The typical credit union board member is a 61‐year‐old white male, has served on his board for well over a decade and has a better-than-average chance of serving on the board for many years to come.
That board makeup may not be the best scenario given the growth of a more diverse population, according to a new white paper from the CUNA Community Credit Union Committee. The research examines the current demographics of community credit union board members, the issues that arise from these findings and strategies for successful board succession and retention.
Men continue to dominate board seats, according to the paper, Effective Credit Union Board Succession Planning: New Demands Shine Spotlight on Standard Practices. Credit unions with less than $25 million in assets are slightly more likely than those with more than $500 million to have women on their boards. Whites represent 89% of board members, African Americans 6%, Hispanics 3% and Asian/Pacific Islander 1.5%.
The white paper was prepared by George Hofheimer, chief research officer at Filene Research Institute.
Because most credit unions do not have a reliable system for attracting the next generation of credit union board members, some may struggle to compete in the future, the paper noted.
To take steps toward better board succession planning, the paper suggested credit unions focus on and identify board diversity goals, reconsider term limits, require continuing education and implement director self-evaluation, among other recommendations.
The white paper can be downloaded for free on the CUNA Community Credit Union Committee site.