Credit Union Times mixed it up with the crowd at WesCorp's Women's Leadership Conference to get some frank responses to two topical questions for the event. Here's what they had to say: CUT: What is the most important issue facing female leaders in the credit union industry? Barbara Argo, CEO, $11 million Cal Poly Federal Credit Union, Pomona, Calif.: "Developing women and getting more of them into leadership positions at top credit unions. The skill sets needed to run a $5 million credit union are different than what is needed to run a $500 million credit union. Women need to develop those skill sets so they can move on to larger credit unions." Judy McCartney, CEO, $828 million Orange County's Credit Union, Santa Ana, Calif.:"I'd like help in finding women to hire into leadership positions. Headhunters are looking for them, but can't find them. Who are they? Where are they? Sometimes I wish I had a list. Women who aspire to CEO positions need to make themselves known." Gerene Sayer, vice president, human resources, $496 million Greater Nevada Credit Union, Carson City, Nev.: "Women in smaller credit unions need to get exposure and skills to make the move into larger credit unions. I'm new to credit unions, and I'm so impressed with all the educational and developmental opportunities in place, but many of those programs are still 'in the box' thinking. Credit unions need to look outside the industry to see what others have done to address the issue." Victoria Pipkin, CFO, $670 million 1st United Services Credit Union, Pleasanton, Calif.: "You've got to ask for something if you want it, and we don't do that." CUT: What advantage do female leaders have in the credit union industry? Joan Gull, CFO, $32 million Cal State LA Federal Credit Union, Montebello, Calif.: "The credit union philosophy is essentially a female philosophy--people helping people." Barbara Argo, CEO, $11 million Cal Poly Federal Credit Union, Pomona, Calif.: "Women intuitively help others, reach out to the underserved, and can figure out what people need and how to bring it to them." Lisa Rivera, marketing manager, $54 million SONEPCO Federal Credit Union, Las Vegas:"I've never worked for a male CEO, so in my experience, this industry is highly supportive of women." Charlene Bowman, CEO, $74 million Pasadena Service Credit Union, Pasadena, Calif.: "Because women have grown up in this industry over the years, they have acquired the skills to be a success in credit unions, or, really, any corporate environment." Annette Zimmerman, senior vice president, business services, $2 billion Mountain America Credit Union, West Jordan, Utah:"Credit unions are people oriented, and women are, too--we can use this to our advantage and beat the competition."
Attendees Speak Off the Cuff...
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