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Exploring Why with CUWLA

Two women discuss work at a breakout table

Over the last 18+ months, we’ve lived through a global pandemic, weathered political unrest and unprecedented environmental catastrophes. Times are tough and now – perhaps more than any time since our movement’s pioneering days – credit unions must truly live their values; partnering to support one another at an institutional and individual level.

That spirit of cooperation and fellowship formed the Credit Union Women’s Leadership Alliance (CUWLA) in fall 2019 – an industry network connecting female CEOs of credit unions with $300 million or less in assets.

The Foundation is hosting an Exploring WhyTM session for CUWLA members on Oct. 7-8. This virtual event, running from 10.30 am to 1.30 pm CT both days, has been exclusively designed to strengthen attendees’ understanding of how the cooperative principles can differentiate smaller credit unions in an increasingly complex and competitive financial market.

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Additional elements will focus on developing and utilizing empathy, strategies for building financial well-being in members, and – for the first time – self-care.

“There are specific challenges CUWLA members face,” explains Lily Newfarmer, CEO of Tarrant County’s Credit Union (TX) and co-founder of CUWLA. “Rightly or wrongly, there are significantly more female CEOs at smaller credit unions than there at larger institutions. And as the majority of our movement is made up of these smaller organizations there’s an incredible responsibility on those female leaders to ensure the sustainability and efficacy of our organizations.

“Partnering with the Foundation on this Exploring Why event is about re-establishing that baseline. Reminding ourselves of the core fundamentals of our individual and collective organizations, and recognizing when and where we can partner with one another to positively impact our movement and the communities we serve.”

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