After months in planning, a group of Missouri female credit union executives have launched a new professional education and advocacy group.
The Women's Association of Credit Union Leaders, www.wacul.org, will promote women's networking and recognition.
The group seeks to grow nationally through forums and programs stressing a mission of enhancing skill and leadership experience of women in key CU jobs, said officials. Leading the organizing effort is Lisa Ginter, chief operating officer of Community America CU, Kansas City; and Glenna Osborn, president of Missouri Central CU, Lee's Summit, with support also from the Missouri Credit Union Association.
Ginter said the group will be hosting events throughout the year for members and that it currently has about 30.
The WACUL website notes that only six of the top 100 CUs are led by women and just 1% of CUs between $250-$1 billion are led by women.
"Gender disparity of leadership at the top level credit unions is surprising," commented WACUL.
Through WACUL, participants "will learn to lead more effectively in their current roles and be prepared to take on more responsibility in the future," the organization said in a newsletter.
"I believe women are an important ingredient to any successful business and credit unions have always been very good to women by providing great opportunities," Ginter said. "WACUL is designed to enhance leadership opportunities in our industry."
There is any number of networking groups "made up of women from varied backgrounds, but ours specializes in the credit union industry," said Osborn.