At Collins Community Credit Union, this commitment to helping and improving the lives of our members, staff, and communities has stuck with us since we first opened our doors in 1940. Today, we’re using our people helping people philosophy to educate upon and improve the gender gap within our industry.
That’s why we are thrilled to announce a donation on behalf of Collins Community Credit Union employees to the World Council of Credit Union’s Global Women’s Leadership Network (GWLN) for $2,345.00. The check was presented on April 24, 2019, at the annual Iowa Sister Society Summit in Des Moines, Iowa. The Iowa Sister Society Summit gathers credit union women and men from across the state for a day of networking, programming, and speaker sessions. The money was raised through our Collins Casual for a Cause program, which allows employees to enroll in a $5 payroll deduction plan to wear jeans every Friday. The money is then donated to a different cause each month, such as GWLN.
The Global Women’s Leadership Network’s mission is one that is special to our team. They are the credit union industry’s only international platform dedicated to addressing and facilitating a greater gender balance among leadership positions. Their programming provides women with the tangible skills, tools, resources, and networking that they need to lead. The money donated by our staff will help the Network continue to provide these resources to women across the globe.
According to a recent report by the World Council of Credit Unions and Filene Research Institute, women in the credit union industry are more likely to start out in lower-level positions, and despite similarly stated ambition, are less likely to achieve executive-level status compared to men. Further, only 14% of credit unions $1B or larger in assets are led by a female CEO. The Global Women’s Leadership Network is working to change this and move towards gender equality within our industry. GWLN is actively educating women, men, and organizations on the competitive advantage that comes with having female leaders on your team and providing tools and resources to help us get there.
Further, at the grassroots level where our members live, women are disproportionally excluded from the financial system. The World Bank estimates that more than 2.5 billion households do not have access to a safe place to save or take out loans, and women are 20 percent less likely than men to have an account at a formal financial institution. GWLN is effecting change for women in the industry and also strengthening the economic security for women and their families in general.
We are proud to be a part of this movement, and working to elevate women not just at Collins, but at credit unions everywhere. Thank you to the many credit union men and women across Iowa who have joined forces with us to make this possible! And thank you to our staff for their donations and excitement for this cause.