Female Board Chairs Step Into the Spotlight
Whether the conversation takes place in the boardroom or a corner office, when the topic turns to gender parity, there's a running joke: It's inevitable for women to come out on top because they outlive men.
In any case, it's safe to say that the presence of female leaders plays a role in an organization's success. Countless studies have found that gender balance within a leadership team allows for better monitoring of corporate affairs and higher quality decisions due to an expansion of ideas, perspectives and experiences, as well as increased attention to detail and corporate responsibility.
Studies have also shown that the more diverse the board, the better the organization's results: Diverse boards have 53% higher return on equity, 42% higher return on sales and 66% higher return on invested capital, according to Catalyst.com. An evaluation of the U.S. credit union industry commissioned by NCUA Vice Chairman Rick Metsger found that these trends hold true, as credit unions led by female CEOs had better CAMEL ratings and a higher net worth than those led by men. Yet, the boards of directors of the largest national trade organizations for credit unions include only six women among their 39 directors.
From mentoring homeless youth to promoting economic justice, these four female credit union association board chairs have made bold moves to help further the credit union industry and improve the lives of people within their communities. Visit CUTimes.com/W2WinTheBoardroom for their full-length profiles.
Director, Southeastern Credit Union Foundation
National Youth Involvement Board Chair
Member Relations Consultant, League of Southeastern Credit Unions
Juli Lewis joined the League of Southeastern Credit Unions in 2014, serving as a member relations consultant. She works with credit unions within the Tampa, Sara-Mana, Broward and southernmost chapters and has a specialty in financial education.
Earlier this year, she was named director of the Southeastern Credit Union Foundation. She is also the current chair of the National Youth Involvement Board, serving on the executive committee since 2008 and as chair since 2014.
Prior to joining the league, Lewis worked for 21 years at the $6.5 billion Suncoast Credit Union in Tampa, Fla. As the youth marketing manager for Suncoast CU, she was responsible for all youth programs including student-run branches, presentations and reality fairs.
Lewis graduated from the University of South Florida in 1998 with a bachelors in social work. She has also earned the CUDE and CCUE designation.
Woodstone Federal Credit Union
CUNA Board Chair
Susan Streifel serves as president/CEO of the $95 million Woodstone Credit Union, based in Federal Way, Wash. She has 36 years of not for profit financial cooperative experience, including more than 26 years in senior management positions. Now in her third term on CUNA's board of directors, she currently serves as chair. During her current term, she also served as both chair and a member of CUNA's Governmental Affairs Committee. On the local level, she has served as chair of the Governmental Affairs Committee for the Northwest Credit Union Association.
A history of service to the credit union industry and her community has earned Streifel many accolades, including recognition from the Professional Credit Union Women's Association as Woman of the Year and the NWCUA as Credit Union Advocate of the Year. She has also served the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce as chair of its board of directors and Advancing Leadership program, where she was instrumental in helping the organization receive its tax-exempt status.
Deyanira Del Río
Board Chair, Lower East Side Peoples’ Federal Credit Union and National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
Deyanira Del Rio is co-director of the New Economy Project, an economic justice organization in New York City. She has led policy advocacy, coalition building and community education in and outside of New York City, promoting immigrants’ economic rights and financial inclusion. She has served on the $46 million, New York City-based LESPFCU's board since 2002, and serves as board chair of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions. In addition, she serves on the board of New Immigrant Community Empowerment.
She has also received Revson and Coro Immigrant Civic Leadership Program fellowships, and in 2009 received the Mujeres Destacadas (Outstanding Women) award from El Diario/La Prensa.
Chair, Generations Federal Credit Union and National Association of Credit Union Chairmen
Rose Rangel serves as the board chair for the $551 million Generations Federal Credit Union in San Antonio and the National Association of Credit Union Chairmen.
She has also been an active member of the World Council of Credit Unions Global Women's Leadership Network, and has received numerous credit union education awards. She participated in the LBJ School of Public Affairs Management Program, graduated from the City of San Antonio Leadership Development Program and is the former president of the Urban Management Assistants of South Texas.
She holds a bachelor of arts and science degree from Texas State University and also attended Our Lady of the Lake University. She retired from the City of San Antonio after 35 years of service.
Rangel also works with community service organizations that provide scholarships to students in need and serves as a mentor at inner city elementary schools, where many students live in shelters.