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In 2008, Barack Obama made history by becoming the first African American president of the United States. As his second term ends in 2016, we may be on the horizon of what could be another historical moment: Either Hilary Clinton or Carly Fiorina could become the first woman to be president.

Seeing either take the oath of office in January 2017 would be a symbolic image. On the surface theirs are stories of bucking odds and doing the impossible. Dig deeper and you’ll realize it’s a culmination of years of dedication and persistence. Clinton and Fiorina have garnered great respect and admiration from both men and women alike. While both have countless miles to log yet on their campaign trails, one can surmise how impactful either’s victory would be for women around the world.

After all, politics has always been a breeding ground for breaking barriers, but it shouldn’t be the only one. Every industry, including the credit union industry, has the capacity and duty to foster an environment that empowers women to ascend into leadership positions. Women have always played an important role at credit unions, and they are taking on more and more leadership roles every year. However, gender inequality still exists and poses a significant challenge for women who are looking to ascend professionally.

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