attendees to dinner the night prior, June 18th, at Industriel. Unlike prior dine arounds, where we ask everyone to pitch in after dinner, we are asking for an up front $25 contribution to cover the cost of your dinner this evening, to avoid check separation fuss on site. Register to join us at Industriel here.