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SCMS Adopts New Course Focused on Women in Leadership
Thursday, June 18, 2015 6:25 AM

Southwest CUNA Management School, the premier educational program designed to develop and enhance leadership skills for credit union professionals, has added an exciting new course to the curriculum, Women in Leadership Dialogue.

Recent Filene Research studies have shown that women rise in the ranks less often than men, making up 70 percent of credit union employees overall but only 41 percent of credit union leadership. Women in Leadership Dialogue will look at eradicating the leadership barriers that hold women back and discuss how credit unions can encourage diversity and dissolve the gender glass ceiling.

The course will be interactive, heavy on discussion and participation, and facilitated by John Vardallas, CU industry consultant and senior faculty advisor/project evaluator for SCMS, and Courtney Moran, executive director, Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation.

Vardallas said the priority at SCMS is developing future credit union leadership, and he feels the time is right to expose the 2015 graduating class, which includes many talented women, to the idea that "no career mountain is too high to climb."

"Women in Leadership Dialogue will be a conversation about the important role women play in financial services," Vardallas says. "Even though women are taking on more and more leadership roles in credit unions every year, gender inequality still exists and poses a challenge for women who aspire toward executive positions."

Vardallas goes on to say, "Women will benefit by having an open discussion of the issues that lead to gender gaps and caps in the credit union workplace hierarchy. Men will benefit by being engaged in the discussion and developing a greater understanding of the challenges faced by women in the credit union system."

Instructors will use real-world examples and look at leadership styles, perceptions, business climate, and work/life issues. The session will also highlight strategies for success and offer suggestions from surveys of female credit union CEOs.

CEOs place a high value on employees who are graduates of SCMS. If you want to increase your clout and leverage your career prospects, consider enrolling in SCMS. Students will find an exceptional forum for networking with other credit union professionals; access to top industry experts; and the opportunity to ignite an inner passion and vision for personal and professional growth. Credit unions can rest assured their investment will pay off many times over for their employees and the credit union.

Enrollment for the 2015 SCMS Summer Session (July 12-22) ends soon. Prospective students should visit for additional information.

If you have any questions, please contact Janine McBee at (469) 385-6634 or (800) 442-5762, ext. 6634.