I’d like to extend a hearty thanks to Tom Greve, who has served as Credit Union Times publisher for more than four years. It came as a surprise when he announced internally that he was leaving. I know how much he has enjoyed working within the credit union community–or “movement” as he likes to call it–and particularly strategizing his verticals with the team at Credit Union Times.
Tom has been an asset to our publication. He came to us as the financial services and publishing industries were simultaneously going over a cliff, and he handled the sales side with an expert hand that helped guide our business through the crisis and weather the storm better than many others in the publishing industry. He contributed fresh ideas and techniques to improve our publication. I knew right away he could sell an electric blanket to the devil.
Tom’s business acumen and his “Have a(nother) margarita, Sarah” will be missed.
A Farewell to Larry
Credit unions last month lost a credit union lifer in Larry Wilson, who retired as president/CEO of Coastal FCU in N.C. Friends and colleagues attended his retirement reception during NAFCU’s annual conference last week.
I got to know Larry during his service on the NAFCU board. What impresses me the most is, after he led the then $3.5 million IBM Raleigh Employees FCU with its three employees and 3,900 members to become the $2 billion Coastal FCU with 190,000 members and 400 employees, he’s still a very real person. You will be missed. And watch out for copperheads.
A Farewell to Inequality
NAFCU held its first Women’s Leadership Summit, which Credit Union Times participated in by virtue of our Women to Watch program. As many of you already know or at least suspect, the majority of credit union CEOs are women, a study commissioned by Burns-Fazzi, Brock found. However, the number of female top execs drops dramatically as you climb the asset ladder. Of the 428 federal credit unions sampled, 176 had less than $40 million in assets and 65% of their CEOs were women. However, as you peer over $40 million, that percentage plummets in half to approximately one-third. In fact, in the more than $335 million in assets category, the sample size of female executives (18) was so small as to be inconclusive with regard to the salary portion.
The survey found that female credit union CEOs at the credit unions under $20 million were paid 93% of their male counterparts. Between $20 million and $75 million it was 95%. Not perfect, but not bad. A curious flip-flop occurs however in the $75 million to $335 million range: These female CEOs actually earned 107% of their male counterparts. However, then you look at the upper echelons (more than $335 million in assets), the figure was just 82%.
Some variables weren’t accounted for in the survey such as years of service that could help explain the disparity in salary figures at the top.
Nan Siemer, head of Breakers consulting firm, who facilitated the event also provided a piece of the puzzle that women might be missing, and that is the art of negotiation. Among her tips for negotiating was to negotiate base on worth, not need, and for women it may be easier to think of it as bargaining rather than self-promotion.
McKinsey and Co., which advocates for the promotion of women in business, has found that the top companies that score the best across nine key organizational areas, including leadership and accountability, have the highest operating margins and three or more women among their senior management for those companies that made gender information available.
Lloyds found that female employees are 8% more likely to meet or exceed performance expectations, yet they tend not to apply for promotion. Obviously, there are many good reasons that might be, but very often it’s because we are uncomfortable with self-promotion.
Having qualified women in key roles is good for business, so start those mentor programs and teach and practice networking skills early and often. An important piece is not to exclude the men. Not only do they hold the bulk of the authority, but they do have a lot of knowledge and experience to contribute. Now is the perfect time because by 2016, 20% of the working population will be at least 65 and we need to be ready to step up in their place.