On June 6, 32 individuals met at the Oklahoma Central Credit Union in Tulsa, Oklahoma, to kick off the second Global Women’s Leadership Network Sister Society in the Cornerstone region. Sister societies provide a way for credit unions to maintain their competitive advantage by including and promoting women in leadership positions.
“Why in Tulsa? Why right now? What does it take to get a room full of bright women to interact? It’s something just for us,” said Cynthia Campbell, VP of Enterprise Project Management at BALANCE, and a member of the GWLN. “We now have a new network of women leaders and relationships; true friendships at work. Growing peer groups of women leaders at mid- to large-size credit unions – a community of like-minded people who want to make a difference in their own lives, their professional lives, and enrich their communities together. Society has changed through women, and the wonderful men who join us.”
Thirty-two credit union leaders attend the Oklahoma Sister Society meeting in Oklahoma.
Attendees listen as presenters discuss the importance sister societies play in advancing women leaders through the credit union movement.
The Tulsa meeting was a joint effort of the Green Country and Greater Oklahoma credit union chapters. “Eventually, we want to have enough bandwidth to support separate Tulsa and Oklahoma City Sister Societies, but we are launching them as a unified front to get the program launched in Oklahoma” said Gina Wilson, president/CEO of Oklahoma Central Credit Union, captain for Oklahoma, and a current GWLN member.
Wilson went on to describe the sister society as “reverse mentoring where we can learn up and down, [and across] age, title. She expects the sister society to meet two to three times a year with a focus on development professionally, personally, for credit unions, and with a community/charity focus. She’s currently planning for meetings in August, October, and December. Meeting topics could include:
- Identifying and managing emotional intelligence;
- Fostering leadership skills;
- Attracting mentors and mentees;
- Improving communications and influencing change;
- Gaining operational efficiencies; and
- Improving workplace culture.
She added, “This is about bringing people together to develop them and help them grow. Designed to be different than chapter meetings. It has a bigger mission. “
Greg Gallant, president/CEO, Tulsa FCU, also attended the meeting. “I have two daughters, so part of our mission was to raise strong, independent women. One is in the credit union movement in Tulsa; I encouraged her to be a part of this Sister Society group.”
He added, “I believe that leadership is gender neutral. The majority of employees in our industry are women, but I believe this group has an opportunity to influence the future, and this is very worthwhile.”