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I’m Grateful to Support Women in Leading the Credit Union Industry

woman throwing fall leaves in the air
Theresa Witham Photo
Managing Editor/Publisher
CUES

2 minutes

Our latest issue of Advancing Women focuses on unconscious bias in the employee review process.

This year as I prepare to spend Thanksgiving with my family, I’m thinking about the many things I’m thankful for in my personal and professional life. 

I finally committed to joining a gym and swimming in the wonderful salt water pool several times a week. I am thanking myself for making this a priority, as I always feel energized and happy after a long swim. Plus, I find myself getting many great ideas for CU Management in the lap lane!

We launched CUmanagement.com in October after several months of intense work and I am grateful for the amazing team—internal and external—that came together to create this incredibly useful new resource.

One of the things I am most thankful for is the successful launch of Advancing Women. As I’ve said to anyone who’ll listen, this is a personally motivating and gratifying project to work on and I’m so grateful for the overwhelmingly positive response we’ve had from both women and men in the credit union industry.

I’m proud that we are working to support women in leadership at credit unions with our quarterly content that it is open and free to everyone in the credit union industry. Our latest issue is another great one with very timely articles.

With performance appraisal season upon us, freelance writer Karen Bankston takes a deep dive into the unconscious biases that could be undermining your employee reviews. 

“I had one CEO tell me that he examined the fact that he and two of his senior executives worked out at the same gym, while two other executives, both female, didn’t work out there,” notes Susan Mitchell, CEO of Mitchell, Stankovic and Associates and chair of the World Council of Credit Unions’ Global Women’s Leadership Network.  “He didn’t realize until later—when the team started discussing the potential for bias—that they would have conversations about work while they were at the gym. And so the question is, was that an intentional practice? The end result was that there might be unconscious bias.”

In formal evaluation systems, elements that might reflect gender bias have been largely “languaged out,” says Deedee Myers, CEO of CUESolutions platinum provider DDJ Myers Ltd., Phoenix, “but we still need to work at a personal level on our unconscious biases.”

Toward that end, she recommends an exercise known as “bracketing,” which involves managers writing frankly and for their eyes only about their perspectives and stereotypes about gender and leadership. Once they write them down and claim them, it’s easier to recognize and address these biases if they arise during a performance evaluation. 

The article is an important read. Check it out

If you are a credit union board member, tasked with appraising the CEO, check out our companion article.

This issue also includes a podcast about leading an engaged and inclusive credit union, a profile  of a credit union leader, a Q&A with Shazia Manus, CSE, CCE,  of CUESolutions provider AdvantEdge Analytics and much more.

We send an email announcing each new issue of Advancing Women. Let me know if you’d like to be added to that list.

Theresa Witham is managing editor/publisher at CUES.

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